Can I Get a Waiver for my Chapter 7 Filing Fees?

If you’re struggling to keep up with debt payments, one of the last things you probably want to think about is how you’ll pay the court and attorney fees for filing bankruptcy. I’ll do everything I can to make my services affordable, and you may also qualify for a waiver for court filing fees through the federal government.


How the Waiver Works

Before we attend your 341 meetings with the court trustee, you’ll be required to pay the court fee of $335. The court is usually willing to accept installments for this payment if you’re unable to come up with the money all at once. If you feel that there’s no way you’ll be able to pay this fee, you can complete the Application for Waiver of the Chapter 7 Filing Fee, Form 3B, and the court may grant you a waiver. We can talk about this, and I’ll provide you with the form, if needed. You can also find all of the forms you’ll need on the US Bankruptcy Court’s website.

In order to qualify for the waiver, you’ll need to fill out this form completely with your income, assets, property, expenses, and family size. You’ll also need to include any fees you’ve paid or committed to pay to attorneys and any previous bankruptcies you’ve filed. All of this information will also be required for the other forms you’ll complete, so this shouldn’t mean much extra work.

This waiver is only available to individuals or married couples who are filing bankruptcy; businesses are ineligible, regardless of which chapter they are filing. You must have supporting documentation to prove that your income is below 150% of the poverty line, based on your family size. I can help you determine if you might qualify. The court will also want a personalized explanation as to why you’re unable to pay the fee in monthly installments. After reviewing your application, the court will approve or deny your request, or if they need additional information, they may ask you to attend a hearing to discuss your situation before they make a final decision.


Installment Payment Plan

If you are ineligible for the waiver for some reason, I can help you propose a payment plan for the fee. We’ll complete the Application to Pay Filing Fee in Installments, Form 3A where we’ll spell out exactly how much you’ll pay and when. The court will approve up to four payments spread out over the 120 after filing the petition. If, at any point, these payments become too burdensome, the court may be willing to grant you an extension for up to 180 days total. It’s imperative to make these payments on time, because if you miss a payment, your entire bankruptcy case could be dismissed. If the court does not approve your request, the $335 will be due before your case can be filed.


Many Options

Contrary to popular belief, the federal government actually does offer many options for consumers who have found themselves in debts. There are several chapters of bankruptcy available, along with a variety of exemptions that we can use to protect your property and assets. Together, we’ll make the best possible plan for your unique circumstances.

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