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FAQs

General (27) | For Debtor (9) | Before You File (8) | After You File (2) | For Creditor (24) | For Attorney (10) | CM/ECF (35)
  • Administrative claim - can I file an administrative claim on the ePOC site?

    No – Pursuant to Local Rule 3001-1(B) unless otherwise ordered by the court, requests for payment of administrative expenses shall comply with the requirements of Local Rule 1019-1(F), 2016-1(C)(2), 9013-1, 9013-3 and 9073-1, which requirements include the filing of a motion or application for payment, except as provided under 11 U.S.C. §503(b)(1)(D). A claim filed on the Official Bankruptcy Form “Proof of Claim” alleging a §503 administrative claim does not comply with these requirements, is not effective, and shall not be set for hearing, even though such form may be docketed on the claims register.

  • Amended claim - how can I reattach those PDF images of supporting documentation that did not properly attach to a recently filed electronic proof of claim?
    • Reformat the supporting documentation to an acceptable format. It may be necessary that you divide the PDF image into multiple attachments.
    • File an amended claim and attach the correct PDF images.
    • Check the box that designates that the claim is amended. Select the claim number of the claim to be amended.
    • Attachments must be properly added by amendment as described. Amendments should not be attempted by faxing or mailing to the Trustee’s office unless specifically requested.

  • Amended claim - how do I amend a claim?

    If the claim amends a claim previously filed in the case, check the box indicating that the claim amends a previously filed claim. Select the claim number being amended from the dropdown list of claim numbers.

  • Attorney - are debtors and creditors required to have one?

    Business Debtor - A corporation, partnership, or unincorporated association may not file a bankruptcy petition or other court documents, or appear in court, without an attorney [see Local Rule  9010-1(B)(2)].

    Individual Debtor or Creditor - An individual debtor or creditor is not required to have an attorney in order to file a bankruptcy petition, file other documents, or represent themselves at court hearings. This is true for a chapter 7, 11 or 13 bankruptcy case. However, it is difficult for an individual to be aware of and protect all rights without the assistance of a competent bankruptcy attorney. Please visit the following pages for more information: Don't Have a Lawyer and Bankruptcy Checklist.

  • Attorney discipline - are there rules addressing attorney discipline?

    Local Rule 2090-2 addresses attorney discipline in general. In addition, the conduct of all attorneys shall be governed by the court’s Guidelines for Court Decorum.

  • Attorney electronic filing - are attorneys required to become registered users of CM/ECF and electronically file all documents?

    See Local Rule 5005-4 - Electronic Filing, which sets forth the requirements for efiling in this court.

  • Attorney qualifications - what are the requirements for an attorney to be able to appear before this court?

    There is no “Bankruptcy Bar” to which attorneys must be admitted, however, as required under Local Rule 2090-1(A), certain attorneys must be a member of the Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and must earn at least 12 credit hours of Bankruptcy Law during each attorney's Florida Bar three-year CLE reporting period. For information about becoming a member of this Bar, visit the U.S. District Court Attorney Resources – Admission to Practice page. Additionally, Local Rule 2090-1(C) lists Appearances Permitted as Exceptions to Qualification Requirements. Refer to Attorney Admissions for more information.

     

  • Attorney withdrawals & substitutions - what are the requirements?

    See Local Rule 2091-1, Changes in Attorney of Record for Parties in Cases or Proceedings, for guidance concerning withdraw or substitutions from representation of a client.

  • Authorized Agent - do I need to fill out the section for Authorized Agent of Creditor if I am filing an electronic proof of claim as an agent for a company?

    Yes – Provide your name, title, address (even if it is the same as the creditor) and a telephone number where you can be reached if necessary.

  • Automatic Stay - what is it and does it protect a debtor from all creditors?

    Automatic Stay - Immediately after a bankruptcy case is filed, an injunction (called the "automatic stay") is generally imposed against certain creditors who want to start or continue taking action against a debtor or the debtor's property. Bankruptcy Code Section 362 and Local Rule 4001-1 discuss the Automatic Stay. If an individual debtor in a chapter 7, 11 or 13 case has had one prior bankruptcy case open in the year prior to the new case being filed, the automatic stay ends thirty days after the new case is filed UNLESS a motion is filed to extend the stay and the court has a hearing BEFORE the thirty days expires. If an individual debtor has had two or more bankruptcy cases open in the year prior to the new case being filed, there is no automatic stay in effect when the new case is filed. The Debtor must file a motion and have a hearing before thirty days after the case is filed to ask the court to impose the automatic stay.

    Protection for the Debtor - It is important to read relevant statutes from the Bankruptcy Code and/or to consult with a competent bankruptcy attorney about the Automatic Stay because in some situations it does not apply or there is only an automatic stay if the debtor obtains a court order which imposes the automatic stay. There are many different time frames and deadlines, and creditors (such as child support services) may still take action to collect from a debtor.

    Creditors Obtaining Relief from the Automatic Stay - If a creditor properly files and serves a Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay, and a bankruptcy judge grants the motion, the automatic stay will either be removed or modified so that the creditor can resume collection efforts against the debtor. Only a bankruptcy judge can grant a motion for relief from the automatic stay.

    For more information, please visit the Don't Have an Attorney and the Understanding Bankruptcy pages.

  • Bankruptcy - where can I find general information about the bankruptcy process?

    Filing  bankruptcy is a serious decision and should not be taken without considering the long-term financial and legal consequences. There are various pages on our website that provide information on the bankruptcy process and some local procedures you must be aware of. A good place to start is by reviewing the Understanding Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Basics Videos, Bankruptcy Checklist, and the Don't Have a Lawyer pages. However, this information is not legal advice. You can only receive that from a lawyer.

