FAQs

  • Where do I file?

    When you file for bankruptcy, you must check one of the following statements found on the second page of the bankruptcy petition. Debtor has been domiciled or has had a residence, principal place of business, or principal assets in this District for 180 days immediately preceding the date of this petition or for a longer part of such 180 days than in any other District. There is a bankruptcy case concerning debtor's affiliate, general partner, or partnership pending in this District. Debtor is a debtor in a foreign proceeding and has its principal place of business or principal assets in the United States in this District, or has no principal place of business or assets in the United States but is a defendant in an action or proceeding [in a federal or state court] in this District, or the interests of the parties will be served in regard to the relief sought in this District.

    Once you have completed filling out the required bankruptcy petition, schedules, statement of affairs and creditor list, you may file these documents at the Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s office at 380 Westminster Street, 6th Floor, Providence, RI 02903, in person or through the mail provided that you supply the Court with a photo ID. In addition, in order for the Court to process your filing, you must accompany it with the required filing fee based on the chapter you are filing under (cashier’s check or money order only, no personal checks). The business hours and phone number for the Clerk’s office are posted on our website. If all required schedules/statements are not filed with the petition, the court will issue either  a 7 day or 14 day Order, depending on the the deficiency,  to file missing documents and if the debtor fails to comply, the court will dismiss the case. 

  • Do You Have the Filing Fee?

    Bankruptcy filings fees change periodically. Click here to view the latest fee information. Your filing fee must be paid by either money order (made payable to Clerk, US Bankruptcy Court) or in cash. If you do not have the full filing fee and wish to pay in installments, or if you wish to waive the filing fee entirely, see the detailed information located in Filing Fee Payment Options for necessary forms and instructions.

  • Have You Taken the Means Test?

    The Means Test is a financial analysis to determine if a debtor can repay a threshold level of general unsecured debt, and is used to determine if there is a presumption of abuse of the provisions of the chapter filed. If a presumption of abuse exists, the US Trustee, Case Trustee or a party in interest may move to dismiss the case or convert the case to a Chapter 11 or 13.

    You must complete the Means Test, including the checkbox at the top of the form indicating whether or not a presumption of abuse arises. The computation is based on 1) your current monthly income and 2) allowed deductions. The appropriate Means Test must be filed as part of petition:

    Chapter 7: Form B22A - Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation

    Chapter 11: Form B22B - Statement of Current Monthly Income

    Chapter 13: Form 22C - Statement of Current Monthly Income and Disposable Income Test Calculation

    • If your bankruptcy case later converts to another chapter, you must refile a Means Test appropriate for that chapter.
    • If the Means Test is not included at the time of filing of your bankruptcy case, a Notice of Missing Documents (14 days) will be issued setting deadlines for filing the Means Test.

    The Clerk’s office will notify all creditors within 10 days of the filing if there is a presumption of abuse. This information will be included in the Section 341 Meeting Notice. To determine if a presumption of abuse arises, please see bankruptcy code 707(b)(2). You may rebut this presumption by demonstrating special circumstances, itemized and supported by documentation, that would decrease income or increase expenses and bring the debtor below the monetary standard for the presumption of abuse.

    You may also file a Motion for Exemption from the Means Test if you are a disabled veteran and the indebtedness occurred primarily during a period during which you were on: (1) on active duty or (2) performing a homeland defense activity.

  • Can I contact the Judge?

    You are prohibited from contacting a judge. Federal Bankruptcy Rule 9003 prohibits parties from "ex parte" meetings or communications with the court concerning matters affecting any party.

  • Keep your Bankruptcy Paperwork

    Keep copies of your court documents including the voluntary petition, any amendments to the petition, and the discharge. These documents may be necessary for future refinancing, to ensure that credit reports are accurate, or for other court-related matters.

  • Translation Services

    The court does not provide translators. You may bring a translator with you. For professional translation services please click here. *Please note that the court is not affiliated with this agency.

  • Where do I file?

    When you file for bankruptcy, you must check one of the following statements found on the second page of the bankruptcy petition. Debtor has been domiciled or has had a residence, principal place of business, or principal assets in this District for 180 days immediately preceding the date of this petition or for a longer part of such 180 days than in any other District. There is a bankruptcy case concerning debtor's affiliate, general partner, or partnership pending in this District. Debtor is a debtor in a foreign proceeding and has its principal place of business or principal assets in the United States in this District, or has no principal place of business or assets in the United States but is a defendant in an action or proceeding [in a federal or state court] in this District, or the interests of the parties will be served in regard to the relief sought in this District.

    Once you have completed filling out the required bankruptcy petition, schedules, statement of affairs and creditor list, you may file these documents at the Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s office at 380 Westminster Street, 6th Floor, Providence, RI 02903, in person or through the mail provided that you supply the Court with a photo ID. In addition, in order for the Court to process your filing, you must accompany it with the required filing fee based on the chapter you are filing under (cashier’s check or money order only, no personal checks). The business hours and phone number for the Clerk’s office are posted on our website. If all required schedules/statements are not filed with the petition, the court will issue either  a 7 day or 14 day Order, depending on the the deficiency,  to file missing documents and if the debtor fails to comply, the court will dismiss the case. 

  • I’m attempting to file a large exhibit to a motion and I either get timed out or receive an error message. What should I do?

    Exhibits generally are supporting documents such as a vehicle title, a deed of trust, or a promissory note and are typically scanned. Scanned documents are frequently very large and may cause ECF to "time out" during filing. In addition, CM/ECF will not accept files larger than 7 MB. To avoid this, choose the optimal scanner setting of black and white (not grayscale or color), set the resolution 200 dpi, and the paper size of 8½x11. If the scanned document is still too large, separate it into smaller PDF files no more than 50 pages each.

  • 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. 
  • What is an Ex Parte matter and how do I file for it?

    The term "ex-parte" simply means without notice. An ex parte matter is any motion or request for relief where the requestor wants the court to grant relief without giving notice to all interested parties. Ex parte relief is seldom granted and is generally limited to requests for hearings on shortened time, or to other special circumstances where there is some justification for not having to give notice to all interested parties.

  • Where do I get a copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure?

    The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure are available for review in any Clerk's office location, at most law libraries, and on the Internet.

  • Where do I get a copy of your court’s Local Rules?

    The Rhode Island Local Bankruptcy Rules are posted on the Court's website here (pdf version), and paper copies are available in the Clerk’s office. You can purchase easy to carry bound copies from the Court using this order form.

  • How do I get a matter scheduled for hearing?

    The Clerk’s office schedules matters for hearing upon direction from the Bankruptcy Judge. To determine if a matter has been scheduled, please visit our court calendar page.

  • Can I attend a Bankruptcy Court hearing by telephone?

    Attendance at hearings by telephone is generally permitted unless another party to the proceeding objects. The local rule addressing this matter is contained in LBR 9074-1. Individuals wishing to appear at a hearing by telephone must notify the courtroom deputy prior to the hearing to request telephonic attendance. When asking for a telephonic appearance, a party must provide the courtroom deputy with the case number, day and time of hearing, and a contact phone number where the party can be reached. Since many hearings are scheduled at the same time, the party participating by telephone must remain available at the number given until the Court places the call.

  • 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).

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