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NOTICE – Trustee Transition

 NOTICE

Effective October 1, 2021, Kenneth E. West, Esquire, has been appointed to serve as Standing Chapter 13 Trustee in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, replacing William C. Miller.

Please find our Welcome Letter here

Bankruptcy payments made 10/1/2021 or later must be made payable to Kenneth E. West, Standing Trustee. Payments made and/or mailed before 10/1/2021 that are made payable to William C. Miller will still be honored, even if received after 10/1/2021. The payments address remains the same – PO Box 1799, Memphis, TN 38101-1799.

If you make your payments through the TFS Bill Pay online payment service, you may continue making them as before; payments will still credit to your case.

Regarding wage orders, we will try to work with the Court to see if a general order can be issued to modify the orders without the necessity of multiple, individual motions.

Contact information for the Philadelphia office remains the same:

Kenneth E. West, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee
P.O. Box 40837
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: 215-627-1377
Fax:     215-627-6299

If you have questions regarding this transition, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our office at 215-627-1377.

NOTICE – New Chapter 13 Form Plan

NOTICE – effective June 14, 2021, some new and amended local rules and forms were adopted with respect to the EDPA Local Bankruptcy Rules. Among them were amendments to the local form Chapter 13 Plan. Given the effective date, this office will be requiring that in any case filed on or after the effective date of June 14, 2021 must utilize the revised plan form for this office to recommend confirmation. Commencing immediately, any amended plans should be on the revised form. Any old plan forms filed after September 15th will be objected to by our office.

The revised form and other local rule changes can be found on the EDPA Bankruptcy Court site, https://www.paeb.uscourts.gov/news/amended-local-rules-effective-june-14-2021.

NOTICE – New Mailing Address

Notice

Chapter 13 trustee Kenneth E. West has a new mailing address. The new address is:

Kenneth E. West, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee
P.O. Box 40837
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Please note: the mailing address for debtor plan payments has not changed. The payments address can be found on the right side pane on this site.

NOTICE – Filing Pay Advices

Notice

There has been less than full compliance with the requirements of Local Rule 1007-4, as reproduced below (effective 12/01/17). This creates an unnecessary administrative burden on the chapter 13 office, and may prevent a thorough 341 meeting. Therefore, if there is a failure to comply with the rule by the originally scheduled 341 date, the meeting will not be held (unless and until there is compliance). Uploading pay advices to the chapter 13 office does not constitute compliance. Note also that under 11 U.S.C. §521(i)(1), the failure to comply within 45 days of the filing of the petition could result in an “automatic dismissal” of the case on the 46th day after the filing of the petition.

Local Rule 1007-4 Submission of Evidence of an Employer’s Payments Within 60 Days (Prepetition) of Filing the Petition

A debtor shall comply with §521(a)(1)(B)(iv) by filing with the court (1) the required payment advices (pay stubs), or (2) the documents available to the debtor accompanied by a statement that sets forth the reason why some payment documents have not been submitted and the debtor’s estimate of and other evidence, if any, of the payments received within the 60 day time period.

If the debtor does not have pay advices, please complete and file the attached form (Word)(PDF)

Pay Advices or a Certification of No Pay Advices

Should be filed when filing the original petition or

Within 14 days of the petition filing date

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

NOTICE Regarding Tax Returns – 2022

Important Information About Tax Returns

The Bankruptcy Code now imposes on you various requirements regarding tax returns, and if you fail to comply with those requirements, your case may be dismissed:

