A number of people enter Chapter 13 Bankruptcy without knowing that when you file a Chapter 13 case, you are going to have to make a payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee. This will be a monthly payment. The first payment will be due approximately 30 days after you file your case. The payment should be made pursuant to the guidelines established by the Trustee in your district. Usually this means certified funds.
Usually the people that do not know about this have gone with a bankruptcy mill that does not take the time to ensure you know what your responsibilities are in the Chapter 13 plan.
Without making these plan payments, your case will be up for dismissal. You will have to continue to make the plan payments called for in your Chapter 13 Plan. For some people this will be the full term of 60 months or five years. You can be forced into this 5 year term if your income is above median. Or you can choose this 5 year term because it gives you the most time to pay off your debts.
Others will be allowed to complete their plan in 36 months. These people have income that is below median. The people who are eligible for 36 month plans have the ability to propose a plan that will be anywhere from 36-60 months depending on their capacity to pay what is needed.
Other people can propose shorter plans if and only if they agree to pay off 100% of their debt. While this may seem like it rarely happens, it does happen more often than you think. Sometimes, a person will owe $350,000 in various debts, but their creditors do not file claims with the court. Again, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can get pretty complicated, but your creditors must file claims if they are to be paid. So if the claims that are filed in your bankruptcy case only amount to $2,500, then you can probably find a way to pay that off in a shorter time period than 5 years.
Regardless of the plan length or terms, there will be a plan payment. If you have hired an attorney who has not gone over this with you, then that is going to suck.