4. Calculate your surplus income payment

Sometimes people who are bankrupt have to make . These payments can help pay back some of the money owed to creditors, and cover the trustee’s fees.

The amount you have to pay depends on your total household income. Your household income is usually your partner’s income plus your income. Surplus income is the amount of money your household makes that is more than what the government says a family with your income and number of dependents should need.

The government sets guidelines for the income that bankrupt people and their families are allowed to keep each month to live. Usually, the surplus income payment is half of your family income over the guidelines.

For example, in 2015 a family of 3 was allowed $3,156 for monthly living expenses. This means that a family with an income of $3,500 each month would have $344 in surplus income. The surplus income payment this family would have to make is half of their surplus income, or $172.

Your surplus income payment is calculated using your household income and the number of people in the family. The more people in your family, the more money you can keep. The more money your family makes above the guidelines, the bigger the surplus income payment will be.

You can use the Surplus Income Calculator to see if your partner might have to make a surplus income payment. The trustee will calculate the exact payment.

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