Surplus Income

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After you have declared bankruptcy you may be required to make monthly payments, known as surplus income payments. The surplus income you have determines the length of your bankruptcy.


Surplus income is a calculated payment based on the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s yearly guidelines. The amount required depends on your income, and your family size, and situation. Not everyone has surplus income but if you do it will need to be paid into your bankruptcy for the benefit of your creditors.

You must submit proof of your household income (including pay stubs, child tax benefits, and support payments) and some special expenses to your trustee every month, and your trustee will help you calculate the amount you must pay. The amount depends on your percentage of the household’s income.

For example, for 2021 a two-person household, the government income allowance is $2799.00 per month. Any of your percentage of the monthly household income over this amount will be part of the surplus income calculations. At that point, your percentage of the household income is considered, and any calculated amounts are to be paid to the trustee each month.


You must pay fifty percent (50%) of your surplus income if your surplus income is over $200 per month. You pay this to your trustee, for distribution to your creditors.


The duration of your surplus income payments depends on whether this is your first bankruptcy.

If this is your first bankruptcy and you are not required to pay surplus income you will probably be discharged from your bankruptcy in 9 months. However, if surplus income payments are required your bankruptcy is automatically extended and you must make any surplus income payments and provide income information for 21 months.

If you have declared bankruptcy before and are required to pay surplus income payments this period is extended to 36 months for payments before you are eligible for discharge.

If you disagree about the amount or duration of payment, a person can request mediation, or the court will make a decision on the required payments.

Keep in mind, the trustee simply receives your household income information and proof of certain expenses to make the calculation. The federal government provides the formula and the rules.

In addition, the trustee tracks your income from the beginning of your bankruptcy onward. If your income changes, the required surplus income payment will also change.

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I was in a real bind with a lot of debt from credit cards and payday loans but I met with Kevin and his staff were very understanding of my difficulties paying. I paid for 21 months under these federal income rules, but was way cheaper than if I did nothing.

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