When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must file Form 22C-1 - Chapter 13 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period. On this form, you provide the court with detailed information about your income from the previous six months and determine how long your Chapter 13 plan must last. (To learn about the other forms you must file in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.)
What Is the Purpose of Form 22C-1?
Form 22C-1 plays an important role in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. On the form, you:
- calculate your income
- compare your annual income to the state median income -- this determines (1) whether your plan must last for five years, or can last as little as three years, and (2) whether you can use your actual expense amounts or must instead use preset expense figures in determining your disposable income.
The Chapter 13 Plan Period and Payment Forms
This form is one of two that determine the length of your Chapter 13 plan, as well as your payment amount -- though you may not have to complete both of them. After you complete this form, you’ll know whether you must complete the second one, Form 22C-2.
Here is an explanation of each form:
Form 22C-1. The first form, Form 22C-1, determines whether your income is below the median income for your state. If it is, you can use your actual expenses rather than preset expenses to determine your monthly payment. The form also determines the length of your plan. This article discusses this form.
Form 22C-2. You fill out Form 22C-2 when your income is above the median for your state. It determines how much money you have left over each month -- called your disposable income -- to pay your creditors. (To learn more about this form, see Completing Form 22C-2 in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy -- Calculation of Your Disposable Income.)
How to Get Form 22C-1
You can find the most recent version of Form 22C-1 and other bankruptcy forms on the U.S. Court’s website at www.uscourts.gov.
How to Complete Form 22C-1
Here’s a general discussion of the information required in each section of the form, and the reason you must provide it. For in-depth information on completing this form, consult with a good self-help book or a bankruptcy lawyer.
Part 1. Calculate Your Average Monthly Income
In the first part of Form 22C-1, you provide the court with information about your marital status and all sources and amounts of your income.
On the first line of Part 1, you check whether you are single or married. Your answer to this question determines whose income must be reported in Columns A and B.
If you are single. You check the first box and enter your income for the next series of questions in Column A.
If you are married. You check the second box. You report your income in Column A and your spouse’s income in Column B.
Reporting All Income
On lines 2 through 10 of Part 1, you list all of your sources of income for the full six months before you file bankruptcy. For example, if you file for bankruptcy on August 15th, you include all income information for the period of February 1st through July 31st. The income figures you provide on 22C-1 may be different from the numbers you included on Schedule I, because that schedule asks for your current income, not your income over the prior six months.
You report all income other than income you receive under the Social Security Act (you list Social Security income on a separate line) including the following:
- gross wages, salary, tips, bonuses, overtime, and commissions (before payroll deductions)
- alimony and maintenance payments
- regular payments for household expenses
- net income from operating a business, profession, or farm
- net income from rental and other real property
- interest, dividends, and royalties
- unemployment compensation
- pension or retirement income, and
- income from any other source.
Be sure to state each amount as a monthly figure, regardless of how often you receive that income. On the last line of Part 1 (Line 11), you total the amounts in each column and add together the income of both spouses (if applicable), to come up with your total monthly income.
Part 2. Determine How to Measure Your Deductions from Income
On the first line of Part 2 (Line 12), you copy the amount on Line 11. Next, you check the box that best describes you. Your answer to this question determines whose income must be reported in Part 2.
If you are single. You check the first box and write “0” on Line 13d.
If you and your spouse file together. You check the second box and write “0” on Line 13d.
If you are married but your spouse doesn’t file. In this situation, you may be able to deduct portions of your spouses’ income that are not used for household expenses. For example, you may be able to include the following items on Lines 13a-c:
- your spouse’s tax payments, and
- your spouse’s child or spousal support payments to someone other than you and your mutual children.
This is commonly referred to as the marital adjustment deduction. (Learn more about how the marital adjustment deduction works, and common types of expenses you can deduct.)
You total the amount of these deductions on Line 13d and then subtract the deductions from your average monthly income to establish your current monthly income (Line 14). After deducting any marital adjustment, you multiply your current monthly income by 12 in order to come up with your annual income. You then compare this to the median income in your state. You can find that figure on the U.S. Trustee’s website at http://www.justice.gov/ust/(choose "Means Testing Information").
If your income is less than your state’s median income. You do not need to fill out Form 22C-2. This is because you are allowed to use your actual expense figures when figuring out your disposable income for purposes of your Chapter 13 plan, so Form 22C-2 does not apply to you. You check box 1, Disposable income is not determined under 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(3), at the top of Form 22C-1 and continue to Part 3 of the form.
If your income is more than your state’s median income. You must fill out Form 22C-2. If you fall within this category, when you determine your disposable income, you must use certain preset expense figures, rather than your actual expense figures. You check box 2, Disposable income is determined under 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(3), at the top of Form 22C-1 and continue to Part 3 of the form.
Part 3. Calculate Your Commitment Period Under 11 U.S.C. §1325(b)(4)
In the third section of Form 22C-1, you again compare your annual income to your state’s median income. As in Part 2, you may be able to deduct some of your spouse’s income in certain circumstances.
If your income is less than your state’s median income. Unless the court disagrees, your Chapter 13 plan payments -- called your “commitment period” -- will last for three years. At the top of the form, you check box 3,The commitment period is 3 years, and continue to Part 4.
If your income is more than your state’s median income. Unless the court disagrees, your Chapter 13 plan payments -- called your “commitment period” -- will last for five years. At the top of the form, you check box 3,The commitment period is 5 years, and continue to Part 4.
Part 4. Sign Below
By signing Form 22C-1, you declare under penalty of perjury that everything is true and correct.
This article provides general information only. There are many legal issues involved and important decisions to be made when filing for bankruptcy. You must understand the entire bankruptcy process, learn about the applicable federal and state laws, and determine how those laws will affect your particular situation before you complete the bankruptcy forms.