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Opening a Bankruptcy Case


To open a bankruptcy case using the Open Voluntary case hyperlink from the CM/ECF menu, use your petition as a guide to enter the debtor(s) information. Listed below are a few things to keep in mind when processing specific chapters of the bankruptcy.
IMPORTANT! EFFECTIVE - 01/01/2009 Attorneys are required to electronically submit the Statement About Your Social Security Number(s) Form 121 (for all individual debtors) as a separate PDF using the corresponding private event code Statement About Your Social Security Number(s) (Official Form 121).

Chapter 11

For small business chapter 11 cases, the following documents must be filed concurrently with the petition at the time of filing or the documents will be considered deficient and due within 14 days of filing the petition.

  • Small Business Balance Sheet
  • Small Business Statement of Operations
  • Small Business Cash Flow Statement
  • Debtor's Election of Small Business Designation
  • Federal Tax Return 

NOTE: Each of these documents must be filed as a separate document entry using the specific document event.

Chapter 13

  • File the Chapter 13 Plan (LBR F3015-1) as a separate document entry.
  • File the Rights and Responsibilities Agreement between the Debtor and Attorney as a separate document entry.

NOTE: Each of these documents must be filed as a separate document entry using the specific document event.

Processing Instructions (rev 10/27/14):

  1. Select Bankruptcy menu.
  2. Select Open Voluntary Case.
  3. Case Number Screen
  • Select appropriate chapter: 7,9,11,12,13,15
  • Select "Yes" if joint petition.
  • Select "Yes" if case is deficient (i.e.,missing schedules, plan, certificate of credit counseling, etc.)

NOTE: If the petition is deficient, a deficiency screen will appear later in case opening to allow you to select the deficient documents.

  1. Search for a Debtor Screen. NOTE: Repeat this step to add joint debtor, if applicable.
  2. Enter Social Security Number, Tax Identification Number, Employee Identification Number, last name or business name to search for debtor name in the CM/ECF database.
  3. Party search results are displayed.
  • Debtor name does not appear, select Add/Create New Party.
  • Debtor name appears, select the name from the list and verify debtor information, mailing address, redacted social security
    number, etc. from the pop up window.

NOTE: If debtor is barred from filing, STOP! opening the case.

  1. Debtor name appears, but mailing address is incorrect, select name from list and modify the address information as needed.
  2. Debtor has Alias(es)
  • Select the Alias button if debtor has any alias(es) and complete all fields ensuring to select the appropriate role for the alias, ie., aka, dba, etc.
  • Click the Add Alias button to submit the information
  • Select the Review button to ensure all aliases were entered correctly.
  • If the alias information needs to be corrected, uncheck alias and click on Return to Party screen button to re-enter the information or enter additional aliases via the Alias button.
  • Review party information and Submit.
  • Verify divisional office (venue).
  1. Statistical Information Screen
  • Select yes or no for prior filing within 8 years.
  • Accept the default Paid fee status.
  • Select consumer or business for Nature of Debt.
  • Accept the default at the Asset Notice field.
  • Select the appropriate estimated number of creditors, assets and liabilities amount for the case.
  • Select debtor type, individual, corporation, etc.
  • Select nature of business if type of debtor selected is Corporation, Partnership or Other.
  1. Complete Summary of Assets and Liabilities by reporting the totals from schedules A/B, D, E/F, I, J, Form 122A, 122B o 122C-1 and nondischargeable debt in the boxes provided. NOTE: The Total Type of Liability and the Current Monthly Income must match the amounts input on the Summary of Schedules screen.
  2. Deficiency List Screen will only be displayed if the case is being filed as "deficient" (See #3 above).
  • Select items not included in the petition ( i.e. Sch A/B, Statement of Related Cases, etc.)
  • Select "Yes if there are other missing documents.
  • Select "Yes" if the Statement of Intention is missing.
  1. Verify deadlines for documents due to the court (do not make any changes).
  2. Select the answer for Presumption Arises (applies to Chapter 7 Individual cases only).
  3. Browse, verify and attach the PDF document.
    NOTE: The PDF copy of the Voluntary Petition must contain the redacted social security number.
    1. Attach additional supportive documents, if applicable.

WARNING! The following four documents must be filed as a separate documents, and should not be included with the petition. If you have a joint filing you must file each certificate separately.

  • Statement About Your Social Security Number(s) (Official Form 121)
  • Certificate of Credit Counseling
  • Declaration by Debtor as to Whether Db Received IncomE From an Employer (LBR Form F1002-1)
  • Debt Repayment Plan, if applicable.
  1. Review payment information screen.  
  2. Modify text if applicable.
  3. Verify final docket text before submitting onto case docket.
  4. Pay the applicable filing fees.
  5. Print the Notice of Bankruptcy case Filing. This is the verification that the document has been electronically filed. Make note of the assigned case number.
  6. Upload creditors to the bankruptcy case (creditors are uploaded in a .txt file to the case for noticing purposes).  
  7. Run Judge/Trustee Assignment.
    NOTE: (Chapter 7 cases only) For the possibility of obtaining the same trustee, 341(a) meeting date and time, run this step after you are finished submitting up to five (5) petitions on the same day.
  8. File the Statement About Your Social Security Number(s) (Official Form 121)
  9. File Certificate of Creditor Counseling
  10. File Declaration by Debtor as to Whether Db Received Income From an Employer (LBR Form F1002-1)
  11. File Debt Repayment Plan, if applicable.