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eSR - Frequently Asked Questions

Before using eSR

  1. What is eSR?

    eSR is an online tool to help an individual prepare a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition for later filing with the court after he or she has decided to file bankruptcy without an attorney.

  2. Who can use it?

    Individuals who wish to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition and who live in the Central District of California can use eSR. To determine if you can use eSR, enter your residential ZIP code in the ZIP Code Search field on our website located in the Court Locator tab.  eSR may not be used for business or corporate bankruptcy filings.  It is currently only available for chapter 7 individual filings.

  3. Can attorneys or bankruptcy petition preparers use eSR?

    No, eSR is not available for attorneys. Attorneys must still register for electronic filing according to Local Bankruptcy Rule 5005-4(a).  While bankruptcy petition preparers are currently permitted to use eSR, there is no need to pay for anyone to assist you other than a licensed attorney who can give you needed legal advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, assistance is available for free through the court.  If a bankruptcy petition preparer uses eSR, the assistance and the amount you paid must be disclosed on the proper forms filed with the court.

  4. What chapters is eSR available for?

    eSR is currently only available for chapter 7 filings.

  5. Where can I access eSR?

    eSR can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection by visiting our eSR system homepage at www.cacb.uscourts.gov/esr and clicking on the eSR logo “click to get started” link.  The system can also be accessed from computers located in all of our divisional offices.

  6. How do I use eSR?

    To use eSR, create a user profile, unique login, and password.  This can be done by visiting the eSR system home page.  Next, answer questions about your property, income and debts.  After submitting the petition, you must complete and sign the eSR Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form and additional forms.  For a list of the additional forms click here.  These along with the chapter 7 filing fee should be delivered or mailed to the bankruptcy court.  To determine where the documents should be delivered or mailed to, enter your residential ZIP code in the ZIP Code Search field on our website located in the Court Locator tab.  You must also obtain credit counseling from a court-approved credit counseling agency.  For additional information on court approved credit counseling agencies click here.  A bankruptcy petition is NOT considered “filed” (and does not receive a case number) until both the Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form and the chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee are received and processed by the court.

  7. What are the computer requirements for using eSR at home?

    You must have an Internet-enabled computer with the pop-up blockers disabled.  You will also need Adobe Reader, version 8 or higher.  With respect to browsers, it is recommended that you use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Safari. 

  8. Who can I contact for help regarding eSR?

    For technical and procedural questions regarding eSR, you may receive assistance by calling the Bankruptcy Court’s toll free Call Center at 855-460-9641.  You may also contact us via online Chat accessible from the Court’s website at www.cacb.uscourts.gov.  Both services are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except federal holidays.  Unfortunately, the Clerk’s Office cannot give legal advice.  If you need assistance answering questions in eSR, you may also wish to refer to the bankruptcy glossary of terms located on our Don’t Have an Attorney page on the Court’s website at www.cacb.uscourts.gov/dont-have-attorney.  If you still need help answering questions in the system, please visit the self-help center located at the Bankruptcy Court divisional office nearest you.

  9. Is there a cost to use eSR?

    There is no cost to use eSR. Pay only the chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee. Only cash,     U. S. Postal Service money orders and cashier's checks from an acceptable financial institution are acceptable forms of payment of fees by individual debtors.  No one should charge you for using eSR.  If anyone does, please report this to the court by calling the Court’s toll free Call Center at 855-460-9641 or via online at www.cacb.uscourts.gov.

  10. What are the benefits of using eSR?

    eSR is free to use.  You pay only the chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee.  eSR has a guided, step-by-step process that allows you up to 45 days to complete your petition.  Your personal information is only accessible to you using a unique login and password assigned to you.  eSR is accessible 24 hours a day from any Internet-enabled computer. There is no software to download or purchase.

  11. How many days do I have to work on my eSR petition after starting?

    From the first day you begin working in eSR, you have up to 45 days to complete the eSR petition. If you do not bring or mail the petition in to the bankruptcy court for filing within 45 days, whatever you have done will be deleted from the system.  If you do not think you will finish within 45 days, please print out a copy of your work for future reference.

  12. How many days do I have to submit the Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form, additional forms and bankruptcy filing fee?

    The Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form, additional forms, and bankruptcy filing fee or Application for Waiver and/or Fee Installment are due within 10 days of the date of the confirmation email.

While using eSR

  1. I need help answering questions in the system.  Where can I get assistance?

    You may refer to the bankruptcy glossary of terms located on our Don’t Have an Attorney page on the Court’s website at www.cacb.uscourts.gov/dont-have-attorney.  If you still need help answering questions in the system, please visit the self-help center located at the Bankruptcy Court divisional office nearest you.

  2. How do I know what to list for my exemptions?

    The Bankruptcy Code for federal exemptions is 11 U.S.C. § 522.  California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 703.010 through 704.850 also address exemptions.  If you own anything of value or if your car or house is worth more than you owe on it, it is very important that you consult an attorney before claiming exemptions. A bankruptcy trustee may be required to sell your property to pay creditors if you claim the exemptions improperly.

