BANKRUPTCY COURT TO RAISE FILING FEES

Sacramento area residents considering a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy should be aware the Eastern District of California has decided to raise the costs of filing a case effective June 01, 2014. The new Chapter 7 filing fee for the Sacramento jurisdiction is now $335.00. The Chapter 13 filing fee has also been raised to $310.00.

The Judicial Conference of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts approved the increase earlier this year. This fee increase reinforces the Federal Court’s continuing policy of shifting costs from the general population to the people who actually use the courts. In the context of a bankruptcy, this shift can be problematic, however, since the individuals seeking protection of the bankruptcy code have difficulty coming up with the filing fee to begin with, much less, paying the increased fees.

Every time the court Imposes a fee increase, we find less people being able to take advantage of the protection offered by the Bankruptcy Code. Supporters of the fee increase would argue that a debtor who cannot afford to pay the increased fees may apply for a fee waiver or alternatively request to make the fee in installments over the course of several months.

Unfortunately, as a matter of course, the court will automatically deny a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 debtor’s request to waive the filing fee if that person has decided to use an attorney. In the context of a complex bankruptcy a person can only expect to create more problems than previously encountered without the use of an attorney in such a difficult area of law. There are multiple pitfalls and contingencies that must be taken into account when filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case when significant assets are at stake. It takes experience and vision to neutralize a potential hazard before it becomes an issue in any case. This is why an attorney should always be consulted before proceeding with a legal action.

If you are someone you know has considered filing bankruptcy you should always consult an attorney to explore your options. As a Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorney, I have helped numerous people confront and resolve their financial problems. Call today (916) 361-6028 for a free consultation.