  • Bankruptcy Chapter - under which chapter do I file?

    For general information about the different chapters you can file bankruptcy under:

    a)  Read the “Notice to Individual Consumer Debtor Under Section 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code”. This notice describes briefly (1) the services available from credit counseling agencies; (2) the purposes, benefits and costs of the four types of bankruptcy proceedings you may file; and (3) informs you about bankruptcy crimes and notifies you that the Attorney General may examine all information you supply in connection with a bankruptcy case.

    b)  In addition, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has published, Bankruptcy Basics – AO Publication, to provide an overview of the bankruptcy process and a description of the types of bankruptcy chapters.

    c)  Additional information for debtors filing under chapter 13. Depending on which division your case is assigned to, you will be assigned one of the two chapter 13 standing trustees in this district. Below are links to the clerk’s Chapter 13 “Notice to Debtor”, and each chapter 13 trustee’s web site and guidelines.

    Chapter 13 Notice to Debtor

    Chapter 13 suggestions Neidich (Miami-Dade Division cases)

    Nancy Neidich – Chapter 13 Trustee

    Chapter 13 suggestions Weiner (Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach Division cases)

    Robin Weiner – Chapter 13 Trustee

  • Bankruptcy Code - what is it and do other authorities apply for bankruptcy?
    • Bankruptcy Code: The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 amended many sections of Title 11 of the United States Code (also called the Bankruptcy Code, Title 11, or 11 U.S.C.). These statutes will often be cited in a bankruptcy case by parties who are discussing various rights and duties.
    • Bankruptcy Rules: Procedural rules regarding bankruptcy cases are found in the Federal Bankruptcy Rules of Bankruptcy Procedures (FRBP) at the US Courts website. You may also view proposed and pending rule amendments. In addition, the Cornell Law School posts an unofficial version (which may not always be current).
    • Local Rules: This court has local rules, that, together with the administrative orders also apply in bankruptcy cases in the Southern District of Florida.
    • Related Laws: Other laws of federal, state, or municipal governments may be applicable in a bankruptcy because of a specific situation that may affect the debtor at the time a bankruptcy case is filed. Examples are family law, contracts, real estate transactions, unsecured loans, taxes, medical situations, personal injury, etc. Review the Bankruptcy Checklist to verify what situation applies to you.

  • Bankruptcy terminology - where can I find the definitions?

    There are two glossaries available for review at the United States Court website:

    You may also wish to refer to the Bankruptcy Terminology located on our Don’t Have a Lawyer page which provides a translation of the most commonly used terms in both Spanish and Creole.

  • Case docket - how do I access a case docket to search for an item?

    Log in to CM/ECF and select the “Reports” link from the blue menu bar. A sub-menu will appear with a link to “Docket Report.” Selecting the “Docket Report” menu option will prompt the user to enter a PACER login and password. After successfully logging into PACER, numerous search option filters will be available to help streamline your search results.

  • Case Information - how do I get case information on someone who owes me money but filed for bankruptcy?

    To search for case information you may call the court’s automated McVCIS (Multi-Court Voice Case Information System) at (866) 222-8029 [Press #74 for the Southern District of Florida]. You may access the electronic case docket for free at public computer terminals at each clerk’s office location or for a fee using WEBPACER [see Instructions for Electronic Public Access Services]. If the debtor listed you as a creditor on the mailing matrix when the case was filed, you should receive a clerk’s notice of commencement of case after the bankruptcy filing which will provide you with important information about and instructions for the case that was filed. For additional information visit the Creditor Resources in the  Don't Have A Lawyer page.

    See Also
    Notice of Commencement of Case - what if I received a proof of claim form with a notice of commencement of case?

  • Certificate of Service - do I have to submit one for a document that has been electronically filed?

    Yes. A Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) is not a substitute for the filing of a separate certificate of service but may be incorporated by reference in the certificate of service for the purpose of identifying those parties who were served electronically, even if, by such incorporation, the result is inclusion in the certificate of service of some case participants who received electronic service but were not required to be served [see Local Rule 2002-1(F)].

    Parties that are not registered CM/ECF users will receive notice by U.S. Mail unless they have opted into electronic service options offered by the BNC.

    For information on items that require service under FRBP 7004, please review the following:

     

  • Certified copy - how do I obtain a certified copy of a document or an entire case file?

    Certified or exemplified copies of documents can ONLY be requested from the clerk’s office. The fee for copying and certifying is provided in the Judicial Conference Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule, posted on the court’s website. Because certification is intended to authenticate that a document is the official document and not an altered version, persons who presently require certified documents (e.g., sheriffs, banks, other courts who have access to PACER) may opt to view the documents directly by accessing the court’s database, instead of requiring paper certified copies. This will eliminate the possibility of the presentation of fraudulent documents.

  • Changing law firms - do I need to change my user name and password?

    No. Since CM/ECF efiling accounts are issued to individuals (not firms), registered users seeking to change a U.S. Mail address must file a notice of change of address in each case or proceeding in which the change is to be effected. In addition, an email notifying the clerk of U.S. Mail and/or email address changes must be sent to CMECF_Support@flsb.uscourts.gov. See Local Rule 2002-1(G).

  • Chapter case - can I file a proof of claim in any chapter case?

    Yes

  • Claims number - how do I receive an acknowledgment from the court that I filed a proof of claim?

    At the time you file the claim, the court’s claim number will display with a link to the electronically file-stamped proof of claim upon submitting the proof of claim. The claim will be file stamped as of the entry date. It is recommended that you print a copy of the claim or save the electronic copy at the time you file it, since you will not be able to retrieve this link again and may be required to pay fees for a later search for and copying of your filed proof of claim. If you file the proof of claim in person, ask for a copy of the proof of claim after it has been file stamped by the clerk.