  3. I have more creditors than the fields in the eSR schedules allow.  What should I do?

    If you reach the limit of fields allowed in the schedules, you may type additional creditors on a paper copy of the schedule.  Paper copies of schedules must be brought or mailed to the Bankruptcy Court at the time the additional combined forms are filed and the bankruptcy petition filing fee is paid.

After using eSR

  1. What happens after I submit my eSR chapter 7 petition?

    After submitting your petition, you will receive an email confirming the electronic receipt of the bankruptcy petition submitted to the Court.  The bankruptcy petition will NOT be officially filed and a case number will NOT be assigned until the items listed on the confirmation email have been received by the Bankruptcy Court.  The items are due within 10 days of the date of the confirmation email.  To determine where you must submit these items, please visit the Court Locator section of our website at www.cacb.uscourts.gov/court-locator.  The specific location of where to file for bankruptcy is determined by the zip code of a debtor's residence address or location of principal assets of business.

  2. What additional forms need to be completed after submitting my petition via eSR?

    The following forms with original signatures must be delivered or mailed to the Bankruptcy Court after submitting your petition electronically: Statement About Your Social Security Numbers (Form 121), Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing, Declaration by Debtor(s) as to Whether Income was Received From an Employer within 60 Days of the Petition Date (LBR form F1002.1),  Bankruptcy Petition Preparer’s Notice, Declaration and Signature (Form 119), if applicable, Disclosure of Compensation of Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (Form B2800), if applicable, Initial Statement About an Eviction Judgement Against You (Form 101A), if applicable, Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgement Against You (Form 101B), if applicable, and any other documents/attachments required to file your bankruptcy case.  

  3. How do I know where to submit my additional forms and bankruptcy filing fee?

    To determine where you must submit these items, please visit the Court Locator section of our website.  The specific location of where to file for bankruptcy is determined by the zip code of a debtor's residence address or location of principal assets of business.

  4. I completed my chapter 7 petition via eSR but want to apply for a fee waiver and/or installments.

    Depending on the divisional office where your bankruptcy case will be filed, you may be required to have a complete chapter 7 petition in order to apply for a fee waiver or installments.  Please contact the Court via online chat accessible on the Court’s website at www.cacb.uscourts.gov or the toll free Call Center at 855-460-9641 for additional information.

  5. How many days do I have to bring my filing fee, declaration of electronic filing and additional local forms?

    The filing fee, declaration of electronic filing and additional forms are due to the Court within 10 days of the date of the confirmation email.  It’s important to remember that your eSR petition is NOT filed until you deliver or mail the filing fee, Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form and additional forms to the Court.

  6. How does the Court locate my  petition?

    The Clerk's Office locates your petition by searching by the email address used to create the petition through the eSR program.

  7. I can’t open the attachments in the confirmation email.  Where can I get the forms attached?

    The forms can be found by clicking on the “Additional Forms to be Completed and Filed with an eSR Petition” link located on the eSR home page at www.cacb.uscourts.gov/esr.

  8. I didn’t receive a confirmation email.  What information is on it?

    The email contains important information and steps needed to be taken to complete the official filing process of your chapter 7 petition.  eSR petition is NOT filed until you complete the steps mentioned on the email.  If you did not receive the confirmation email, please follow the steps below.  If you need assistance or have any questions, you may contact the Court by calling the toll free Call Center at 855-460-9641.  You may also contact us via online Chat accessible from our website at www.cacb.uscourts.gov.

    Submit the items listed below to the Bankruptcy Court within 10 days of submitting your case via eSR.  They must be mailed or hand-delivered to the court.  To determine where you must submit these items, please visit the Court Locator section of our website.  The specific location of where to file for bankruptcy is determined by the zip code of a debtor's residence address or location of principal assets of business.

    1. One of the following:
      • Cash (hand-delivered only) or a U.S. Postal money order for the full amount of the filing fee, or a
      • Completed Application to Pay in Installments (hand-delivered only), or a
      • Completed Application for Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee (hand-delivered only).
    2. A Copy of a Certificate of Credit Counseling (or printed copy of electronic version).

    3. A photocopy of your government-issued photo identification such as your driver's license or passport.

    4. Paystubs (if applicable)

    5. Print and complete the following forms (local forms for CACB):

      1. Statement About Your Social Security Numbers (Form 121)
      2. Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Excluding Local Forms (Self Represented Individual)
      3. Declaration By Debtor(s) as to Whether Income was Received From an Employer within 60 Days of the Petition Date (LBR form F1002.1)
      4. Bankruptcy Petition Preparer’s Notice, Declaration and Signature (Form 119); (if applicable)
      5. Disclosure of Compensation of Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (Form B2800); (if applicable)
      6. Initial Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgement Against You (Form 101A), if applicable
      7. Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgement Against You (Form 101B), if applicable
    6. I submitted my petition but realized I need to make some changes before filing.  How can I do that?

      If you need to make changes to the petition but have already submitted it, you will need to contact the Court to make the petition available to you again via eSR.  You may request to send the petition back to eSR by contacting the Court via online Chat accessible from our website at www.cacb.uscourts.gov or by calling the toll free Call Center at 855-460-9641.