There is a $338 court filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you earn less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, you’re eligible to apply for a fee waiver and the forms packet you get from Upsolve will include the application form.
If you don’t qualify to have your court filing fee waived (double-check the numbers to make sure), consider the following options:
- Apply to pay the filing fee in installments. You can update your forms using the case editor to have the application generated as part of your forms packet. You can also download the application and fill it out yourself.
- Ask a family member or friend to give or loan you the $338. It’s ok to borrow this money from a family member or friend, as long as you list them as a creditor. The loan will be part of the debt that’s discharged in your case, but you can voluntarily repay it after filing your case.
- Postpone the filing to give yourself enough time to save up the full filing fee.
Paying the Filing Fee in Installment Payments
Be prepared to pay at least $40 when first filing your case. Many districts require a higher initial minimum payment, so be sure to double-check what your court requires beforehand.
If you miss a payment, most courts will mail you a notice letting you know that you missed a payment and give you a new deadline to pay it. Don’t count on that, though, as some courts will immediately dismiss your case.
Having your case dismissed because you didn’t pay the filing fee in full will complicate your case unnecessarily. It also ends the automatic stay protection and requires you to file a motion to reinstate your case.
The only way to avoid this is by paying the full amount when you first file your case. If that’s not possible, make sure you have an ironclad plan to make all installment payments on time (or early).