(a) General Requirement. Every petition shall be accompanied by the filing fee except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c) of this rule. For the purpose of this rule, “filing fee” means the filing fee prescribed by 28 U.S.C. §1930(a)(1) –(a)(5) and any other fee prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States under 28 U.S.C. §1930(b) that is payable to the clerk upon the commencement of a case under the Code.
(b) Payment of Filing Fee in Installments.
(1) Application to Pay Filing Fee in Installments. A voluntary petition by an individual shall be accepted for filing, regardless of whether any portion of the filing fee is paid, if accompanied by the debtor's signed application, prepared as prescribed by the appropriate Official Form, stating that the debtor is unable to pay the filing fee except in installments.
(2) Action on Application. Prior to the meeting of creditors, the court may order the filing fee paid to the clerk or grant leave to pay in installments and fix the number, amount and dates of payment. The number of installments shall not exceed four, and the final installment shall be payable not later than 120 days after filing the petition. For cause shown, the court may extend the time of any installment, provided the last installment is paid not later than 180 days after filing the petition.
(3) Postponement of Attorney's Fees. All installments of the filing fee must be paid in full before the debtor or chapter 13 trustee may make further payments to an attorney or any other person who renders services to the debtor in connection with the case.
(c) Waiver of Filing Fee. A voluntary chapter 7 petition filed by an individual shall be accepted for filing if accompanied by the debtor's application requesting a waiver under 28 U.S.C. §1930(f), prepared as prescribed by the appropriate Official Form.
(As amended Mar. 30, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 23, 1996, eff. Dec. 1, 1996; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008.)
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983
28 U.S.C. §1930 specifies the filing fees for petitions under chapters 7, 9, 11 and 13 of the Code. It also permits the payment in installments by individual debtors.
Subdivision (b) is adapted from former Bankruptcy Rule 107. The administrative cost of installments in excess of four is disproportionate to the benefits conferred. Prolonging the period beyond 180 days after the commencement of the case causes undesirable delays in administration. Paragraph (2) accordingly continues the imposition of a maximum of four on the number of installments and retains the maximum period of installment payments allowable on an original application at 120 days. Only in extraordinary cases should it be necessary to give an applicant an extension beyond the four months. The requirement of paragraph (3) that filing fees be paid in full before the debtor may pay an attorney for services in connection with the case codifies the rule declared in In re Latham, 271 Fed. 538 (N.D.N.Y. 1921), and In re Darr, 232 Fed. 415 (N.D. Cal. 1916).
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment
Subdivision (b)(3) is expanded to prohibit payments by the debtor or the chapter 13 trustee not only to attorneys but to any person who renders services to the debtor in connection with the case.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1996 Amendment
The Judicial Conference prescribes miscellaneous fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1930(b). In 1992, a $30 miscellaneous administrative fee was prescribed for all chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. The Judicial Conference fee schedule was amended in 1993 to provide that an individual debtor may pay this fee in installments.
Subdivision (a) of this rule is amended to clarify that every petition must be accompanied by any fee prescribed under 28 U.S.C. §1930(b) that is required to be paid when a petition is filed, as well as the filing fee prescribed by 28 U.S.C. §1930(a). By defining “filing fee” to include Judicial Conference fees, the procedures set forth in subdivision (b) for paying the filing fee in installments will also apply with respect to any Judicial Conference fee required to be paid at the commencement of the case.
GAP Report on Rule 1006. No changes since publication, except for a stylistic change in subdivision (a).
Committee Notes on Rules—2008 Amendment
Subdivision (a) is amended to include a reference to new subdivision (c), which deals with fee waivers under 28 U.S.C. §1930(f), which was added in 2005.
Subdivision (b)(1) is amended to delete the sentence requiring a disclosure that the debtor has not paid an attorney or other person in connection with the case. Inability to pay the filing fee in installments is one of the requirements for a fee waiver under the 2005 revisions to 28 U.S.C. §1930(f). If the attorney payment prohibition were retained, payment of an attorney's fee would render many debtors ineligible for installment payments and thus enhance their eligibility for the fee waiver. The deletion of this prohibition from the rule, which was not statutorily required, ensures that debtors who have the financial ability to pay the fee in installments will do so rather than request a waiver.
Subdivision (b)(3) is amended in conformance with the changes to subdivision (b)(1) to reflect the 2005 amendments. The change is meant to clarify that subdivision (b)(3) refers to payments made after the debtor has filed the bankruptcy case and after the debtor has received permission to pay the fee in installments. Otherwise, the subdivision may conflict with the intent and effect of the amendments to subdivision (b)(1).
Changes Made After Publication. No changes were made after publication.
Committee Notes on Rules—2017 Amendment
Subdivision (b)(1) is amended to clarify that an individual debtor's voluntary petition, accompanied by an application to pay the filing fee in installments, must be accepted for filing, even if the court requires the initial installment to be paid at the time the petition is filed and the debtor fails to make that payment. Because the debtor's bankruptcy case is commenced upon the filing of the petition, dismissal of the case due to the debtor's failure to make the initial or a subsequent installment payment is governed by Rule 1017(b)(1).
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