How Much Does It Cost to File Bankruptcy?

Close-up of a bankruptcy petitionWhen filing for bankruptcy, you will be required to pay certain filing fees and other costs related to credit counseling. Many people who are filing bankruptcy cannot afford to pay the associated fees, but there are a couple solutions. You could either set up an installment plan in some cases, or have the fee waived completely if you qualify.

Here we will provide a brief summary of the cost to file bankruptcy, including the types of fees you will have to pay, or have waived, and when you will have to pay them.

Cost of Filing Bankruptcy

The fees for filing a bankruptcy petition are increased every once in a while, but for now, the costs listed below are the most up-to-date numbers for individual bankruptcies.

Chapter 7 – $335

  • $245 filing fee
  • $75 administrative fee
  • $15 trustee charge

Chapter 13 – $310

  • $235 filing fee
  • $75 administrative fee

The filing fee is generally due when you file, but there are two exceptions.

Applying for Filing Fee Installments

If you cannot pay the full amount of the filing fee, then you may want to apply for an installment plan. In order to apply, you must fill out a specialized application form on which you will propose a payment plan that works for you.

Your proposed payment plan must not include more than four separate payments and must have paid off the entire amount within 120 days of your filing date.

Qualifying for Fee Waiver

In order to qualify for a fee waiver, meaning you won’t have to pay any filing fees, you have to prove that you cannot make an installment plan that works, and show that your income is less than 1.5 times the poverty line.

Chapter 13 Installments and Waivers

If you file Chapter 13, you probably won’t qualify for the installment nor the waiver. Chapter 13 filers are expected to have a source of regular income, meaning the court is less inclined to grant waivers.

Credit Counseling Fees

If you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you will be required to complete credit counseling from an approved source within six months before filing as well as a financial management course before you can receive a discharge. Both the counseling and the class generally cost about $50 each.

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