Below is a summary of filing fees for bankruptcy, the price of required credit counseling, and if you qualify for fee waivers or installment payments.
You have to pay filing fees and expenses for credit and debt counseling when you file for bankruptcy. You may be eligible for a fee waiver or be able to pay in installments if you are unable to pay the filing fee.
You can find a summary of what needs to be paid, when, and how to be eligible for installment payments or a fee waiver in this article.
Bankruptcy Petition Fees: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Filing Fees
The total amount of fees you have to pay in order to file for bankruptcy is as follows, as of December 1, 2020:
For Chapter 7, $338
For Chapter 11, $1,738
Chapter 12: $278; Chapter 13: $313
Periodically, the bankruptcy court raises these fees. The U.S. Courts fee webpage has the most recent fees available.
Chapter 7: Installments and Waivers of Filing Fees
The filing fee is usually due at the time your bankruptcy petition is filed. There are two exclusions from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, though. Asking the court to waive the fee completely or allow you to pay it in installments is an option.
Application for Installments of the Chapter 7 Filing Fee
You file Form 103A Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments to request permission from the court to pay your filing fee over time. You must indicate on the form that you are unable to pay the fee in full and that you will make no more than four payments within 120 days of the petition’s filing.
Request for Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee
If the court waives the fee, you are not required to pay it. If you are eligible for a fee waiver, you
must be unable to make payments in installments and have an income that is less than 150% of the federal poverty threshold (official poverty line estimates are available from your bankruptcy court).
Fill out Form 103B, Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived, and send it in to request a fee waiver. In many cases, the judge will approve the application without requiring you to appear in person, but you may still be required to appear in court so the judge can question you.
See how to make changes to bankruptcy forms.
In Chapter 13, there are no fee waivers or installment payments.
Fee waivers and installment payments are generally not available to Chapter 13 filers because they must have sufficient funds to support a repayment plan for three to five years following filing for bankruptcy. When submitting the case, budget for the cost.
Extra Fees Associated with Bankruptcy Filing
Credit counseling from an authorized provider must be completed no later than six months prior to filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. To get your bankruptcy discharge (the order that eliminates qualifying debt), you have to complete a debtor education course after filing your case.
For the necessary counseling, the majority of approved credit counseling providers charge $15 to $30, but you might not be required to pay anything. In accordance with the law, agencies must offer counseling regardless of your financial situation, so please inform the agency if this is not possible for you.
Additionally, the debtor education classes run about $35. You can request that the provider waive the fee or let you pay a smaller amount if you are unable to pay the full amount.
How to Pay Your Attorney Fees in Bankruptcy
Since many bankruptcy attorneys charge as little as $100 to begin, finding a way to pay Chapter 13 bankruptcy fees is not too difficult; the remaining amount can be rolled into your Chapter 13 repayment plan. You can pay your Chapter 13 fees gradually with this method.
You must pay your attorney in full before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For what reason? because legal fees are eliminated in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your attorney won’t get paid if you don’t make the entire payment.
To file for Chapter 7, how do you obtain the necessary funds? Most Chapter 7 filers divert their payments intended for bill cancellation during bankruptcy to pay their attorney. The funds will be borrowed by others from friends and relatives.
But there are other approaches. If you are unable to pay for a bankruptcy attorney, you can find out more information here about your options.