Wayne Godare, Chapter 13 Trustee
The “Plan Base” is the minimum amount that debtors must pay into the plan before a discharge will be requested by the Trustee. The exception to this is if the base amount exceeds 100% of all claims.
The base is calculated by adding together the following funds:
1. Paragraph 1(a) or 3(a) plan payments. This amount includes all scheduled payments including step payments and changes to payments in approved modified plans – multiplied by the commitment period of 36 or 60 months;
2. Paragraph 1(b) or 3 (b) proceeds from avoided transfers;
3. Paragraph 1(c) or 3(c) calculated year by year, net tax refunds attributable to pre petition tax years received by the debtor during the term of their Plan, calculated year by year, net tax refunds attributable to post-petition tax years for either 36 months (below median), 60 months (above median) or the optional “life of the plan” depending on which box is checked;
4. Paragraph 1(d) or 3(d) lump sums scheduled for a particular date;
5. Paragraph 1(e) or 4(e) or 4 (f) additions (usually tied to an additional plan paragraph); and,
6. Funds included in added paragraphs, i.e., overtime income; non-provable charitable contributions; additional amounts in lieu of pursuit of a preferential transfer.
Some cases will require that debtors pay more to the Trustee than the Plan Base. Cases that usually fall into that category are cases with high mortgage arrears, high priority obligations or a large “best interest” number. In those cases, the Plan Base is a moot number because the total amount paid into the plan will be dictated by the individual circumstances and claims and will exceed any “base” calculation.