The cost of going broke is going up. The Judicial Conference of the United States has approved several bankruptcy related fee increases at its March 2014 session. These fee increases will take effect starting June 1, 2014, and include the basic filing fee for initiating a case in the bankruptcy courts.
For filing a petition under Chapter 7, 12, or 13, the filing fee will increase by $29:
- The Chapter 7 filing fee will be $335, up from $306.
- The Chapter 12 filing fee will be $275, up from $246.
- The Chapter 13 filing fee will be $310, up from $281.
The fees for filing a petition under Chapter 9, 11, or 15 increase by a whopping $504:
- The filing fee for case filed under Chapter 9, 11 or 15 will be $1,717, up from $1,213.
Additionally, the fees for certain motions will increase on June 1:
- A motion to divide a joint case under Chapter 7, 12, or 13 is filed is increasing to $75. A motion to divide a joint case under Chapter 11 is increasing to $550.
- The fee for filing an adversary complaint in bankruptcy will increase to $350, except if the trustee or debtor-in-possession files the complaint.
It remains to be seen whether these higher fees have a “chilling effect” on the number of bankruptcy cases filed in the future. Higher filing fees can only make it harder for financially strapped individuals to obtain the relief they need.
If you are struggling with debts you cannot pay, speak with an experienced attorney and discover your options through the federal bankruptcy laws. In some cases filing fees may be paid over time or waived altogether by the bankruptcy court.