Starting on June 1, 2014, bankruptcy filing fees will increase for various types of bankruptcy filings. The new Bankruptcy Filing Fees required to be paid when a bankruptcy is initially filed with the court are as follows:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy: $335 (up from $ 306)
Chapter 13 bankruptcy: $310 (up from $281)
Chapter 12 bankruptcy: $275 (up from $246)
What If You Can’t Afford The Bankruptcy Filing Fees?
The bankruptcy filing fee is payable when you file your petition; however if you are financially unable to pay the fee, you may ask the court if you can waive the fee or pay the fee in installments.
Application for Fee Waiver
You can ask the court to waive the filing fee and, if the court waives the fee, you don’t have to pay it. In order to qualify for a fee waiver, you:
- must not be able to pay in installments, and
- your income must be below 150% of the poverty line (you can get official poverty line figures from your bankruptcy court).
You will have to file Form B103B – Application for Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee. In addition, you will have to appear in court so the judge can ask you questions.
Application to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments
You may also ask the court to allow you to pay your filing fee in installments. To do this, you file Form B103A – Application and Order to Pay Filing Fee in Installments. On the form you must state that you cannot pay the fee except in installments and then propose a schedule for payment of the entire fee. The court will only approve a proposed payment schedule with four payments or less and the final payment cannot be later than 120 days after the date you filed your petition.
If you need help preparing your bankruptcy documents, contact a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer. Unfortunately our office no longer offers bankruptcy document preparation services, however, if you are in the California Central District, the court offers a free online bankruptcy document preparation service which you may want to check out.