Charlie Brown, the Great Pumpkin, and the Bankruptcy Court

31 Oct Charlie Brown, the Great Pumpkin, and the Bankruptcy Court

There’s something about Halloween that makes children and adults alike feel good. Maybe it’s the costumes, perhaps it’s the candy. One thing’s for sure – there are few people who don’t smile when screaming, “Trick or treat!”

Of course, there’s always the errant egging or toilet papering of the trees in front of the house. Even the theft of vandalization of a mailbox. But those are few and far between, more the result of teenagers than those in it for the candy.

And who can forget poor Charlie Brown? His friend sat out all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, and all poor Chuck got was a rock for his trick-or-treat efforts. We would expect nothing less (more?) of him, what with all the football snatching shenanigans that had come before.

Come November 1, 2011 – one day after Halloween – the American consumer will get a proverbial rock as well. As if the economy wasn’t bad enough already, here comes more bad news from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The cost to file your case goes up starting November 1, 2011.

The fee to file a bankruptcy case increases by $7. The filing fee is actually a combination of fees that must be paid to initiate a bankruptcy case. The $7 increase is a portion of the money required and it is one of those costs, the “administrative fee”, that is increasing. Whatever fees or court costs are called, it means more money to get bankruptcy help for debtors.

The new total fees to start a new bankruptcy case are

  • chapter 7 $306
  • chapter 13 $281
  • chapter 11 $1046

Debtors will have to pay $30 to amend Schedule D, E, F, G or H, up from $26. Creditors will have to pay $176 to file a motion to lift the automatic stay, up from $150.

Other fee increases:

  • Certification $11 from $9
  • Exemplication $21 from $18
  • Record Search $30 from $26
  • Document Filing / Indexing $46 from $39
  • Title 11 Administrative Fee $46 from $39
  • Record Retrieval $53 from $45
  • Returned Check $53 from $45
  • Notice of Appeal $293 from $250

Statutory authority for the bankruptcy court fees is 28 U.S.C. 1930.

If you have paid your bankruptcy lawyer for your filing fee and your case has not yet been filed, contact your lawyer about the $7 increase in filing fee.

PS Thanks to Bankruptcy Law Network founder Jay Fleischman for his creative genius in helping write this post.


Image credit: Carol Browne

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Jill Michaux has helped Kansas consumers with debt problems for three decades. She and her partner, Mark Neis, are Topeka's only bankruptcy specialists, board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification. She help start the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
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