Determining “Disposable Income” in a Chapter 13

Computing “Disposable Income” to determine the required plan payment in a Chapter 13 requires an analysis of Debtor’s future income during the plan period.

At times, an anomaly is created if, at petition date, the Debtor is laid off, working fewer hours, or is between jobs. An analysis must be made (an educated guess) as to what Debtor is likely to earn during the Chapter 13 plan.


Section 1325(b)(1)(B) uses the term “projected disposable income” rather than “disposable income.” It is “forward looking.” In re Petro, 395 B.R. 369 (B.A.P. 6th Cir. 2008).

The determination of a Chapter 13 Debtor’s “projected disposable income” is based upon Debtor’s anticipated income over the term of the plan. In re Hardacre, 338 B.R. 718 (Bankr. N.D. Texas 2006).

Thus, to determine “projected disposable income” it is necessary to predict the Debtor’s disposable income during the term of the plan. In re Kibbe, 361 B.R. 302 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. 2007). “Projected disposable income” is simply Debtor’s historically based “disposable income” projected forward. In re Kagenveama, 541 B.R. 868 (9th Cir. 2008).


Debtor’s schedule “I” may sometimes need to be estimated in order to determine “projected disposable income.” This “projection,” if wrong, may be later adjusted via 11 U.S.C. 1329.