California has three bankruptcy courts where you can file your petition. The costs of filing for bankruptcy in California are the same for all three courts, only varying their locations and the methods through which you can file. (One court might allow online filing, while another court might not do so.) As an individual, the types of bankruptcy for which you can file are Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Companies generally file for Chapter 9 or Chapter 11.
Chapter 7 Fees
If you decide to file for Chapter 7 in California, you must pay fees for case filing, administration and trustee surcharges to be able to file. Starting January of 2011, case filing fees are $245, fees for administration are $39 and the amount you must pay for trustee surcharges rises to $15. The total cost of your Chapter 7 filing in California, therefore, is $299. However, the payment of fees is not the only requirement for filing for Chapter 7. You must prove to the court that your income is lower than or equal to the average state income or that your expenses are high enough to justify a filing.
Chapter 13 Fees
If you file for Chapter 13 in California, you only need to pay for case filing fees and administration fees. Fees for case filing rise to $235 and fees for administration rise to $39. The total cost of your Chapter 13 filing amounts to $274, which you must pay either upon filing or, with the court's permission, in four separate payments, the last one no later than 120 days after filing. As with Chapter 7, paying the fees is not the only requirement for filing. To be able to file for Chapter 13, your debts cannot exceed $360,475 for unsecured debts or $1,081,400 for secured debts.
If companies want to file for bankruptcy in California, they also must pay fees. California bankruptcy courts charge fees for a total of $1,039 per case they receive either for a Chapter 9 filing, which is a type of bankruptcy for California municipalities, or Chapter 11 filing, which is a type of bankruptcy that allows for a reorganization of a company's debts without necessitating closure or cessation of business.
To file for any type of bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Code requires you to receive credit counseling. The fees you must pay for bankruptcy filing -- plus any fees you must pay to the credit counseling agency of your choice -- might be a burden if you are already in a difficult economical spot. Filing for bankruptcy also affects your credit score. Before you commit to filing for bankruptcy, look for other, less drastic solutions.