Debtor Payment Options and Forms of Payment
Debtor Payment Options
Bankruptcy Rule 1006 states that “every petition shall be accompanied by the filing fee except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c).” Rule 1006 also defines a debtor’s options regarding payment to the court of the required filing fees. Generally speaking, there are three (3) payment options.
Option 1: Payment in full
The debtor makes payment in the full amount of the filing fee at the time of filing.
Option 2: Payment in installments (Chapter 7, Chapter 13)
The debtor may file an Application to Pay Filing Fee in Installments with the court. This application must accompany the petition and state that the debtor is unable to pay the filing fee, except in installments (Local Form H). A minimum of 25% of the fee is due at the time of filing.
***NOTE*** All installments must be paid in full to the court before the debtor can receive a discharge or chapter 13 Trustee may make further payments to attorneys or any other person(s) rendering services in the pending bankruptcy.
Option 3: Fee is waived (Chapter 7)
The debtor may file an application requesting a waiver of the filing fee, also known as filing In Forma Pauperis. (Form B3B) If the debtor can demonstrate that their income is less than 150% of the official poverty line the courts may allow for the filing fee to be waived.
Forms of Payment
Local Bankruptcy Rule 5081-1 provides that the clerk’s office will only accept payment in the form of a cashier’s check, money order, certified check, or cash from a debtor. The clerk’s office cannot accept credit cards or personal checks from debtors.