What actions are creditors generally prohibited from taking?
Prohibited collection actions are listed in Bankruptcy Code §362. Common examples of prohibited actions include contacting the debtor by telephone, mail or otherwise to demand repayment; taking actions to collect money or obtain property from the debtor; repossessing the debtor's property; starting or continuing lawsuits or foreclosures; and garnishing or deducting from the debtor's wages. Under certain circumstances, the stay may be limited to 30 days or not exist at all, although the debtor can request the court to extend or impose a stay.
What do I do if I forgot to include a creditor in my bankruptcy schedules? (Schedules D, E, and F)
If additional creditors need to be added to your bankruptcy schedules after filing, the applicable schedule (D, E, or F) must be amended. There is a miscellaneous fee to amend schedules D, E and F to add creditors or to change the amounts on these schedules. Amended schedule(s) listing the new creditors and/or any changes must be filed and signed under oath by the debtor(s). A certificate of service is also required indicating that the added creditor(s) have received a copy of the amended schedules and a copy of the Section 341 Meeting Notice. If a large number of creditors are being added, a new creditor mailing list is also required containing only the added creditors names and addresses. (See forms)
What do I do if the ECF system is not available?
If electronic filing cannot be accomplished because of an ECF or filer system failure, the Electronic Filer shall, after making at least two attempts to file electronically, send the document and/or event as an attachment in PDF format via e-mail to the following address: email@example.com explaining why it was not possible to file directly in the CM/ECF System. The Electronic Filer must call the Clerk’s office at (401) 626-3100 prior to 10:00 a.m. of the next business day and advise that a document was filed via e-mail. The Clerk’s office will download and file the PDF document, which will be deemed filed on the date and time of the e-mail transmittal.
What does it mean to clear cache and cookies?
Temporary files are stored in your computer's cache (or temporary data storage). When the amount or aggregate size of these files become too large, you may encounter a blank CM/ECF screen, or more frequently some menu items or categories may not display correctly or refresh. To resolve this problem, clear your browser's cache
What formats are available for the delivery of e-mail notifications from the court?
An e-filer may choose from two formats: 1) a separate notice for each filing that is sent at the time of the filing of the document, or 2) a daily summary report sent overnight. To change your preference take the following steps:
- Click UTILITIES on the blue menu bar
- Click MAINTAIN YOUR ECF ACCOUNT
- Click E-MAIL INFORMATION
- Select the radio button that indicates your preference
- Click RETURN TO ACCOUNT SCREEN
What happens if the presumption of abuse arises?
If the presumption of abuse arises, creditors may have the right to file a motion to dismiss the case under § 707(b) of the Bankruptcy Code. The debtor may rebut the presumption by showing special circumstances.
What if I am unable to attend the Creditor's Meeting on the date/time scheduled?
If you are unable to attend the Creditor's Meeting on the date/time it is scheduled, you must contact the case trustee assigned to your case if a Chapter 7 or 13 case, or the local office of the U.S. Trustee if a Chapter 11 case as soon as possible, and request the matter be continued to another date/time. If you are unable to travel, you can make a written request to appear telephonically at your Creditors’ Meeting. The case trustee or U.S. Trustee will determine if your circumstances warrant an appearance by telephone. If you are serving in the military and will be out of state, consult the local office of the U.S. Trustee and/or the case trustee to determine how to proceed.
The Bankruptcy Clerk's office has no involvement in the scheduling of your Creditor's Meeting and therefore cannot assist you with any requested changes or telephonic requests. All questions concerning the Meeting of Creditors must be directed to the local office of the U.S. Trustee or to your case trustee.
What if I don't agree with an order that is entered by the court?
You may do one of two things within fourteen (14) days of the entry of the order. You may either file a Motion for Reconsideration of the matter before the Bankruptcy Court, or you may file a Notice of Appeal (Form 17) of the order and pay the applicable filing fee. Both documents must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court within 14 calendar days of the date the order or judgment is entered on the Bankruptcy Court’s docket. Appeals are automatically referred to the First Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP), unless the party filing the appeal also files an election to have the appeal be heard instead by the Rhode Island U.S. District Court The appellant's election to proceed in the U.S. District Court must be made on a separate document using Local Bankruptcy Form S, and must be filed at the same time the appeal is filed. If the party filing the appeal does not desire to have the appeal heard by the U.S. District Court, other parties to the appeal (the appellees) may opt to do so, but there are time limitations on when this can be done. See 28 U.S.C. §158(c)(1).
