If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, you might be wondering how much it will cost you. As of 2023, the filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338, while the filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $313. It's worth noting that these fees have remained the same since 2022.
Aside from the filing fees, debtors are also responsible for paying their attorneys' fees and the cost of two bankruptcy courses. However, some debtors may be eligible to have the filing fees and course fees waived. This is something to discuss with your attorney and to explore if you're struggling to afford the fees.
Why Are There Bankruptcy Filing Fees? How Gets That Money?
When filing for bankruptcy, debtors are required to pay a filing fee directly to the clerk of court for the bankruptcy court that has jurisdiction over their case. Each state has at least one bankruptcy court jurisdiction, with the number of courts varying based on the state's size and population.
For instance, South Carolina has only one jurisdiction, with the main bankruptcy court located in the state's capital and two other courts holding hearings in other areas. All bankruptcies in the state are filed with the Clerk of Court in the capital.
On the other hand, California has four bankruptcy jurisdictions, with multiple court locations within each. The debtor's county of residence determines which jurisdiction and court location within that jurisdiction will handle their case.
It's important to note that the court has overhead expenses and operating costs, which bankruptcy filing fees help cover. These fees contribute to the administrative expenses related to processing a bankruptcy case.
How Much Are the Bankruptcy Filing Fees for All Chapters of Bankruptcy?
When filing for bankruptcy, the fees you'll pay depend on the chapter you file under. Here's a breakdown:
- Chapter 7 - $338 - known as liquidation bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 - $313 - known as reorganization for individuals
- Chapter 11 - $1,738 (railroads $1,571) - known as reorganization for businesses and individuals
- Chapter 9 - $1,738 - known as bankruptcy for municipalities
- Chapter 12 - $278 - known as bankruptcy for family farmers and fishermen
- Chapter 15 - $1,738 - known as bankruptcy case involving more than one country
Most people file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, but there are differences between the two. If you're not sure which one is right for you, check out this video. While Chapter 11 is typically for businesses, high-net-worth individuals may also file under this chapter.
Aside from the filing fees for new cases, there are also miscellaneous fees charged by the court. For example, the filing fee for a complaint (adversary proceeding) is $350.
How Can I Qualify for a Bankruptcy Filing Fee Waiver?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that is commonly used by individuals who are unable to pay their debts. This type of bankruptcy eliminates their legal obligation to pay discharged debts. However, to qualify for this type of bankruptcy, individuals must show that they do not have enough income to pay their debts after paying for their living expenses.
If you cannot afford the Chapter 7 filing fee, you may be eligible for a waiver. To request a waiver, you must file Bankruptcy Form 103B and demonstrate that your income is below 150% of the federal poverty level. You can find the current poverty limits on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
If you do not qualify for a fee waiver, you can ask the court to pay the fees in installments. You can use Bankruptcy Form B 3A to apply for this option. However, the entire filing fee must be paid within 120 days after filing the bankruptcy case.
Waiving the Fee for Bankruptcy Courses
If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, there are a few things you need to know. First, you'll have to take two courses. The first is called the credit counseling course, and you'll need to take it before you file for bankruptcy. The second is the debtor education course, which you'll take after you file your bankruptcy petition.
It's important to note that you can only take these courses from a company that's been approved by the United States Trustee's Office. Most companies charge between $10 and $50 for the courses, but some offer both for a discounted price.
If you're worried about the cost of the courses, there is some good news. The company may be able to waive the fees if you meet certain requirements. Be sure to ask the company about their waiver process. If they don't offer a waiver, don't worry. You can always check with another company.
Can You Afford to File a Bankruptcy Case?
If you're struggling to pay your debts, filing for bankruptcy can be a daunting prospect. However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the most affordable option available. We understand how stressful and overwhelming debt can be, and we're here to help.
One of the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you can often find an affordable bankruptcy lawyer who will work with you on a payment plan. To help you explore your options, we offer free bankruptcy and debt relief calculators on our website. And if you need to talk to someone about debt relief, our team is always available for a free consultation.
We can connect you with a bankruptcy lawyer near you who offers free consultations, and we can also help you explore other free options for getting out of debt. Our goal is to help you build a better financial future.