Paying the Bankruptcy Filing Fee in Installments
When you file for bankruptcy there is a filing fee that you must pay to the Bankruptcy Court. The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335 and the filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $310. See my article entitled, “The Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and Which Chapter is Right For You.” In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you can apply to have the Bankruptcy Court waive the filing fee if you meet certain financial conditions. See my article entitled, “Waiver of the Filing Fee for Filing Bankruptcy.” Waiver of the filing fee is not available in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Waiver of the filing fee will not be an option for you if you do not meet the financial conditions or if you are filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you cannot waive the filing fee but you also cannot afford to pay the filing fee in full at the time you file your bankruptcy, you can apply to pay the filing fee in installments. This is available in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can apply to pay the filing fee in installments even if you have hired an attorney to represent you in your bankruptcy. You may apply to pay the filing fee in up to four installments. In your application to pay the filing fee in installments you must propose to pay the entire fee in no later than 120 days after you filed your bankruptcy case.
The Bankruptcy Court will not discharge your debts until your filing fee has been paid in full. You should not file an application to pay the filing fee in installments if at the time you file you can afford to pay the fee in full. If you miss the due date on any one of your installment payments your case may be dismissed by the Bankruptcy Court.
The above information is a general overview and is not intended to be used as legal advice. There are a number of factors involved in determining whether you are a good candidate to waive the filing fee, including the federal poverty guidelines. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the best thing to do
is call our office at 248-557-3645 and schedule a free consultation so you can receive advice which is tailored to your specific circumstances.
By: Michael Benkstein, Esq.
Managing Attorney, Bankruptcy Department
The Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz, PLLC