Creditor FAQs

  • How do I file a complaint about the behavior of a federal judge?

    Congress has created a procedure that permits any person to file a complaint in the courts about the behavior of federal judges, but not about the decisions federal judges make in deciding cases. Below is a link to the rules that explain what may be complained about, who may be complained about, where to file a complaint, and how the complaint will be processed.

  • How many copies do I need to file?

    For Chapter 7 cases:  The original documents only (petition, schedules and statements, any attachments) and the Creditor Mailing List.

    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 only (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:  Creditor List instruction for non-electronic filer may be found in the Self Help Manual. Creditor List instructions for electronic filers may be found in the Electronic Filer User Manual.

  • Emergency Motion Filing: Can the hearing be held telephonically and who must be notified?

    If the Court determines than an emergency hearing is necessary, it prefers that counsel and/or parties appear in person for such hearing, but will permit participation by telephone if the nature of the emergency and time constraints warrant such a format.

    The applicant must notify all affected parties, as well as the case trustee and the US Trustee. In very time-sensitive instances, the Court may approve of notification by telephone.

  • Emergency Motion Filing: Where must it be filed?

    If e-filed, the filer must call the Clerk’s office at (401) 626-3110 to alert a staff member that an emergency matter has been filed electronically. All parties in interest and attorneys must be notified of the filing by telephone, fax, and/or hand-delivery. If an emergency pleading is conventionally filed, the Clerk’s office will process it immediately. The filer must serve the pleading on all interested parties by telephone, fax, and/or hand-delivery.

  • Emergency Motion Filing: What format is required?

    Documents for the Court’s consideration must state the nature of relief, the statutory basis thereof and the facts creating the urgency. “Emergency Motion” or the word “Emergency” must be in the caption of the papers filed to alert the Clerk’s office of the urgent nature of the relief sought. See LBR 9013-2(d).

  • Emergency Motion Filing: When is a motion filing considered to be an emergency?

    Any motion filing for which there is not enough time to give the notice required by the Bankruptcy Code and Rules due to circumstances beyond the control of the filer is considered to be an emergency filing. Local Rule 9013-2(d) specifies the requirements for emergency motions.

  • What is a Discharge of Debts?

    A discharge of debt is when a debtor is no longer personally liable for the debt.  A discharge means that the creditor who is owed money may never try to collect the debt from the debtor in the future. If a creditor believes that the debtor is not entitled to receive a discharge under Bankruptcy Code §727(a) or that a debt owed is not dischargeable under Bankruptcy Code §523(a)(2), (4), or (6), the creditor must file a lawsuit against the debtor in the bankruptcy court no later than the "Deadline to File a Complaint Objecting to Discharge of the Debtor or to Determine Dischargeability of Certain Debts" listed on the Section 341 Meeting of Creditor's Notice .  The Court must receive the complaint and any required filing fee by that deadline.

  • What is a 341 meeting/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  meeting of creditors and equity security holders are found. It is also referred to as the “ Meeting of Creditors” or just “Credtors 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 if I don't agree with an order 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 and Statement of Election  (Official Form 417A) of the order and pay the applicable filing fee. Either document 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 you fill out Part 4 of the Notice of Appeal and Statement of Election to have the appeal heard by the U.S. District Court.   If you do 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 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 attend the meeting using the Zoom platform, you must contact the case trustee.

    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. 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 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 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.

  • 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 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 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 available assets must be sold and claims reviewed prior to any payout. Creditors should contact the chapter 7 trustee and inquire when they expect 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.