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Part of the reticence that a Tennessean who is considering filing for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 might have is that they think it will be too costly. In addition to the fear of moving forward with a court process, this can stagnate a person who would otherwise benefit from everything Chapter 7 offers. Getting back on stronger financial ground is an alluring concept, but when there are certain considerations that are not fully understood, it can stop a debtor from taking that next step before even learning about it.

A law firm that is experienced in helping people with bankruptcy can explain the costs with a Chapter 7 filing and can mitigate those concerns. When filing the Chapter 7, there will be a filing fee of $245. There will also be a miscellaneous administrative fee of $75, and a surcharge for the trustee of $15. When the case is filed, these costs must be paid to the clerk of the court. However, it is not unusual for there to be an approval for the debtor to make these payments in installments. Since Chapter 7 is for people who are having financial trouble, even coming up with these relatively small amounts can be a problem. That is helped by the installment plan.

There is a limit in the number of installments that the debtor can be granted and it is maximized at four. The final installment is required within 120 days from the date at which the petition is filed. If the debtor can show cause that more time is needed, it can be paid up to 180 days after the filing. The other charges – the $75 miscellaneous fee and the $15 trustee surcharge – can also be paid in installments. For people who are filing jointly, there is a single fee for both parties. If these fees are not paid, the court has the right to dismiss the case.

For debtors who are severely limited in income and it comes to less than 150 percent of the poverty level and he or she is unable to make the payments in any way even via installments, the court has the right to waive the fees. The benefits of bankruptcy are many and it is imperative for those who need to file to get in better financial circumstances do not allow fees to dissuade them. A law firm that is well-versed in all the various issues related to personal bankruptcy from the basic to the complex can help with a case.