after the meeting of creditors

Upon completion of the meeting of creditors, there are a few steps that must be taken to ensure that bankruptcy discharge is granted. Those steps include paying off any outstanding court fees and completing the debtor education course within 45 days from the date of the creditors' meeting.

COURT FILING FEES: these fees are charged in every case filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, unless the fees are waived. Please note that fee waiver is granted rarely and only in cases where the gross household income is at 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Chapter 7 court filing fee is $335. Unless the fee is pre-paid it must be paid as follows: $125 within two weeks from the bankruptcy filing date and $70 on the 1st of each month thereafter for additional three months.

Chapter 13 court filing fee is $310. Unless the fee is pre-paid, it must be paid as follows: $125 within two weeks from the bankruptcy filing date, $85 on the 1st of the month following the bankruptcy and another two payments of $50 due before the plan confirmation.

DEBTOR EDUCATIONAL COURSE: aside from paying the court fee, you must complete a debtor educational course from an accredited agency within 45 days from attending the creditors' meeting.

Failure to comply will result in closure of the bankruptcy case without discharge. Closed cases may be opened upon motion and payment of $260 in court fees.

While preparing to receive your bankruptcy discharge, you must exercise your intent with regards to any financed property you may own, such as your residence, vehicle or personal items (jewelry, furniture, tools, etc.).

Generally, you may retain possession of the financed property only after reaffirming the debt against it. In some cases, however, it is possible to retain possession without reaffirming the debt secured in the property. To find out more, please visit our reaffirmation center.