Filing Fees

Bankruptcy fees are set by 28 U.S.C. § 1930.   The Administrative Office of the United States Courts regularly updates a Bankruptcy Fee Compendium  that discusses all fees charged by the Bankruptcy Courts.

A filing fee is required at the time of filing a bankruptcy petition (with exceptions noted below), an adversary complaint, and certain other documents in bankruptcy cases -- identified in the Bankruptcy Court Fee Schedule.

We accept American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and VISA credit cards as well as directly from your bank account (ACH). Filing fees for documents filed electronically are paid online via Pay.gov during the e-filing process.  Please refer to the Online Credit Card Payments manual for user support information. For more information about electronic filing, see the court's Electronic Services page.

NOTE TO DEBTORS:  The Clerk's Office cannot accept a debtor's personal check or credit card.  Debtor may submit a money order or cashier's check made payable to "Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court," or may submit cash for the exact amount (the Clerk's Office does not make change).

Payment of Filing Fee in Installments

The filing fee for voluntary petitions filed by a person (i.e., not corporations or partnerships) may be paid in installments if the petition is accompanied by Official Form B 3A  Application and Order to Pay Filing Fee in Installments.  Also read Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure, Rule 1006 and local rule, NM LBR 1006-1 .

Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee

An individual debtor filing a voluntary Chapter 7 petition, who cannot pay the filing fee in full or in installments, may qualify for a waiver of the Chapter 7 filing fee.  To request a waiver, submit Official Form B 3B,  Application for Waiver of the Chapter 7 Filing Fee, with the petition.  Also read Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure, Rule 1006 and local rule, NM LBR 1006-1.

Application to Proceed in forma pauperis

In forma pauperis is a Latin term which means "in the manner of a pauper," referring to a person who is financially unable to pay filing fees.  The term is commonly used to describe a process where a poor person is not required to pay filing fees. 

In the bankruptcy court, a person who cannot pay the filing fee for a chapter 7 bankruptcy case may seek waiver of the fee.  See "Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee."   The Court has no authority to waive the filing fee for an adversary proceeding. 

A bankruptcy appeal may be commenced in forma pauperis only if the Court determines that an individual party meets the standards set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915.  The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that bankruptcy courts lack the authority to waive pre-payment of filing fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).  Perroton v. Gray (In re Perroton), 958 F.2d 889 (9th Cir. 1992), and the New Mexico court agrees (In re Derringer, No. 04-17330-m13, docket # 391) -- only Article III courts (the United States District Courts) have that authority.  If a party filing a notice of appeal wishes to proceed in forma pauperis, the party should complete the form entitled "Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis " and submit it to the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court.  The form is available for downloading from the Court Forms page on the District Court's website.  Submit the completed form as soon as possible so that it may be transmitted to the District Court for consideration.  (We have the appellant submit the application to the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court because at the time of filing of a notice of appeal, the district court case number is not yet known.)

Chapter 11 Quarterly Fees - paid to the U. S. Trustee

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110 - 161, December 26, 2007) contains a provision requested by the Department of Justice that increased the quarterly fees on disbursements paid by chapter 11 debtors in United States trustee regions. Section 213 of Title II of the Act raises the quarterly fees in all disbursement bands and creates three new upper bands. See Chart of Chapter 11 Quarterly Fees for an analysis of the quarterly fee increase in each band.  The new fees went into effect on January 1, 2008, and are first due from chapter 11 debtors to the United States trustees for deposit into the Treasury by the end of April 2008.  For more information about chapter 11 quarterly fees read the United States Trustee program's Notice of Revised Chapter 11 Quarterly Fee Schedule or visit the U. S. trustee's website.