What if I have an emergency filing after business hours?
To file an emergency bankruptcy petition with the Clerk after regular business hours, or for any other type of emergency filing, please refer to the emergency section of this Self Help Page on the website for instructions. For electronic filers, the CM/ECF system is available 24 hours a day.
What if I need to amend schedules other than D, E or F?
All other schedules may be amended without a fee. Schedules are amended by submitting the new schedules entitled Amended, signed by the debtor(s), and clearly noting the nature of the amendment (change) using a bolded or italicized font, or underlining the change(s). (See forms)
What if the case I'm interested in has been archived?
If a case has been archived, there may be some information that is still available through the Clerk's office. You should first check to see what information is available there. If the Clerk's office doesn't have the records you need, the Clerk will provide you with certain archive information, such as accession record retrieval numbers (PACER users may access this information through the PACER system using the query search field, case summary information screen, and can also be found at the website link to FRC information. With this access information, you may call the Federal Records Center at 866-329-6465. Please check the Federal Records Center for information.
For requests sent to the FRC, there is a per document search fee You must be specific about documents you would like provided. Alternatively, you can ask the Clerk's office to have the entire case file returned to Providence for you to review. There is a retrieval fee for this service. The file is sent to the Clerk's office by the FRC and it takes about three (3) to five (5) business days for the file to arrive. The Clerk's office will hold the retrieved case file for 30 days unless a longer period of time is requested. The file can only be reviewed in the Clerk's office; it cannot be removed for copying or viewing at another location.
What is a 341 meeting, or “meeting of creditors”?
The “341(a) meeting” is sometimes called the “meeting of creditors” and gets its name from the Section of Title 11 of the United States Code where the requirements for the first meeting of creditors and equity security holders are found. It is also referred to as the “First Meeting of Creditors” or just “First Meeting”. The debtor (both spouses in a joint case) must be present at the meeting to be questioned under oath by the trustee and by creditors. Creditors are welcome to attend, but are not required to do so. The meeting may be continued and concluded at a later date without further notice.
What is a Discharge of Debts?
The debtor is seeking a discharge of most debts, which may include your debt. A discharge means that you may never try to collect the debt from the debtor. If you believe that the debtor is not entitled to receive a discharge under Bankruptcy Code §727(a) or that a debt owed to you is not dischargeable under Bankruptcy Code §523(a)(2), (4), or (6), you must start a lawsuit by filing a complaint in the bankruptcy Clerk's office by the "Deadline to File a Complaint Objecting to Discharge of the Debtor or to Determine Dischargeability of Certain Debts" listed on the 341 notice that you received. The bankruptcy Clerk's office must receive the complaint and any required filing fee by that Deadline.
What is a domestic support creditor?
A domestic support creditor is a spouse, former spouse, child of the debtor, or such child’s parent, legal guardian or responsible relative or governmental unit to whom a debt is owed before, on, or after the date of the order for relief in the nature of alimony, maintenance or support or an obligation arising from a separation agreement, court order or government determination. Domestic support obligations are excepted from discharge in chapter 7 and to a more limited extent in chapter 13. If there is a claim for a domestic support obligation in a case, it is now the responsibility of the chapter 7 or chapter 13 trustee to provide written notice to: (1) the holder of the claim, and (2) the applicable State Child Support Enforcement Agency. A notice is required both at the time of filing and at the time of discharge.
What is a Filing Agent?
For some attorneys, it is helpful or necessary to have one or more support staff assist in the electronic filing process. A new user type, called “Filing Agent” has been created to identify an agent who files on behalf of someone else. An attorney or trustee can link to several filing agents, so that when an agent files on behalf of the attorney, the docket text and the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) shows the attorney name. Once enabled by the court, multiple filing agents may be associated to users in the attorney, trustee and US Trustee user groups; these are the only user groups that may associate with filing agents.
For detailed information re Filing Agents, click here