The court fee for filing a case under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is $299, regardless of jurisdiction.
If you cannot afford to pay the full fee at the time of filing, you may apply to pay the fee in installments. A form Application to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments must be completed. This form is available from the clerk's office or may be available online, depending on your jurisdiction. If your application to pay in installments is approved, you will be permitted to file your petition, completing payment of the fee as stated in the order
entered granting the application to pay the filing fee in installments.
Application to waive filing fee
If you cannot afford to pay the fee either in full at the time of filing or in installments, then you may request a waiver of the filing fee by completing this application and filing it with the Clerk of Court. A judge will decide whether you have to pay the fee. By law, the judge may waive the fee only if your income is less than 150 percent of the official poverty line applicable to your family size and you are unable to pay the fee in installments.
The court will ask you for information on your family size, your income, expenses and property owned. It is also interested in knowing whether you paid an attorney to represent you or a document preparation service to prepare your paperwork. Even if your application is approved, the waiver can be later revoked if the court feels that you should be able to pay the filing fee.
Additional resources provided by the author
For information on waiving or deferring the filing fee in your bankruptcy case, consult your local bankruptcy court website.