Can I get a waiver for bankruptcy filing fees?

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Question:

Can I get a waiver for bankruptcy filing fees?

Answer:

Personal bankruptcy is a way people either eliminate their debts or pay them back. However, before going through the bankruptcy process, individuals—or debtors—must pay money. For instance, debtors are expected to pay credit counseling agencies for required pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. Other fees debtors pay are expected when bankruptcy petitions are filed. However, in both instances (filing bankruptcy and bankruptcy credit counseling) filing fee waiver forms may be possible when debtors don’t have the money to pay. Regarding filing personal bankruptcy the ability to file wavier fees depends on the bankruptcy chapter people file.

Debtors can obtain a waiver form if they are chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions. To be approved for fee waiver, debtors must be at least 150 percent below the poverty level. When they meet the eligibility criteria they must complete the Application for Waiver of the Chapter 7 Filing Fee for Individuals Who Cannot Pay the Filing Fee in Full or in Installments.  

Debtors filing chapter 13 aren’t eligible for requesting and receiving a waiver fee form. Although fees such case filing fee and miscellaneous administrative fee are due at the time bankruptcy petitions are filed, debtors can request to pay in installments. They can pay off the fees in four installments. However, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, the last installment must be paid no later than 120 days after filing bankruptcy petitions.

Bankruptcy is complex. For instance, debtors must know the eligibility requirements between chapter 7 and 13. Thus, debtors should seek legal advice from a bankruptcy lawyer.

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