Cite as: Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 36.29, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).
If the debtor has elected the option in Bankruptcy Rule 1006(b) to pay the filing fee in installments,1 then the debtor must file an application and an order permitting the payment of filing fees in installments.
The application and order are found in Official Bankruptcy Form 3A. The form is self-explanatory, and the blanks should be filled in to indicate the portion of filing fee paid with the petition and the schedule for payment of the balance in installments. The application must be signed by the debtor.
Prior to the 2005 modifications to Official Form 3, the debtor had to certify that no money or property had been transferred to counsel for services in connection with the case when the filing fee was to be paid in installments. Since 2005, if the debtor files an application to pay filing fees in installments, the debtor must confirm that no “further payments” will be paid to an attorney or any other person who renders services to the debtor in connection with the case, until the filing fee has been paid.2 If the filing fee is to be paid through the plan,3 then Official Bankruptcy Form 3A should be modified to state “payment through the plan” instead of specific installments.
Note that a bankruptcy petition preparer4 who assists in the preparation of Chapter 13 documents must not accept further compensation from the debtor before the filing fee is paid in full—essentially the same rule that applies to an attorney when the filing fee is paid in installments under Bankruptcy Rule 1006(b)(3). Official Bankruptcy Form 3A contains a certification by the bankruptcy petition preparer with respect to this compensation rule, and the certification requires the entire social security number (not just the last four digits) for the bankruptcy petition preparer.
Waiver of a filing fee is permitted under Chapter 7, but no waiver is authorized for Chapter 13 debtors.5
1 See § 38.3 [ Filing Fee and Option to Pay in Installments ] § 37.5 Filing Fee and Option to Pay in Installments.
2 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1006(b)(3) and Official Form 3A at Line 3.
3 See §§ 38.3 [ Filing Fee and Option to Pay in Installments ] § 37.5 Filing Fee and Option to Pay in Installments and 100.5 [ Filing Fees ] § 73.10 Filing Fees.
5 See 28 U.S.C. § 1930(f); Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1006(c); Official Bankruptcy Form 3B.