NJBLF Application For Payment of Pro Bono Filing Fees Guidelines and Instructions

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The New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyers Foundation is pleased to announce that it has funds available to assist indigent debtors pay Bankruptcy Court filing fees and has been distributing these funds since September 1, 2004. Attached to this notice is an application form that the Foundation asks the attorney to complete and send in to the address listed on the form. Please be specific in responding to the questions, especially question #5. If accepted a check will be sent to the attorney to cover the appropriate filing fee.

Please note that funds are limited. For that reason, the Foundation requests that attorneys carefully screen the applications. Not all clients that are eligible for pro bono services need the added assistance to pay the filing fee. Many pro bono clients will qualify for waiver of the filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1930, are able to obtain the funds necessary to pay the fee or are able to make installment payments as allowed by the Bankruptcy Court. To ensure that all qualified needs can be met, the Foundation has established several guidelines for applications:

          a. Applications will only be accepted from attorneys for pro bono clients referred through qualified Legal Aid offices, a law school pro bono program, any New Jersey Legal Services branch office or the Legal Services Hotline.

          b. Applications must include a copy of Schedules I and J and either an Order
denying an application to waive filing fee or a calculation showing how the applicant will not qualify for a fee waiver. Charts showing the income limits for fee waivers (150% of poverty level) are available on the Internet.

The Foundation members welcome your suggestions, thoughts, comments and overall feedback on the process. We all hope that the Foundation will continue to expand in future years and make more monies available to as many applicants as possible.