How to File for Bankruptcy for Free in Cook County, Illinois

By Jackie Whalen

The fee associated with filing bankruptcy can only be waived if you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The court will not waive fees for Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. There are two requirements mandated by federal law that you must meet in order to qualify for a fee waiver: your income must be less than 150 percent of the national poverty guidelines set by the Department of Health and Human Services and you must be unable to pay the filing fee in installments.

Go to and click "Forms and Fees" at the top of the page.

Click "Bankruptcy Forms." Download the "Application for Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee" form B 3B.

Complete the form by filling out information on your household income, expenses, assets and property. Sign and date the form at the bottom.

Mail or take the fee waiver application with the rest of your bankruptcy filing documents to:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Dirksen Federal Building

219 S. Dearborn St.

Room 713

Chicago, IL 60604


The court is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

About the Author

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Jackie Whalen has been writing since 2007. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently a third-year law student.