How do I get certified copies of documents?
You may come to the Clerk's office and request certified copies. There is a printing fee and a certification fee for each document to be certified. Alternatively, if you know the documents you are looking for, you can mail a request to the Clerk's office. Your request must specifically identify the documents you want certified. Be sure to include the case name, case number, filing date and the title of the specific documents which you wish to have certified. In addition, please include your name, address and daytime contact number, so the Clerk can reach you if he/she has any questions about your request.
If you request certified documents by mail, you must include payment for the Clerk's search fee and certification with your request. The payment must be in the form of either a bank cashiers check or a U.S. Postal money order made payable to the Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court. The fees that apply when requesting a certified document by mail include: a per document search fee, a certification fee per document, and a per page photocopy fee. Contact the Clerk’s office if you are unsure of what the total charge for certifying the document will be.
How do I make payments electronically if I do not pay at the time of filing?
Payments may be made electronically through the Utilities section located on your ECF menu.
- Click UTILITIES on the blue menu bar
- Click INTERNET PAYMENTS DUE
- The Pay.Gov screen will display.
How do I obtain information about a case?
Telephone Access: Basic information, such as the debtor or debtor's attorney's name, case number, or the name of the trustee is available on the telephone by calling the VCIS (Voice Case Information System) at (401) 626-3076 or (800) 843-2841. This information is provided free of charge and is available 24 hours a day from any touchtone phone. See the VCIS link on the Court’s web page for further information.
Computer Access: Electronic case summaries, docket information, and viewable copies of all pleadings filed since 1998, may be retrieved via the Internet through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system (PACER). This system requires that you be a registered participant, and there is a fee for access ($0.10 per page, with a page being approximately 50 lines of text). This charge is limited to the first thirty pages of a document or report screen you are running, but is charged each time you open a new document.. For PACER registration information, please see the PACER link on the website. Cases filed prior to 1998, which have been closed, may be archived at the Federal Records Center in Waltham, MA. To determine if a case has been archived, contact the Clerk's office. Records may be obtained directly from the Federal Records Center, but you will need to obtain certain archiving information from the Clerk's office prior to requesting information from the Federal Records Center.
Copies of documents: Court records and documents filed after 1998 have been imaged and can be obtained from the Clerk's office via e-mail or fax at no cost, or through the PACER system. Paper copies may also be obtained for a fee from the Clerk’s office.
How do I pay an installment payment online?
Use the filing event “Chapter 7 (or Chapter 13) Installment payment" in the ‘Other’ category. NOTE: Please query the case for filing fee amount. (Query->filing fee)
How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
A bankruptcy generally affects a persons credit rating for 7 to 10 years. However, this depends entirely on the individual credit reporting agency. The Bankruptcy Court has no influence on the type of information the credit bureaus report, nor on how long they keep it in their records. If you wish to review your credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
Under a new federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Each agency's report on your credit may contain information from different creditors. To receive a free annual credit report, you can call or send a written request to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You can also contact the credit reporting agencies directly at:
How long does it take to complete the bankruptcy process and receive a discharge of debts?
Each case is different, but a general rule of thumb is that in a Chapter 7 case a debtor's discharge is usually entered between 90 to 120 days after the case was filed provided no objections to discharge are filed. Once the discharge is entered, the case is generally closed shortly thereafter. The entry of a discharge may take longer if a debtor's entitlement to the discharge is contested by the case trustee, creditors or other parties in interest. In a Chapter 13 case, a discharge is entered upon the successful completion of the repayment plan, usually between 36 to 60 months following bankruptcy. In Chapter 11, corporations and partnerships do not obtain a discharge but instead seek court approval of their plan of reorganization, which is known as plan confirmation. Once the confirmed plan is substantially consummated, a final decree will issue completing the bankruptcy process. This process may take several years to complete.
How many copies of court documents do I need to file with the Clerk’s office?
For Chapter 7 cases:
The original documents only (petition, schedules and statements, any attachments). Creditor Mailing List on disk.