  • Not later than 7 days before the date first set for the meeting of creditors you must give the trustee a copy of the Federal income tax return that was required under the tax laws for the most recent tax year ending immediately before the commencement of the case and for which you filed a return. See 11 U.S.C. § 521(e)(2)(A)Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4002(b)(3) and (4). In lieu of a copy of the tax return, you may furnish a transcript of the return. See, for example, Obtaining Tax Records.
  • You are required timely to file with the tax authorities tax returns coming due after the commencement of the case. See 11 U.S.C. § 521(j).
  • At the request of any party in interest in a chapter 7, 11, or 13 case, you are required to file with the court, at the same time you file it with the IRS:
    • a copy of each Federal income tax return (or a transcript of such return) for each tax year ending while the case is pending (see 11 U.S.C. § 521(f)(1));
    • a copy of each Federal income tax return (or a transcript of such return) for each tax year ending in the 3-year period ending on the date you file your bankruptcy petition for which a return had not been filed with the IRS as of the date you filed your bankruptcy petition and for which you subsequently filed a return (see 11 U.S.C. § 521(f)(2));

Be sure to redact (blacken out) any Social Security Number, account numbers, year of birth, and names and initials of minor children. See Protecting Privacy (Personal Data Identifiers).

  • In a chapter 13 case, you must, prior to the first date set for the meeting of creditors, file with the appropriate tax authorities all tax returns required to be filed under non-bankruptcy law for all taxable periods ending during the 4-year period ending on the date of the filing of your petition. See 11 U.S.C. § 1308.
  • In a chapter 13 case, at the request of any party in interest, you must periodically file an annual statement of income and expenditures. See 11 U.S.C. § 521(f)(4) and (g)(1).
  • For cases docketed in 2022, debtor(s) who has/have filed return(s) for 2021 should be providing those 2021 returns for the 341 hearing. If a return for 2021 has not yet been filed (since it is not due until 4/15/2022) then providing a return for 2020 is acceptable. However, after 4/15/2022, the 2021 tax return must be provided.

If the debtor does not have pay advices, please complete and file the attached form (Word)(PDF)

NOTICE – Trustee Commission

Effective October 1, 2021, the trustee commission in cases assigned to Kenneth E. West will be 8.0%, which will be collected on plan payments as they are received.

As we have always recommended, for plan confirmation purposes, please continue to calculate the fee at the ten (10) percent statutory maximum, to avoid having plans which become underfunded due to possible percentage fee changes.

NOTICE – Plan Modifications under 11 U.S.C. § 1329(d)

We are beginning to see debtors filing motions to modify plans under 11 U.S.C. Section 1329(d). So that our position is clear, we have drafted a pro forma answer to such motions,  a copy of which is available via the link in this notice.  Such an answer may or may not be filed in all such cases, depending upon the circumstances. It may also be modified. Please be guided accordingly.

PRO-FORMA ANSWER

NOTICE – Telephonic 341 Protocol

On March 30, 2020, we posted our Protocol for telephonic 341’s. These have been going well, and we thank everyone for their cooperation. The Attorney Declaration form we were using required modifications, as noted in the prior Protocol. We were made aware of another Attorney Declaration form on the UST site, apparently from another region, simpler and better suited to our needs. Therefore, we have modified the Protocol, as attached, which includes a fillable version of the updated Attorney Declaration. Please use this form going forward.

PROTOCOL

DECLARATION FORM

As previously posted, our commission increased to 10% on May 1. There have been questions regarding the calculations needed to fund a plan. The steps are as follows: (1)  take the total amount of claims to be paid, including attorneys’ fees, and (2) divide the total by 0.9. For example, if there are $5,000 in attorneys’ fees, $5,000 in priority claims, $20,000 in secured claims, and $10,000 in unsecured claims, the total = $40,000. The trustee commission = $40,000/0.9 = $4,444, for a total plan = $44,444. Please refer any specific questions to the staff attorney or paralegal handling a particular judge’s list.

NOTICE – NDC

NOTICE

Historically, our case information could be accessed via http://www.ndc.org [National Data Center] or http://www.trustee13.com [Chapter 13 Trustee Online Case Status System].

As of December 31, 2019, we will only be providing information via the National Data Center site. Those who have not yet registered on that site can do so at the internet address provided above.

Since this office provides the information, it is identical on both sites, except that the graphical formats are different. We suggest you begin using the NDC site at your earliest convenience, to facilitate the transition.