How much do filing fees cost for a bankruptcy case?

One of the most important questions that I get from potential clients is how much will it cost to file a bankruptcy case.  Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for that, because every case is truly different.  As a result, attorney fees are usually based on the facts of the case.  What does stay the same, though, are the court filing fees associated with the bankruptcy case.  Thus, how much do filing fees cost for a bankruptcy case?

What are the different kinds of costs in a bankruptcy case?

When I agree to represent someone in a bankruptcy case, fees are generally divided into three categories: attorney’s fees, filing fee, and the costs associated with a couple of educational courses the debtor must take.  Currently, the filing fee for a chapter 7 bankruptcy case is $335.00.  This is the filing fee charged whether the case is one person filing a bankruptcy case, or whether it’s a married couple filing a joint bankruptcy case. 

What is the court filing fee in other types of bankruptcy cases?

Comparably, he filing fee for a chapter 13 case is $310.00.  For those involved in bankruptcy litigation, the fee for commencing an adversary proceeding is $350.00.  If you are a debtor with significant assets and liabilities, and a chapter 11 is better suited for you, the filing fee is $1,717.00.

Can the bankruptcy filing fee by paid in installments?

Generally, if you have trouble paying the court filing fee all at once, you can file an application to pay the court filing fee in installments.  Keep in mind that, even if you file an application to pay the filing fee in installments, in most cases, you will have to pay at least $70 towards the filing fee at the time of filing.

Is there any way to not pay the bankruptcy filing fee?

If you are someone living below the poverty line, you might be able to get a little more assistance by filing an application to have the filing fee waived.  Judges will generally only grant this in cases where the debtor is living with extremely limited means.  For the most part, if you are paying a lawyer to represent you in a bankruptcy, judges will not grant the application to have the filing fee waived.  


If you have been thinking about bankruptcy, or maybe even reached my office to discuss such a case, do not delay.  There are costs associated with filing for bankruptcy.  If you hire a lawyer, you will be paying the lawyer’s attorney fee.  In addition to the legal fee, however, there are court filing fees and the costs for the credit counseling and debtor education courses.  The court filing fees are set by the courts.  If you have trouble paying the fee, you can file an application to pay it in installments or, in limited cases, have the filing fee waived.  With bankruptcy filings down and lenders starting to lend more money, now is a good time to file for bankruptcy.  If you have any questions about bankruptcy, or would like to speak to a lawyer, contact the Law Office of Richard Kistnen, (718) 738-2324, or email [email protected]  (For those on Facebook, you can search Law Office of Richard Kistnen.  On Twitter, @LORKesq).

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