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Do I have to pay the $338 filing fee?

1 minute read Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we'll never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool

In a Nutshell

You generally have to pay the fee if you earn above 150% of the poverty line for your state, and you generally don't have to pay the fee if you earn below 150% of the poverty line.

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated May 11, 2023

Infographic showing bankruptcy court filing fee and information regarding fee waiver.

If you earn less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines - shown here - you are eligible to apply for a fee waiver. You submit the application for a fee waiver to the court along with your other bankruptcy forms. The judge decides - based on the information in your application - whether to grant your application. 

If your application is granted, you don't have to pay the $338 filing fee. If your application is denied, you'll have to pay the full amount, usually based on a payment plan set by the court. 

If your household income is more than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, you will have to pay the full $338 to the court. If you can't save up the money to pay it in full at the time your file your case, you can ask the court to pay it in installments instead. 

If you're an an Upsolve user and earn more than  150% of the federal poverty guidelines, you can select to pay the filing fee in installments instead of paying the full fee at the time of  filing. The selection can be made in the questionnaire. If you need to change your selection after completing the questionnaire, please visit to send us a message.

Written By:

Jonathan Petts


Jonathan Petts has over 10 years of experience in bankruptcy and is co-founder and CEO of Upsolve. Attorney Petts has an LLM in Bankruptcy from St. John's University, clerked for two federal bankruptcy judges, and worked at two top New York City law firms specializing in bankrupt... read more about Jonathan Petts

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can't access their basic rights when they can't afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we're fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.