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Installment Payments and Chapter 7 Fee Waivers

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Local Rule Number: 
Rule 1006-1
1000 Series

Rule 1006-1.  Installment Payments and Chapter 7 Fee Waivers.  A voluntary petition in an individual or joint case presented for filing and not accompanied by the required full filing fee will not be accepted by the clerk unless, at the time the petition is filed, application to pay the fee in installments is sought under subdivision (A) of this rule or, if the case is being filed under chapter 7, a waiver of the fee is sought under subdivision (B) of this rule.

(A)       Installment Payments.

(1)         Application Requirements.  A voluntary petition submitted in an individual or joint case seeking to pay the filing fee in installments must be accompanied by the Local Form “Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments”.

(2)        Approval of Application by Clerk.  The clerk shall review the application and shall be authorized to sign the order in the name of the clerk on behalf of the court where the following conditions are met:

(a)        The application conforms to the local form required under subdivision (A)(1) of this rule;

(b)       The first installment payment accompanies the application;

(c)        The petition accompanying the application contains the required information regarding disclosure of prior bankruptcy cases;

(d)       Copies of any orders required by Local Rule 1002-1(A)(3) accompany the petition;

(e)        The petition has not been filed within a “with prejudice” period or subject to any other court imposed refiling restriction still in effect; and

(f)        The debtor does not have any previous or pending cases where filing fees are owed.

(3)        Refusal of Petition.  Referral of Application to Court.

(a)        Refusal of Petition.  The clerk shall refuse for filing any conventionally submitted petition accompanied by an application to pay the filing fee in installments where the requirements of subdivision (A)(2) (e) or (f) of this rule have not been met.  If the application has been electronically filed and these requirements were not met, the clerk will refer the matter to the judge assigned to the case.

(b)       Denial of Application by Clerk. Referral of Application to Court. If the requirements of subdivision (A)(2) are not complied with at the time of filing of the application , unless a motion setting forth justification as to why the debtor is unable to comply with one or more of these requirements accompanied the filing of the application, the clerk shall not approve the application pursuant to subdivision (A)(2) of this rule. Instead, the clerk is authorized to enter an order denying application on behalf of the court.   If the application was accompanied by a motion to waive requirements of subdivision (A)(2), the application shall be referred to the court for review. 

(4)        Dismissal of Case Upon Failure to Pay Installment Payment.  Balance of Filing Fee Due on Dismissal.  The court shall dismiss without any further notice any case where an installment payment is not timely made in the required manner.  The balance of the filing fee shall become due immediately upon the dismissal of a case or upon the failure to timely pay any installments.

 [Comment: See also Local Rule 1002-1(B) – Clerk Authorized to Refuse for Filing Certain Voluntary Petitions, Local Rule 1017-2(D) – Failure to Timely Remit Installment Payment and Local Rule 2002-1(C)(1) – clerk’s notice to contain notice of intent to dismiss for failure to pay installment payment.]

 (B)       Chapter 7 Fee Waiver Applications.  Applications to waive the filing fee in chapter 7 cases shall be submitted on the Official Bankruptcy Form “Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived” in accordance with the following requirements:

(1)        Applications which do not substantially conform to the Official Bankruptcy Form or that are otherwise defective shall be noted as deficient and the debtor shall have 14 days to file an amended application.

(2)        Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the application will be considered on an ex parte basis.

(3)        If the fee waiver application is denied and the court directs the debtor to pay the fee in installments, the initial payment shall be due 14 days after entry of the order denying the fee waiver request.  Failure to timely remit the payment will result in the case being dismissed without further notice or hearing.

(4)        Debtors who had previously been granted permission to pay the filing fee in installments, including a debtor whose chapter 13 case is converted to chapter 7, and who later seeks waiver of the filing fee, must file the waiver application prior to the next installment payment date to avoid dismissal of the case for nonpayment.

(5)        If a debtor is granted a chapter 7 fee waiver and the case is converted to chapter 11, 12 or 13, the debtor shall pay, as applicable, the full chapter 11, 12 or 13 filing fee or file an application to pay the fee in installments within 14 days after entry of the conversion order.

(6)        The court may vacate an order waiving the filing fee if developments in the case or administration of the case demonstrate that the waiver was or becomes unwarranted.  In the event this occurs, the debtor shall pay the full filing fee or, if the order permits, file an application to pay the fee in installments within 14 days after entry of the order.

(7)        Entry of an order waiving the chapter 7 filing fee shall be deemed an order waiving other fees scheduled by the Judicial Conference under 28 U.S.C. §§1930(b) and (c) unless otherwise ordered by the court.

(8)        The court may direct the clerk not to accept petitions under the chapter 7 fee waiver provisions if the court determines that the debtor is filing petitions in a manner that would constitute abuse of the bankruptcy system.