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Will the Court Waive My Bankruptcy Filing Fee?

Waiving the Bankruptcy Filing Fee in Orange County and the Central District of California

United States Central District of California Bankruptcy Courthouse - Fee WaiverWhen you file bankruptcy you have to pay a filing fee.  As of October 19, 2015 the Chapter 7 filing fee is $335 and the Chapter 13 filing fee is $310.

According to the Central District Bankruptcy Court, “In a chapter 7 case, if you cannot afford to pay the fee to file your bankruptcy case either in full at the time of filing, or in installments, then you may request an order excusing you from paying the filing fee by completing an “Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived” (form B 3B) and filing it with the Clerk of the Court along with your petition. The form is included in this package. Permission to do so is only given when the judge is persuaded by testimony given under oath that usually you cannot afford to pay the entire filing fee, and are not filing bankruptcy to forestall eviction from residential premises occupied on a month-to-month tenancy or on a tenancy at will, or for any improper purpose. A judge will decide whether you have to pay the fee.”

“By law, you may be excused from paying 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.”

Orange County, Central District of California Fee Waiver Form

To request a waiver, you must fill out a waiver form here.

According to the form “The procedure for requesting permission to pay the fee for filing a bankruptcy case in installments is as follows:

The procedure for requesting an order for excusing you from paying the filing fee in a chapter 7 case is as follow:

1. Tell the clerk that you wish to request permission from the Court to be excused from paying the filing fee installments.

2. Complete an “Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived (form B 3B).”

3. Return the application form and your filing papers, i.e., petition, to the Intake filing window where you obtained the installment payment information.

4. Be prepared to show the clerk a California driver’s license, California identification card, or other similar form of identification.

5. Ask the clerk for the name of the judge who will rule on your motion, the time and location of a hearing, if a hearing is required.

To learn more about fee waivers, discuss your options with a Bankruptcy Attorney.