  • Claims register - when will the claim appear on the claims register?

    The claim will immediately appear on the claims register upon submitting the proof of claim. Always be sure you have carefully reviewed your claim before submitting it.

  • CM/ECF - What are the benefits?
    • Registered users can file documents, access and/or print case dockets and documents 24 hours a day from anywhere Internet access is available.
    • Reduction in paper usage and amount of secured storage space required.
    • Reduction in travel time and costs required to file or access case information from the courthouse or archives at federal records centers since the public, including creditors can access case files from public terminals or through a PACER account.
    • Easy to use and out-of-pocket cost of participation by the public is relatively low because the system uses standard software for accessing the internet.
    • Reduction in the costs of handling and mailing paper notices, and increase in noticing delivery speed for registered users since CM/ECF provides automatic email notice of case activity.
    • Reduction in the need for public inquiries to the clerk’s office and U.S. Trustee’s office for case information.
    • Additional research features, such as report generation, are easily accessible.
    • Case files and documents can be accessed by multiple users at the same time.

  • CM/ECF - What is it?

    CM/ECF (Case Management/Electronic Case Files) is a comprehensive Windows based case management system that permits courts to maintain electronic case files and allows electronic filing over the Internet. CM/ECF is used to maintain all pending and closed main cases, adversary proceedings and miscellaneous proceedings pending, filed or reopened. [Note: Documents filed prior to October 17, 2005 were not filed electronically and will not be converted to electronic imaged format unless ordered by the court. See Local Rule 5005-4(B) for rules regarding access to electronic filing.]

  • CM/ECF credentials - can my staff use my user name and password?

    Yes, but as the registered attorney, your name will appear as the signatory of the electronically filed document and all certification responsibilities remain with you, the attorney of record [see Local Rule 9011-4(A)(2)]. However, in accordance with Local Rule 9011-4(A)(2)(b), an attorney shall not share an assigned CM/ECF login and password with another attorney for the purpose of having documents filed. The typewritten name of the filing registered user must appear on the document and match the login name of that registered user’s ECF account.

  • Conventional (paper) filing - which local rules address conventional (paper) filing when electronic filing is not authorized, technically accessible, or where a waiver of the electronic filing requirement is requested?

    The following Local Rules can be reviewed:

    • 5001-2(B): Access to Clerk's Office for Emergency or Time Sensitive Filings
    • 5005-3: Filing Papers - Size of Papers
    • 5005-4: Electronic Filing
    • 7003-1(B): Coversheet, Corporate Ownership Statement
    • 9036-1: Notice by Electronic Tranmission
    • 9072-1: Orders - Proposed

  • Copies - how do I get copies of documents?

    There are two main ways to obtain copies:

    A) Using Computer to Print Documents from CM/ECF PACER - Electronic docket information and images of all documents filed in a bankruptcy case or adversary proceeding may be retrieved and printed via the terminals located at each divisional clerk's office. Please review the Clerk's Instructions for Electronic Public Access Services.

    B) Clerk's Office at Each Division – Copies may be ordered at the clerk's Office in person or by mail, and there is a search fee and a per-page fee. If ordered by mail, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope to return the copies. Please review the Clerk's Instructions for Obtaining Copies of Court Records.

     

  • Copies - how do I obtain copies of court documents filed in cases prior to October 17, 2005?

    Copies of paper court documents in pending or recently closed cases filed prior to October 17, 2005, may be obtained from the clerk’s office at a cost of $0.50 per page. Paper case files are normally located in the clerk’s divisional office where the assigned judge is chambered.

  • Copies - how do I submit copies of items designated for a record on appeal?

    Unless ordered otherwise, the clerk’s office will electronically collate the appeal record from the documents identified in the appeal designation. Upon the expiration of applicable deadlines, the appeal record will be electronically transmitted to the clerk of the district court.

  • Copies - how many do I need to file?
    • Chapter 7: The original documents only (petition, schedules and statements, any attachments) and the Creditor Mailing List.
      • NOTE: Ch 7 Corporate and Partnership filers must be represented by an attorney.
    • Chapter 11: 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, Chapter 11 is a complicated process and it is highly recommended that an individual chapter 11 debtor hire an attorney to avoid making costly mistakes.
    • Chapter 13: The original documents only (petition, schedules and statements, plan with certificate of service and any attachments) and the Creditor Mailing List. Chapter 13 is a complicated process and it is highly recommended that a chapter 13 debtor hire an attorney to avoid making costly mistakes.

  • Court Security - what identification do I need and what are the security restrictions for entering the court building?

    All visitors to the court or clerk’s offices will need to present current, valid, government issued picture identification (driver’s license, state identification card, passport, or immigration card) for entry into the buildings. This has been mandated by the Department of Homeland Security for all visitors, including the public conducting personal business. Minors do not have to present picture identification if accompanied by an adult; however, unaccompanied minors must adhere to the rule. Those with no or unacceptable identification must be escorted by a government employee of the building to be granted access. Debtors appearing at their 341 meeting of creditors must also provide current valid government issued picture identification as described above when attending the scheduled meeting. (See also Local Rule 5072-2, Court Security).

    Your cooperation and patience are appreciated.

  • Courtroom access - can CM/ECF or PACER be accessed in courtrooms and 341 meeting rooms?

    PACER access terminals are available for viewing documents only, in all seven courtrooms and in all three clerk’s office public intake locations free of charge. However, the clerk’s office does not provide PACER access in 341 meeting rooms.

  • Courtroom behavior - is there information on how to act in the courtroom?

