The court filing fee can be waived in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case if the debtor’s monthly net income (take-home pay after deductions) is not more than 150 percent of the current Federal Poverty Guideline amount for the debtor’s family size.
For example, if the applicable Federal Poverty Guideline amount for a 3-person family is $20,420:
$20,420 X 150% = $30,630 ÷ 12 = $2,552.50/month.
In the above example for a 3-person family, if the debtor’s monthly net income is not more than $2,552.50, then he would be eligible to apply for a waiver of the court filing fee.
If you are married, you must include your spouse’s income on your fee waiver application if you are living together, even if your spouse is not filing bankruptcy.
Even if you are eligible to apply for a waiver of the court filing fee, it is still up to the judge to grant or deny the waiver. If the judge thinks you can afford to pay the filing fee, despite your low income, a fee waiver may be denied and you may be ordered to pay the filing fee, typically in monthly installments or as otherwise ordered by the judge.
A waiver of the court filing fee can only be granted in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.