Can you pay the bankruptcy court filing fee in installments after you file the bankruptcy?

  • Yes.  When I file a case, I can file an Application to Pay Filing Fees in Installments with the bankruptcy court.  This allows you to pay the $306 (for a Chapter 7) or the $281 (for a Chapter 13) with the court over two or three installments after we fle the bankruptcy case.

    The biggest problem occurs when you forget to make one of the payments.  When you miss a payment, the case is automatically dismissed, and this adminstrative dismissal removes your bankruptcy protection.  The Automatic Stay is gone, which means that creditors can now call, sue, garnish, levy, and foreclose.  This is a pretty bad thing.

    I can file a Motion to Vacate Dismissal (which means that the Court “takes back” its dismissal and reinstates the case), but the hearing is usually about 25 days away, I may not be able to file it right away, and your creditors can start hitting you again during that 25 day waiting period.

    So yes, you can pay the filing fee in installments, but if you miss one, all hell breaks loose, and it takes forever (25 days seems like forever when you’re waiting) to clean up.

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