Waiver of Filing Fee (Chapter 7 Only)

In Chapter 7 cases only, for individuals who cannot afford to pay the filing fee in full or in installments, and who demonstrate that they meet the required poverty guidelines, there is an application process to obtain a waiver of the Chapter 7 filing fee known as proceeding In Forma Pauperis. 

APPLICATION:  If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee, even in installments, you may request a waiver of the filing fee by completing the Application for Waiver of Chapter 7 Fee / Local Form 1006-1.1 and filing it with the Court. Local Form 1006-1.1 requires you to complete financial information for the Court to use in making a determination if the filing fee will be waived. You must also fiile Schedules I and J with the Application, in addition to Local Form 1006-1.1.  The bankruptcy Judge will decide if you meet the statutory requirements to have the full filing fee waived. 

POVERTY GUIDELINE REQUIREMENT:  In order to be considered for a waiver of the filing fee, the individual must demonstrate that they have income less than 150% of the poverty guidelines applicable to the family of the size involved and are unable to pay in installments. The Court will also take into consideration the totality of the circumstances including source of income and payment to other professionals. Click here to access the most current poverty guidelines.

GRANTING OF APPLICATION:  If the Application is granted, the fee will be waived for the case filing fee as well as any future related filing fees which may arise (i.e., Amendments to Schedules). Should the Application be denied, an installment payment schedule will be set automatically.

If the Appiication to Waive the Fee is not filed with the initial case filing, the Court will issue a 7-day Notice of Missing Documents requiring the filer to either pay the full filing fee, file an Application for Payment by Installments, or if a Chapter 7 case, an Application for Fee Waiver. (See Amended LBR 1007-1(b))

Defective Applications to Waive Filing Fee

Applications to Waive the Filing Fee that are defective for any reason (incorrect form, missing signatures, incomplete sections) will be Denied automatically, and the filer will be required to pay the first installment payment of 25% within 7 (seven) days with the remaining payments due as set forth in LBR 1006-1.