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Can you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy for free?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2022 | Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the state of Michigan can be an expensive process. This seems to run counter to logic since Chapter 7 means that your debts have become unmanageable. However, there are certain ways that you can qualify for Chapter 7 even without funds. Some of the ways you can do so are outlined below.

How much does it cost to file?

Filing for Chapter 7 without funds is rare but it can be done. In most cases, you will be advised to hire a lawyer to represent you during your case. The fee for an attorney can run anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500. However, you are not required by law to engage a lawyer. If you choose, you can represent yourself. Doing so may save you the money you need to pay your fees for filing.

The process kicks off with a $245 filing fee. This is the cost for the court to handle your paperwork as well as the case itself. There is also a $78 administrative fee. This helps to cover the salaries of clerks and other court employees. Finally, there is a $15 surcharge to cover associated trustee issues.

Can you waive these charges while filing?

If you can’t even afford to pay these basic filing charges, take note. You can apply to have them waived. You can do so by filing Form 103B – Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived. Make sure to include it with your other documents when you file for bankruptcy.

By submitting this form, you certify your income. You make an official testament to the fact that your income is so low that you can’t afford to make installment payments. This form is the sole method available for you to certify this fact.