    Yes, there are Guidelines for Courtroom Decorum availble to review. These guidelines will be strictly enforced at all times, whether or not the Judge is in the courtroom.  Cell phones, beepers and any other device that makes noise must be turned off, or placed on vibrate, and may not be used, while court is in session.  Court is in session at any time the proceedings are being recorded even if the Judge is not present in the courtroom.

  • Credit Counseling and Photo Identification - what are the requirements?

    a) YOU MUST COMPLETE A CREDIT COUNSELING COURSE BEFORE YOU FILE A PETITION WITH THE COURT. Read this important warning notice (Spanish) (Creole) about the consumer credit counseling course you must complete BEFORE you file your petition. For a list of approved providers of this consumer credit counseling course, you can go to the US Trustee web site.  US Trustee List of Approved Credit Counselors.

    b) If you are filing without an attorney, you must present photo id when filing your petition.  See this notice for information about photo id requirement: PHOTO ID REQUIREMENT NOTICE.

  • Credit Counseling vs. Financial Management - what are the differences?

    An individual debtor must complete TWO DIFFERENT CLASSES to obtain a discharge. The names for these courses are: 1) Credit Counseling and 2) Personal Financial Management. The courses are different in two ways: (a) when the class must be taken; and (b) what type of individual debtor must take the class. If a bankruptcy case is filed jointly, each spouse must take both classes and get their individual separate Certificates of Completion.

    1) CREDIT COUNSELING, Before Filing For Bankruptcy – The Bankruptcy Code requires an individual debtor (not a business debtor) complete an approved course in Credit Counseling within 180 days before filing a bankruptcy case. There are very limited exceptions [see 11 U.S.C. 109(h)]. The approved course agency will provide a Certificate of Completion, but you are required to file the Certificate. Read this important warning notice [Spanish] [Creole] about the consumer credit counseling course you must complete before you file your petition.

    2) PERSONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, Very Soon After Filing for Bankruptcy - In order to obtain a discharge of debts, an individual debtor (not a business debtor) must complete an approved course in Personal Financial Management within 60 days after the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. The approved course agency will provide a Certificate of Completion, but you are required to file the Certificate.

  • Credit Report - how do I remove inaccurate information from my credit report, even if I have not filed for bankruptcy?

    The U.S. Bankruptcy Court does not report  or transmit data to the credit reporting agencies. Bankruptcy records are public record. Credit reporting agencies may collect this information and report it on their credit reporting services. Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows credit bureaus to keep a bankruptcy on your credit record for up to ten years from the date of discharge (not the date of the filing of the case). The court is not responsible for deleting or removing information from consumer's credit files. Any disputes you have with a credit reporting agency must be resolved by you and that agency. The three credit reporting agencies are:

    For more information about the Fair Credit Reporting Act or for information about disputing your credit report, visit the Federal Trade Commission or contact them at 877-FTC_HELP (382-4357).

    Note:  If your credit report indicates that you have filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of Florida, but you have never filed for bankruptcy, you may request the clerk's office conduct a search of its bankruptcy records by submitting Local Form 85,  Application for Search of Bankruptcy Records, along with the appropriate research and certification fees.  You will receive a Certificate of Search that will verify whether a bankruptcy case was filed in this court.  Contact the credit reporting agency FIRST to determine if this is a document that they will accept from you.  

    If a bankruptcy case was fraudulently filed without your knowledge or consent, you must immediately notify the court in writing so that a hearing can be scheduled to investigate the fraudulent claim.  Only after the court receives your written correspondence, a hearing will be set which will require your appearance along with a valid government identification (e.g. drivers license).

  • Deposit - how do I find out if there is a deposit of funds in my name from a bankruptcy case?

    You can review the case docket to see if the trustee filed a Notice of Deposit of Funds with the Clerk of Court. Then you can review the notice to see if you are listed as someone in whose name the trustee deposited funds. Creditors should contact the case trustee; the case trustee's name is on the 341 meeting of creditors notice. To search for case information you may call the court’s automated McVCIS (Multi-Court Voice Case Information System) at (866) 222-8029 [Press #74 for the Southern District of Florida]. You may access the electronic case docket for free at public computer terminals at each clerk’s office location or for a fee using WEBPACER [see Instructions for Electronic Public Access Services].

     

  • Discharge - what is it?

    A bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. Additional information about a discharge (when it occurs, dischargeable debts, objections or revocations, etc.) can be found at the United States Courts website under Discharge in Bankruptcy – Bankruptcy Basics.

  • Dismissed case - what does that mean?

    An Order of Dismissal closes the case but does not free the debtor from any debt. Upon dismissal, the automatic stay ends and creditors may start to collect debts unless a discharge is entered before the dismissal and the discharge is not revoked by the court. Often, a case is dismissed when the debtor fails to do something necessary to move the case forward. Avoid these common mistakes to achieve a discharge instead.

  • Documents - how are electronic documents served?

    Registered users (1) waive the right to receive notice by first class mail and consent to receive notice electronically via the CM/ECF generated NEF; and (2) waive the right to service by personal service or first class mail and consent to electronic service via the NEF, except with regard to service of a summons and complaint under Bankruptcy Rule 7004. Waiver of service and notice by first class mail applies to notice of the entry of an order or judgment under Bankruptcy Rule 9022.

    If a petition is being filed electronically, it must be accompanied by the Local Form “Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury to Accompany Petitions, Schedules, Filing Fee Applications and Statements Filed Electronically,” and must contain the imaged signature of the debtor. See Local Rule 1002-1(4); See also Local Rule 1007-1(D) and 9011-4(C). The registered user must type or print the signer’s name either above or below the signature line on the electronic document. The typed or printed names are the registered user’s representation that the document was signed in original by that party, regardless of whether or not /s/, /s, or s/ is added near the typed name. If the document contains a scanned image of a signature, the typed name must appear under the signature.

  • Documents - how do I prepare them for electronic filing?

    Except for uploading a creditor mailing matrix, ALL other documents filed in CM/ECF must first be converted to PDF format. PDF is a standard format that will allow other system users to view the documents in their original format regardless of the type of computer or word processing program that was used to originally create document. At this time self represented parties cannot file electronically except that a self represented creditor may file a proof of claim electronically.

  • Documents filed electronically - how do I sign them?

    The clerk will assign a unique login and password to each registered user which is that registered user’s signature on electronic documents for all purposes, including those under Bankruptcy Rule 9011, 28 USC § 1746, and this court’s local rules. A registered user’s electronic signature will have the same force and effect as if the user signed a paper copy of the document being filed. If the user’s login and password is used without authorization, the registered user will be responsible for such use and, in the event of unauthorized use, must notify the clerk and immediately take the necessary steps to deactivate access. Docket entries will reflect the name of the registered user who submitted the document via the Internet. See Local Rule 5005-4(D).

  • Electronic notification - will the trustee assigned to the case receive electronic notification of the filing of the proof of claim?

    Yes – The case trustee will automatically receive electronic notification of the claim filed. Also, any other case participant (e.g., debtor’s attorney, creditors) who have made an electronic appearance in the case will automatically receive electronic notification of the claim filed.

  • Electronic Proof of Claim - what are some helpful hints when electronically filing a proof of claim?

    Verify the debtor(s) name and case number prior to submitting the proof of claim.

    Check the amends box if you are resubmitting or amending a claim for any reason.

    Verify all amounts in sections 1, 4 & 5. The total amount is required in section 1. If you have supporting documentation to attach, select the Yes radio button.

    Print or save the completed proof of claim when directed to view/print your filed claim.

  • Email Notification - how can I update the email address associated to my CM/ECF login?

    A new registrant or an existing CM/ECF efiler can update their email address once logged in by selecting Utilities> Maintain Your ECF Account> Email Information> update the primary and/or secondary email address.

  • Email Notification - how do I opt out of receiving email notification on the lead Bankruptcy case when I represent a plaintiff on an Adversary proceeding?

    A new registrant or an existing CM/ECF efiler may select to opt out of receiving electronic notification on the lead bankruptcy case, once logged in, by selecting Utilities> Maintain Your ECF Account> Email Information> select the radio button for "Send notices for adversary proceedings in which I am directly involved but not for their related bankruptcy cases." You may receive notices for some bankruptcy cases if it is required by the Clerk of Court.

  • Errors - how are filing errors and technical issues addressed?

    Deletions of electronic docket entries and/or restrictions of PDF images are permitted ONLY with leave of the court. The clerk will review documents filed electronically and, when appropriate, will issue a notice of electronic filing deficiency under Local Rule 5005-1(C), which will notify the e-filer what corrective action, if any, is required.

    Parties are strongly encouraged to file documents electronically during normal business hours, in case a technical problem occurs. If a party is unable to file electronically as a result of a technical difficulty with the court’s system, the party must contact the clerk’s office CM/ECF Help Desk at the telephone number posted on the court’s website during normal business hours. If required to meet a filing deadline, a registered user is permitted to conventionally file a paper documents only when the CM/ECF system is inaccessible or the registered user’s computer system is inoperable. A registered user whose filing is made untimely as the result of a technical failure may seek, or the court on its own motion may grant, appropriate relief. No filing deadline shall be deemed to be extended due to technical problems except by court order. See Local Rule 5005-4(G). For information regarding electronic overpayment of fees and credit card payment errors, see Local Rule 5081-1(D).

  • Exhibit - if my pleading references as an exhibit a previously filed document in the case, should I attach that document?

    No. Pursuant to Local Rule 9004-1(D), do not attach to the document being filed, any document that has already been filed with the court. Instead, simply reference the previously filed document by the title of the document, docket entry number, and/or claim register number.

  • Federal courts - can I have the same CM/ECF user name and password for all federal courts?

    Because each bankruptcy court assigns each attorney their own unique user name and password into the CM/ECF system, it is not possible to obtain a universal filing login. However, in Florida, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida have collaborated to develop a new, easy to remember login structure that will allow users to have the same login and password for all three courts. This is a voluntary option for attorneys registered to practice in two or more of the Florida Bankruptcy Courts. To facilitate this new option, each Florida Bankruptcy Court has posted a link to a Universal Login Request Form. Since this is a collaborative effort, we ask that you submit your request to the court where you file the most frequently. (Note: A bankruptcy court CM/ECF login cannot be used to access the district court’s CM/ECF system).

  • Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure - which apply to electronic filing and service?

    Electronic Filing

    The federal rules provide that “[a] court may by local rule permit papers to be filed, signed or verified by electronic means . . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(e), Fed. R. Crim. P. 49(d), Fed. R. App. P. 25(a)(2)(D), Fed. R. Bankr.P.5005, 7005, 8008. Local Rule 5005-4(A) provides authority for electronic filing in this court.

    Electronic Service

    The federal rules also authorize parties to serve documents (other than certain case-initiating documents) electronically upon written consent of the party to be served [Fed.R. Civ. P. 5(b), Fed. R. Crim. P. 49(b), Fed. R. App. P. 25(c)(1)(D), Fed. R. Bankr.P. 7005, 9014]. Courts may also serve court notices electronically upon written consent [Fed.R. Civ .P. 77, Fed. R. Crim. P. 49(c), Fed. R. App. P.45, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9022]. Local Rules 9036-1 and 9076-1 address electronic service in this court. Local Rule 9076-1(A) does not waive the right to service by personal service or first class mail of a summons and complaint under Bankruptcy Rule 7004, thus service of process by electronic means is not authorized.

  • File a Claim - how do I file a proof of claim?

    The notice of commencement of case served by the clerk’s office when the case is filed will contain information regarding filing a proof of claim if the case has been designated as an asset case.

    A proof of claim may be filed using the Official Form B410 Proof of Claim form and mailed back to the court in time to ensure that it is received on or before the deadline contained in the Meeting of Creditors notice. If you wish to receive a file-stamped copy of your claim, please enclose an extra copy of the claim and a self addressed stamped envelope.

    As an alternative filing method, any creditor with internet access may file a proof of claim electronically and print a copy of the claim at the time of filing.

  • File Document - how do I file a document not created on a computer within my office?

    The court seeks to have as many documents as possible filed electronically, but recognizes that some documents may not be available in electronic format. Nevertheless, many of these documents can be easily scanned for electronic filing. Documents that cannot reasonably be scanned, such as certain exhibits, will be filed and served in the traditional manner.

  • File size - is there a size limitation in CM/ECF for PDF documents?

    Yes. The current size limitation that CM/ECF allows for electronically filed documents, including exhibits or attachments, is 50 megabytes. While this limit will not likely affect electronically created documents, in the case of imaged documents, it would be the equivalent of approximately 750 pages. Larger documents must be divided into smaller PDF files. For example, a 60 megabyte PDF file could be divided into one 40 megabyte and one 20 megabyte file. The CM/ECF software will display a message if any PDF exceeds the maximum size of 50 MB.

  • Filing - can anyone use CM/ECF to file any type of documents with the court?

    Access to the full filing portion of CM/ECF is only available to authorized attorneys admitted to the Southern District of Florida Bar and who are qualified to practice before this court (Review Attorney Admissions). However, attorneys appearing under Local Rule 2090-1(C)(1) and creditors without attorneys [See Local Rule 5005-4(B)(3)] may become registered users with “limited” creditor filing privileges (Review New User Registration) permitting them to electronically file certain notices and other documents. In addition, any claimant or the claimant’s agent may utilize the ePOC program to submit a proof of claim form electronically, which does not require registration in CM/ECF [Local Rule 3001-1(A)(1)].

  • Filing - how do I become registered to file documents and receive notice of case activity?

    Access to the full filing portion of CM/ECF is only available to authorized attorneys admitted to the Southern District of Florida Bar and who are qualified to practice before this court (Review Attorney Admissions). However, attorneys appearing under Local Rule 2090-1(C)(1) and creditors without attorneys [See Local Rule 5005-4(B)(3)] may become registered users with “limited” creditor filing privileges (Review New User Registration) permitting them to electronically file certain notices and other documents. In addition, any claimant or the claimant’s agent may utilize the ePOC program to submit a proof of claim form electronically, which does not require registration in CM/ECF [Local Rule 3001-1(A)(1)].

    If you don’t choose to register as a CM/ECF creditor filer as described above, another option you may wish to consider is to register for electronic noticing with the Bankruptcy Noticing Center. Once registered, you will receive all notices (including attachments) served by the clerk’s office electronically instead of via US mail. Note: Notice served under this BNC electronic service option will not include all notices served in the case, just those notices the clerk is required to serve. You will receive service of all other documents in paper format by the party required to serve the document.

  • Filing - what do I need to file a bankruptcy case?

    General filing information is available at the following on the following pages: Clerk's Intruction and Court's Guidelines and Don't Have a Lawyer.

  • Filing and Noticing - can pro se (self represented) parties file papers and receive notice of case activity electronically?

    Currently, pro se debtors and bankruptcy petition preparers are ineligible to register to use CM/ECF, which is the court’s electronic case filing system to file documents and receive notices electronically. However, the court now offers debtors the opportunity to request receipt of court notices and orders via email, instead of U.S. mail, through a program called Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN). 

    Creditors without counsel may become registered users of CM/ECF with limited creditor filing privileges permitting them to electronically file notices of appearance, change of address, requests for service of notices, proofs of claim, notices of transferred claims, withdrawal of claims, reaffirmation agreements, chapter 11 ballots and other papers as authorized by the court. A claimant or the claimant’s agent may file proofs of claims electronically  via an online fillable proof of claim form [see Local Rule 5005-4(B)(3)], which does not require registration in CM/ECF [ee Local Rules 3001-1(A)(1)].

  • Filing document - what should I do if the document I am filing is not listed in the Available Events pick list?

    You can click on the Available Events text and start typing a key word describing the intent of the pleading. For example, as you start typing “Cert” various events will populate relating to Certificate or Certification. Additionally, you can use the Search feature from the CM/ECF menu bar to find the category(s) in which the event you need is located. A list of event codes will display as a hyperlink under various Category> Menu selections. As a last resort, use the generic docket code if you cannot find an exact match and then modify the docket text in the text box provided to describe the intent of the pleading to match the uploaded document.

  • Filing fees - how are filing fees paid for documents that are filed electronically?

    The registered user is required to pay bankruptcy filing fees for cases, proceedings and other documents using the CM/ECF online credit card payment module. Upon the successful processing of any payment, the filer will automatically receive an electronic confirmation receipt and the payment will also be recorded into the case record [See Local Rule 5081-1(B)]. Filing fees paid in error will ONLY be refunded upon motion and order of the court except when a filing fee is an unintended duplicate payment caused by an error in the court’s CM/ECF system or Internet credit card program [See Local Rule 5081-1(D)].

  • Filing Fees - what is it?

    To complete certain transactions with the court payment of a filing fee must be received. Payments for filing fees, other than for payments by those permitted to pay with a credit card when filing electronically, must be remitted in the exact amount due for the fee owed and must be made in cash, money order or certified cashier’s check. Personal or business checks will not be accepted (see Local Rule 5081-1, Fees – Form of Payment). For more information visit Clerk’s Summary of Fees and Acceptable Forms of Payment.

  • Filing Fees - what options do I have?

    A filing fee must be paid to complete certain transactions with the court. Payments for filing fees must be received in the exact amount due and must be made in cash, money order or certified cashier’s check. Personal or business checks will not be accepted (see Local Rule 5081-1, Fees – Form of Payment). For more information visit Clerk’s Summary of Fees and Acceptable Forms of Payment.

  • Filing fees - what will happen to my CM/ECF account if I fail to pay required fees in a timely manner?

    The registered user must pay ALL filing fees for CM/ECF transactions on the date the document(s) is filed. Failure to pay outstanding filing fees will cause the registered user’s electronic filing privileges to be suspended and the matter being brought to the attention of the assigned judge who, without further notice or hearing, may impose sanctions as provided by Local Rule 1001-1(D), including dismissal of the case(s) or, if applicable, striking of the document(s). See Local Rule 5081-1(B).

  • Financial Management Course - what course is required before a discharge can be issued?

    After filing bankruptcy and before a discharge is issued, individual chapter 7 and 13 debtors must complete a course in financial management. A certificate must be filed with the court within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors.  The following links provide information and forms needed to meet this requirement:

     

  • Forms - where can I find the local forms, official bankruptcy forms, etc.?

    Copies of all forms can be found at the U.S. Courts website under Forms and are further subdivided by category, for example: Bankruptcy Forms.  Additionally, this court has adopted various local forms for use in filing documents in this court. If a local rule or administrative order directs you to use a specific local form, you must use the latest version of the form which is posted on this court’s web site. Visit our All Forms page to review the combination of forms that may be needed during the life of your case.

  • Fraud - whom do I notify of potential bankruptcy fraud?

    Fraudulent activity may have been committed by a debtor, an insider of a debtor, a creditor, a trustee, an attorney or other professional, or a bankruptcy petition preparer. Fraudulent activity may include hiding assets, fraudulently transferring property, lying under oath, knowingly filing false affidavits or declarations, knowingly filing false proofs of claim, or knowingly providing false information. To report suspected bankruptcy fraud to the Department of Justice follow the instructions provided.

  • Hearing - can I schedule a hearing myself using CM/ECF?

    The court permits the trustees and attorneys to utilize a self-calendaring procedure for non-emergency matters. This procedure will allow attorneys to select available dates and times from the assigned judge’s calendar. This filing functionality will also generate a Notice of Hearing form that will be populated with the selected hearing information. The movant will be required to serve the motion and notice of hearing on affected parties, and file with the court within two business days after service, a certificate of service substantially conforming to the Local Form “Certificate of Service.” See Local Rules 9073-1(B) and 2002-1(F).

  • Imaged original signatures - are there any documents that must be filed with an imaged original signature?

    Yes. The Local Form “Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury to Accompany Petitions, Schedules, Filing Fee Applications and Statements Filed Electronically” [Declaration] and Chapter 13 Wage Deduction Orders must contain imaged original signatures. See Local Rules 1002-1(4), 1007-1(D),(E)(F),1009-1, 3070-1(D) and 9011-4 (C).

  • Judges Information - does each judge have a page for their individual procedures?
  • Legal Assistance - do I qualify for free or low cost legal assistance?

    The bankruptcy court does not fund or provide attorneys for those who cannot afford counsel. Under Local Rule 9071-2, the court may, under certain circumstances, refer a pro se party to the pro bono committee of the Bankruptcy Bar Association of the South District of Florida for the purpose of obtaining pro bono representation in a trial of the adversary proceeding. You may also visit our Legal Assistance page which provides a list of free and low cost services you can review as well as the free Bankruptcy Clinics available to you.

  • Mailing matrix - will I be added to the case for service of future notices if I file my claim using the electronic Proof of Claim (ePOC)?

    The address of the creditor listed on the proof of claim is automatically added to the mailing matrix of a case when a proof of claim is filed to insure service of case-wide documents.

  • Means Testing - what is it? where can I find information on it?

    Most individual debtors filing for bankruptcy relief are required to complete one or more of the following Official Bankruptcy Forms. The US Trustee has established a website which contains resources for completing these forms, including Census Bureau, IRS Data and Administrative Expenses Multipliers [US Trustee Program – Means Testing Information].

    Chapter 7

    Chapter 11

    Chapter 13

  • Minimum requirements - what do I need to use CM/ECF?
    • A personal computer.
    • Word-processing software.
    • Internet access and a browser.
    • An email address.
    • Scanning equipment.
    • High speed Internet connection via DSL or cable modem.
    • Software to convert documents into a PDF format (it is recommended to avoid “freeware” PDF creation utilities).
    • Credit card or checking account to pay statutory filing fees.

  • Missing documents - I received a notice from the court that I'm missing required documents, what do I do?

    You must file all documents required for the chapter under which you filed bankruptcy by the deadlines set by law. When you file your petition, the clerk’s office will review them and send you a notice of deficiency for any required documents you did not file. If you do not have an attorney and you think you have filed all required documents, do not ignore the notice, contact the clerk’s office to review what documents appear to be missing. If you do not respond by the deadline in the notice, your case will be dismissed. Avoid this and other common mistakes when filing.

  • MMM (Mortgage Modification Mediation) document transmission - what are the requirements to create and transmit documents and information?

