Naughty Or Nice?

By Jill Michaux, Kansas Bankruptcy Attorney

The tradition of a lump of coal in a child’s Christmas stocking is said to have begun in Holland in the mid-19th century.  Naughty children received a lump of coal; nice children received a small toy or a piece of candy.  Interestingly, the prevailing religious view in Holland at that time was that poverty was punishment by God for evil deeds by you or your ancestors.

Debtors already know what they are getting for their holiday present: a lump of coal. That is because the cost to file a bankruptcy case increased on November 1, 2011.

The fee to file a bankruptcy case increased 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 has increased.  Whatever fees or courts costs are called, it requires 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 must now to pay $30 to amend Schedule D, E, F, G or H, up from $26.  Creditors must 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

●          Adversary Proceeding $293 from $250

●          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

The 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.

P.S.  Thanks to Bankruptcy Law Network founder Jay Fleischman for his creative genius in helping write a Halloween version of this article.



Jill Michaux has represented consumer debtors in bankruptcy for three decades. She practices law with her husband, Mark Neis, at Neis & Michaux, P.A., in Topeka, Kansas. She blogs for the Bankruptcy Law Network and her own site, Kansas Bankruptcy Information. You may reach her at [email protected].


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