Case Opening  revised 10/18/2006




The steps required for attorneys to open a bankruptcy case on ECF.

 It is important to complete all steps in this procedure.




  1. Review documents for accuracy and completeness.


  1. From the Main Menu Select Bankruptcy


  1. From the Bankruptcy Menu Select Open Voluntary BK Case


  1. Open Voluntary Bankruptcy Case screen: (The case number will be generated later in this process and will be displayed on the Notice of Electronic Filing)

    1. The Case Type is not modifiable.

    2. The Date Filed is not modifiable.

    3. Select appropriate Chapter (e.g. 7, 11, 12, 13, etc. )

    4. If case includes a Joint Petition (e.g. Joint Debtors) select y.

    5. If the case has Deficiencies (i.e. missing schedules, plan, etc) select y.


NOTE: Subsequent screen will prompt user to indicate which documents are missing when the Deficiencies field is set to "y.".


  1. Search for a Debtor screen: (Search Hints)

    1. Enter SSN (social security number), Tax Id (tax identification number) or Last/Business name (upper and lower case)  and Click Search, to search for debtor name in the system database.

    2. Party search results:  

      • If debtor name appears, select the name from the list and verify debtor information (pop up window).

      • If debtor information is the same,  click on Select name from list button.

      • If debtor name does not appear, click on Create new party


  1. Party Information screen

This screen appears for selected name or creating new party.

    1. Complete/Update all appropriate fields for the debtor.

      • Include mailing address (enter the address where notices should be mailed).

      • Indicate County.

    1. If the debtor has an alias, select the Alias button .  

      1. Complete all appropriate fields for alias(es).

    1. Review alias(es) once more by clicking on the Review button.  

      • If the alias is incorrect, uncheck the alias(es) and repeat 5b.

When done, click on Return to Party screen button.

    1. Review debtor information once more before clicking the Submit button.


  1. Divisional Office Assignment screen  

      • Select the correct Office and click Next.



NOTE: Repeat steps 6 a-d for Joint Debtor, if applicable. If Joint Debtor's address is different from Debtor, deselect Copy previous party's address checkbox.



  1. Statistical Information screen

    1. Prior filing within last 8 years (select yes or no as appropriate)

    2. Select Installment, Paid or fee not paid  for Fee Status.

    3. Select Consumer or Business for Nature of debt.

    4. Select for Asset Notice, Choose Yes ONLY if case is a Chapter 11. 12 or 13.

    5. Select the appropriate Estimated number of creditors, Estimated assets and Estimated debts for the case.

    6. Select Type of Debtor such individual, corporation, etc.   

    7. Select any of the Nature of Business categories which apply (e.g. Health Care Business, Single Asset Real Estate, etc) which apply.


  1. Summary of Schedules screen.  The values for fields on this screen are take from Official Form 6-Summary which should be submitted with the petition.  When completed, click Next.


  1. Deficiency List screen (This screen will only appear if Deficiencies were noted on the first Open New Bankruptcy Case screen)

      • Select the appropriate schedules, statement, summary, and/or plan missing from the petition.


  1. Browse, verify and attach the Voluntary Petition document (pdf file)

      • Attach supporting documents if applicable.



  1. Select yes or no as appropriate to whether the Presumption Arises (Presumption of Abuse )and click Next.


  1. Verify filing fee amount (see Credit Card Payment Overview for more information).  

  • ONLY If filing an installment, enter $54.00 as the dollar amount.


WARNING: If you are filing an Application to Pay Filing Fees in Installments in lieu of payment be sure to enter Install in the Receipt Number field (make NO CHANGE to the Amount Filed) to prevent erroneous credit card charges.


NOTE: Immediately after the successful submission of a document containing an unpaid filing fee, a pop-up credit card payment window will appear on the screen overlaying the standard ECF receipt of electronic filing notice.  This screen will contain the new filing fee charge and any other outstanding ECF internet filing fees.


WARNING: Verify filing entry information is correct before submitting the Final Docket Text.



  1. Note the Due Date for deficiencies and click Next


  1. Review the Docket Text for errors and if necessary, use the browser back button to correct problems.  When the Docket Text is correct, click Next.


  1. Pay Filing Fees


  1. Save the Notice of Electronic Filing.


Next Steps:

    1. Assign the Judge, Trustee and 341 Meeting.

    2. File the Chapter 13 Plan, if applicable.