By Ryan C. Wood
The cost of living continually increases over and over again. When this was originally written the Court filing fees were increasing and since unfortunately increased again. The Court filing fee to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case is now $335 and chapter 13 bankruptcy $310. No doubt due to COVID-19 the federal government will use it to increase the court filing fees again. These increases became effective December 1, 2016.
The percentage increase of the Court filing fees over the years are far higher than the cost-of-living for average people though. Ask your bankruptcy attorney more about how their attorney fees and expenses have changed over the years at a lesser increase than the court filing fees.
Court Filing Fee 2011 Increases
Starting November 1, 2011, a lot of the fees related to filing documents in your bankruptcy case will be increasing. The most important ones that are relevant to you are the fees to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. The Judicial Conference of the United States adopted new court fee schedules. On November 1, 2011, your Chapter 7 bankruptcy court filing fees will increase from $299 to $306. Your Chapter 13 bankruptcy court filing fees will increase from $274 to $281. This means that if you wanted to file a bankruptcy case, it may be more beneficial for you to file on or before October 31, 2011 before the price increases. Although it is only a seven dollar ($7) increase, every penny counts. A mere $7 could buy you a satisfying meal.
If you already retained an attorney to represent you in your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case it would be advisable to pay your fees in full or provide them with the necessary paperwork to file your case as soon as possible so that you do not have to pay more money for the court filing fees.
For those of you who have already filed your bankruptcy case, this price increase does not affect you, as it is for people that file new bankruptcy cases after November 1, 2011.
Additionally, people whom seek to file fee waivers for their bankruptcy filing fee are still subject to the same rules prior to the fee increase. Whether or not you qualify for a fee waiver always depends on the circumstances. A judge will not grant a fee waiver unless your income is less than 150% of the poverty level and you cannot afford to pay the fee in installments. Even if you do not qualify for the fee waiver, the judge may potentially grant your application to pay the increased filing fee in installments.
Besides filing fees for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases another fee increase that may be relevant to you is the fees for filing an amendment to your Schedules D, E, F and Creditor Matrix in your bankruptcy case. The fees have increased from $26 to $30. Hopefully your bankruptcy lawyer and you reviewed the petition carefully before filing it so no amendments need be made.
Chapter 13 No Look Fees Increased Northern District of California
The no look chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney fees in the Northern District of California finally increased and become consistent between all divisions. A district wide model chapter 13 plan was approved and along with that plan new increased no look fees. The no look fees are presumptively deemed reasonable for the various things listed. No fee application is supposed to be filed itemizing time spent and why when requesting no look fees.