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Chapter 7 Fee Waivers

The district court or the bankruptcy court may waive the chapter 7 filing fee for an individual debtor who: (a) has income less than 150 percent of the income official poverty line applicable to a family of the size involved;  and (b) is unable to pay that fee in installments.

The income for comparison to the poverty guidelines is the "Total Combined Monthly Income" as reported (or as will be reported) on Line 12 of Schedule I. Non-cash governmental assistance (such as food stamps or housing subsidies) is not included. The income of a spouse is included whether or not a joint petition is filed, unless the spouses are separated and a joint petition is not filed. The income of any other family member listed on Schedule I as a dependent also is included.

Family size" is defined as the debtor(s), the debtor's spouse (unless the spouses are separated and a joint petition is not being filed), and any dependents listed on Schedule I.

A debtor is not disqualified for a waiver of the filing fee solely because the debtor has paid (or promised to pay) a bankruptcy attorney, bankruptcy petition preparer, or debt relief agency in connection with the filing.

In any determination regarding a filing fee waiver application, the debtor has the burden of showing that the application should be granted.

United States Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines