Before you finally decide to file for bankruptcy, you need to be aware of the expenses it will entail. Let us share with you how much you need to shell out for bankruptcy filing fees, mandatory credit counseling costs, and when you need to settle them. We will also share with you how you can qualify for waiver of fees or installment payments so you can save more of your remaining funds.
If you are considering to file bankruptcy, it is advisable to seek counsel from an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Mesa. The bankruptcy process is quite complicated. Working with a bankruptcy attorney will ensure that you are well guided every step of the way and prevent further unnecessary spending.
When you decide to file bankruptcy, you must be ready to pay a filing fee, and other costs related to credit and debt counseling. You may, however, qualify for a fee waiver or to pay in installments if you cannot afford to pay for the filing fee.
What Fees Do I need to Settle When I File a Bankruptcy Petition?
The charges depend on the bankruptcy chapter you intend to file. Effective December 1, 2016, the total fees you must pay to file for the following types of bankruptcy are:
- $335 for Chapter 7
- $1,717 for Chapter 11
- $275 for Chapter 12, and
- $310 for Chapter 13.
These fees are subject to increases decided upon by the bankruptcy court. You can find the most up-to-date fees, bankruptcy forms, and other bankruptcy basics on the website of the U.S. Courts at www.uscourts.gov.
When Do I Need to Pay These Fees?
Usually, you need to settle filing fee the moment you file your bankruptcy petition. However, there are two exceptions: you can ask the bankruptcy court if you can pay in installments or you can ask for a waiver of all fees.
How Do I Ask The Bankruptcy Court To Allow Installment Payment of My Filing Fee?
In order to request the court to allow you to avail of installment payment of your filing fee, , you need to file Form 103A, which is an Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments. On the form, you must state that you cannot settle the fee except in installments and then propose a payment schedule of the entire fee. Your proposed schedule of payments should not exceed four payments, and the final installment should be made within 120 days after filing bankruptcy.
How Do I Ask The Bankruptcy Court To Waive My Filing Fee?
Should the court grant waiver of the fee, there is no need for you to pay it. However, qualifying for a waiver of fees is subject to the following conditions:
- You have established that you are unable to pay in installments, and
- Your income is below 150% of the poverty line ( official poverty line figures are available at your bankruptcy court).
Once you have determined the above conditions, you will accomplish and file the Form 103B, which is the Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived. Furthermore, you may also be required to a day in court where the judge can ask questions. Usually, the bankruptcy court approves application for waiver even without an appearance.
Is There A Different Treatment of Fee Waivers and Installment Payments For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filers?
It is a given that those who opt for Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing have enough funds to subsidize a reorganization of debts that entails a three to five years payment plan. Hence, Chapter 13 filers are usually exempted from applying for waivers or installment payment of fees. As such, if you do plan to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must be prepared to pay the corresponding fees.
Are There Other Costs Associated with A Bankruptcy Filing?
When you file for bankruptcy cases such as Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are mandated by bankruptcy laws to attend credit counseling sessions from an accredited provider within six months before your filing. You are also required to take a debtor education course after bankruptcy filing as a condition for your bankruptcy to be discharged (the order that will wipe out qualifying debt).
These accredited credit counseling providers charge between $15 and $30 for the required counseling. Others do it for free. The law requires the agencies to provide counseling without regard to your ability to pay, so if you do not have money to spare for the counseling, let the agency know about this requirement.
The debtor education courses will set you back about $35. If you cannot pay this up front, you can request the provider for a waiver of the fee or at least a discounted rate.
Bankruptcy proceedings cost not only time, but money as well. It helps to be properly guided by a seasoned bankruptcy lawyer in Mesa so that all your bankruptcy questions may be properly addressed. The sooner you see that you need to declare bankruptcy, the more you need to call one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Pew Law Center. Maybe our lawyer can even advise you on suitable alternatives to bankruptcy. Call us now.