How much does it cost to file bankruptcy? Generally, debtors pay for their attorneys’ fees and bankruptcy filing fees. They also must pay for the two bankruptcy courses. However, sometimes, a debtor could qualify to waive the bankruptcy filing fees and the fee for the credit counseling course and the debtor education course.
Why Are There Bankruptcy Filing Fees? How Gets That Money?
Debtors pay bankruptcy filing fees directly to the clerk of court for the bankruptcy court that has jurisdiction over your case. Each state has at least one bankruptcy court jurisdiction. The number of bankruptcy courts in a state depends on the state’s size and population.
For example, South Carolina has one jurisdiction. The main bankruptcy court is located in the state capitol, with two other courts that hold hearings in other parts of the state. All bankruptcies are filed with the Clerk of Court in the state capitol.
However, California has four bankruptcy jurisdictions. Within those jurisdictions, there could be multiple court locations. The county of the debtor’s residence determines which jurisdiction and the court location within that jurisdiction handles the case.
The court has overhead expenses and operating costs. Bankruptcy filing fees help cover a portion of the administrative expenses related to processing a bankruptcy case.
How Much Are the Bankruptcy Filing Fees for All Chapters of Bankruptcy?
The bankruptcy filing fees are based on the chapter of filing. Filing fees for bankruptcy cases are:
- Chapter 7 – $338 – Liquidation bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 – $313 – Reorganization for individuals
- A Chapter 11 – $1,738 (railroads $1,571) – Reorganization for businesses and individuals
- A Chapter 9 – $1,738 – Bankruptcy for municipalities
- Chapter 12 – $278 – Bankruptcy for family farmers and fishermen
- Chapter 15 – $1,738 – Bankruptcy case involving more than one country
Most individuals file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, That said, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are vastly different, so we put together this video to help you understand the differences.. However, some high-net-worth individuals may file under Chapter 11.
In addition to filing fees for new cases, the court also charges miscellaneous fees. For example, the filing fee for a complaint (adversary proceeding) is $350.
How Can I Qualify for a Bankruptcy Filing Fee Waiver?
Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy case. It helps individuals who cannot afford to pay their debts. They do not have sufficient income after paying their living expenses to repay their debts. Chapter 7 eliminates their legal liability to pay discharged debts.
Some debtors qualify to waive the Chapter 7 filing fee. To ask for a waiver of bankruptcy filing fees, you must complete and file Bankruptcy Form 103B. In addition, you must demonstrate that your income is below 150% of the federal poverty level. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publishes the poverty limits. You can access a list of the current figures for 150% of the HHS poverty limits on the US Courts website.
If you do not qualify to waive bankruptcy filing fees, you can ask the court to allow you to pay the filing fees in installments. Bankruptcy Form B 3A is the application to pay a filing fee in installments. The form allows you to set up for installments. However, the entire filing fee must be paid within 120 days after filing the bankruptcy case.
Waiving the Fee for Bankruptcy Courses
Debtors are required to take two bankruptcy courses. The first course is the credit counseling course, which is taken before filing a bankruptcy case. The debtor education course must be taken after you file your bankruptcy petition.
The courses must be taken from a company approved by the United States Trustee’s Office. Most companies charge between $10 and $50 for the courses. Some companies offer both courses for a reduced price.
The company can waive the fees for the bankruptcy courses if you meet the requirements. You must check with the company to determine their procedure for applying for a waiver. If the company tells you that it does not waive fees, check with another company.
Can You Afford to File a Bankruptcy Case?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the most affordable bankruptcy option. Furthermore, you can find an affordable bankruptcy lawyer and they often take a payment plan. Ascend helps individuals explore their debt relief options. It can be stressful and frightening when you cannot afford to pay your debts. We want to help.
Use our free bankruptcy and debt relief calculators to help you compare your options for getting out of debt. Talk to someone about debt relief for free. You never have to pay us to talk with a team member about our free services. Learn about ways to get rid of debts you cannot pay and how Ascend can help you build a better financial future.
Call or text us at (833) 272-3631 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We can help you find a bankruptcy lawyer near you who offers free bankruptcy consultations. We can also help you explore free options for getting out of debt.