For Chapter 13 cases:
The original documents only (petition, schedules and statements, plan with certificate of service & any attachments) and the Creditor Mailing List.
For Chapter 11 cases:
The original documents AND Four ( 4) complete copies of all documents (petition, all schedules and statements & attachments) and the Creditor Mailing List.
NOTE: Ch 11 Corporate and Partnership debtors must be represented by an attorney. An Application to Employ Counsel should be filed with the petition. While individuals filing Chapter 11 are not required to have an attorney, it is highly recommended that they do to assist with their bankruptcy. Chapter 7 Corporate and Partnership filers must also be represented by an attorney.
Creditor Mailing List Required for all Chapters:
The Creditor Mailing List (list of creditors and their addresses) must either be filed on a usb key or a CD. Please refer to the Creditor List Form A instructions available on our website. If you do not have access to a computer, you may complete the requirement in the Clerk’s Office public area using court computers.
I am a child support creditor. How can I determine whether my child support debt is non-dischargeable?
Certain child support debts are excepted from discharge. If you and the debtor disagree, you may, by filing an appropriate Adversary Proceeding Complaint, ask the Court to determine whether your debt is non-dischargeable. It is strongly suggested that you obtain legal assistance to do this.
I am a child support creditor. How can I determine whether my child support debt is nondischargeable?
Child support debts are excepted from discharge. If the nondischargeability of the debt is disputed by the debtor, the child support creditor may file an adversary proceeding to have the Bankruptcy Court determine whether the debt is, in fact, nondischargeable.
I am a creditor in a chapter 7 asset case. How long before I can expect a dividend payment?
There is no simple answer to that question. The length of time before a dividend is received depends on the circumstances of the individual case because assets must be liquidated and claims evaluated prior to distribution. Creditors should contact the chapter 7 trustee and inquire when he or she expects to issue checks to creditors. The chapter 7 trustee's name and telephone number are on the notice of the section 341 meeting of creditors.
I am a creditor in a Chapter 7 Asset or Chapter 13 case. When can I expect payment?
There is no single answer to this question. Each case is unique and the length of time before you receive a dividend depends on the circumstances of the individual case. After the deadline for filing claims has expired, you should contact the case trustee and inquire as to the time frame for distribution of claim payments to creditors.
I am a creditor in a converted case. Do I need to file another Proof of Claim?
No, once you have filed a proof of claim form with the court, you need not refile the claim after conversion.
I am not receiving e-mails from the Court. What can I do to correct this?
If you're not receiving e-mail notices from ECF, it could be due to one of the following:
1. Your e-mail address has changed and you have not changed the address in CM/ECF.
•Click UTILITIES on the blue menu bar
•Click MAINTAIN YOUR ECF ACCOUNT
•Click E-MAIL INFORMATION >> in the Primary e-mail address field, delete your old address and enter the new one >> click RETURN TO ACCOUNT SCREEN >> click SUBMIT
2. Your e-mail account is full.
3. Most internet service providers (ISPs) limit the amount of e-mail you may store on their server. Contact your ISP to determine the limit and how to delete the e-mails you no longer need.
*NOTE: If you continue to encounter problems, please contact Jody at 401-626-3145.
I hear the term “Link” frequently when discussing electronic filing. What does it mean?
To "link" a document means to relate it to, or associate it with a previously filed document. During the filing process you may be asked "Does your document relate to a previously filed pleading?" If the answer is yes, you should follow the screen prompts to "link" the documents.
I'm filing for bankruptcy protection but have discovered a lien against my property. What should I do?
A bankruptcy discharge will wipe out most unsecured debts, but does not remove liens which may exist against your property. Certain types of liens, such as judgment liens, may be set aside under certain circumstances based on provisions contained in the Bankruptcy Code. In order to seek to remove an eligible lien, you must file a Motion to Avoid Lien with the Court, stating the factual and legal basis supporting your motion and you must serve a copy of the motion on the creditor whose lien you are attempting to set aside as well as on the case trustee. A court order granting the motion is required to have it removed. Advice of counsel for actions to avoid liens is highly recommended.