25 Feb What is Involved in Converting a Chapter 13 Case to Chapter 7?
I recently received the following question from a reader of my Atlanta Bankruptcy blog:
In my research, I have found out that I should and have the right to file “Notice of Conversion” along with a maximum $25 court filing fee in order to have this done. I would like some direction or guidance to confirm this process.
Here is my reply: you are correct that the filing fee to convert your Chapter 13 case to Chapter 7 is $25. This fee must be paid at the time of filing.
I would suggest, however, that you will want to get competent legal advice before attempting to convert your case. Depending on where you live, you will need to file a new Form B22 (median income/means test). In addition, you will want to review your exemption schedules to determine whether any of your property is at risk.
The $25 represents the filing fee only. If you retain counsel to convert and file Chapter 7 paperwork, you will need to arrange to pay your lawyer to run the numbers and prepare your Chapter 7 filing. In my view, a conversion is a more complicated affair than a straight Chapter 7, so you may find that fewer lawyers are willing or qualified to undertake a conversion and that your fee for a conversion may be higher than a “clean” Chapter 7 case.
There are a number of posts within this Bankruptcy Law Network that address conversion from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7. These blog posts are a good place to start your research, but you should not take any action until you speak with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area who has experience in conversions.
Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.
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