Pre-filing considerations

  • Do I need photo identification?

    Effective March 1, 2009 - any person wishing to file a bankruptcy petition or adversary proceeding without an attorney (pro se), must appear in the Clerk’s office and provide photo identification, or the filer must have a power of attorney(and photo identification) authorizing them to file on behalf of another person. Please read the following notice for more information.

    Notice to Debtors Filing Bankruptcy Petition without an attorney (pro se Debtors)

  • Have You Completed Credit Counseling?

    You must complete mandatory Credit Counseling prior to filing bankruptcy. Please click on each link below for detailed information regarding pre and post filing required education.

    • Before filing your bankruptcy case - Completion of Credit Counseling

    • Within 60 days after filing - Completion of Financial Management Course

  • What your signature means

    If you are a debtor, your signature on the petition and statements and schedules constitutes an oath that the information is accurate and complete. The Bankruptcy Code provides serious penalties for false statements (see section 727(a)(4)(A). Title 18 of the United States Code (Crimes and Criminal Procedure) section 152 also makes it a crime to knowingly and fraudulently omit property, make a false oath or account, or make a false declaration or verification. If you are a creditor U.S.C. section 152 makes it a crime to knowingly and fraudulently present a false claim.

  • Are You a Duplicate Filer?

    If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, you may not be eligible to receive a discharge in your new case. Click here to view a chart to help you determine whether or not you are eligible to receive a discharge when you file your next bankruptcy case. If you file before sufficient time has passed since your previous filing, the Court will issue a Notice of Ineligibility to Receive Discharge or an Order to Show Cause why your case should not be dismissed.

  • Was Your Previous Bankruptcy Case Dismissed?

    In all bankruptcy cases, certain schedules and statements are required to be filed. Pursuant to Fed.R.Bankr.P.1007, 1008, 2016 and 3015(b), R.I. LBR 1002-1, 1007-1 and 5005-4, the debtor shall file such missing documents according to the time limits imposed by federal or local rule.

    If all documents are not contained in the initial filing, a 7-day Notice of Missing Documents and/or a Notice of Missing Documents (14 days) will be issued setting deadlines for filing required documents. If cause exists, you can move for an order extending the time to file required documents by filing a Motion to Extend Time explaining why more time is needed.

    If you fail to file required documents by the deadlines set by the Court, the case will be automatically dismissed without further notice. Such a dismissal will be presumed to be a willful failure and there will be a 180-day bar to refiling.

  • 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.