    The court requires the use of an independent court approved secure online portal and document preparation software for the creation and transmission of documents and information. Please refer to the MMM Program page for the procedures regarding this requirement and the approved portal and software providers. The portal link provides additional information such as manual, set up guide, contact information, and FAQs. See also Section IV(C)(2) of the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program Procedures (MMM Procedures) regarding alternatives for pro se (self represented) debtors without computer access.

  • MMM (Mortgage Modification Mediation) fee - what if I cannot afford the fee?

    A debtor who is unable to afford the mediator fee may qualify for pro bono representation under Section XII(3)(a) of the MMM Procedures found on the MMM program page.

  • MMM (Mortgage Modification Mediation) program mediators - where can I obtain a list of mediators?

    Please refer to the MMM program page to review the procedures for selection or appointment of a mediator. In addition, if applicable for appointment a particular mediation in this court, names of mediators who accept MMM assignments are indicated on the list of court mediators. See also Section XII of the MMM Procedures regarding MMM mediators.

  • MMM (Mortgage Modification Mediation) statistics - where can I find statistics on MMM cases filed in this court?

    You may find statistical information on the MMM Program page under Resources. The statistics include monthly and yearly totals for each divisional office as well as various data breakdowns such as Pro Se versus Attorney motions, total motions filed, and mediation agreements reached.

  • Mortgage Modification Mediation (MMM) Program - has the court adopted such a program?

    Yes. This court’s MMM program, adopted by Administrative Order 14-03, provides an opportunity for individual debtors to explore mortgage modification options with their lenders for real property in which the debtors have an interest or are obligated on the promissory note or mortgage. For further information visit the MMM program page which includes the procedures, eligibility requirements, and all related forms.

  • Motion - what is it?

    A motion is a request to the court, stating the case number, case name, and specifically detailing the action you (the movant) wishes the Court to take. Anytime you want to ask the judge to do something you are supposed to file a motion not write a letter.

  • Notice of Appearance - can I monitor activity in a case in which I do not wish to file a formal notice of appearance?

    CM/ECF contains functionality that will allow a registered user to monitor case activity without filing a formal appearance in the case. Once you log in to CM/ECF, select “Utilities,” then select “Maintain Your ECF Account.” Select “Email Information…,” then place a checkmark in the box “Send notices in these additional cases” and enter the desired case number(s).

  • Notice of Commencement of Case - what if I received a proof of claim form with a notice of commencement of case?

    You may complete either the proof of claim form mailed with the notice of commencement of case OR submit your claim electronically using the electronic proof of claim form. DO NOT submit both. Make sure you file the claim by the deadline. A late filed claim may not be entitled to a distribution.

  • Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) - for what period of time is my CM/ECF "free look" available after a document has been filed?

    For each CM/ECF registered case participant and any secondary email recipients listed under the registered user’s efiling account, one “free look” of the electronically filed document is available. The “free look” will be available until such time as the document has already been viewed via the active hyperlink contained in the NEF, or 15 days after receipt of the NEF, whichever is earlier. Thereafter, the user will be prompted to enter a PACER login and will be charged to view the document. All users are encouraged to print and/or save the document during the initial viewing period in order to avoid future charges.

  • Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) - how will I know if the electronic filing was accepted?

    Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) will display at the end of the filing process and will be sent via email to all CM/ECF registered case participants. This page will reflect: party filer, date and time document was filed, active hyperlink to the filed document along with the associated docket text, and list of CM/ECF registered case participants who received the document electronically.

  • Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) - when will I begin receiving NEFs from CM/ECF?

    Immediately upon becoming a CM/ECF registered user with this court, the user will begin receiving NEFs, provided the user has filed a notice of appearance or other document (except a proof of claim or ballot) in the case.

  • Notices - how do I get notices sent to me in a bankruptcy case where I am a creditor?

    To receive notices in a bankruptcy case the debtor must have listed you on the mailing matrix of creditors when the case was filed or you must file a written notice of appearance with the court. If the address supplied by the debtor as your address is not correct or if you change your address during the time the case is proceeding, you must notify the court in writing of your current address.

    IMPORTANT: If your correct and current address is not listed in the court records, you will not receive notices in the case and, if dividends are distributed to creditors, your dividend check may not reach you. The clerk’s office automatically sends some of the following notices to parties who are listed in a case at the time the notice is sent: Notice of Commencement of Case, Discharge of Debtor (if applicable), Order Dismissing Case (if applicable).

  • Order Upload - how do I do this?

    Please review the Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting and Serving Orders before you upload your order. Additionally,  you can review the Working with PDF Forms to familiarize yourself with manipulating the PDF document.

  • Original signatures - how will it be handled on documents filed electronically?

    Documents that are electronically filed and require original signatures other than that of the registered user must be maintained in paper form at least five years from the date of discharge of the debtor, dismissal of the case or final resolution of all appeals pending in the case, whichever is later. See Local Rules 5005-4(C) and 9011-4(C).

    If a petition is being filed electronically, it must be accompanied by the Local Form “Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury to Accompany Petitions, Schedules, Filing Fee Applications and Statements Filed Electronically,” and must contain the imaged signature of the debtor. See Local Rule 1002-1(4); See also Local Rule 1007-1(D) and 9011-4(C). The registered user must type or print the signer’s name either above or below the signature line on the electronic document. The typed or printed names are the registered user’s representation that the document was signed in original by that party, regardless of whether or not /s/, /s, or s/ is added near the typed name. If the document contains a scanned image of a signature, the typed name must appear under the signature.

  • PACER - can I use my CM/ECF user name and password to log into PACER?

    The systems require different logins/passwords. A CM/ECF login and password issued by this court is required for attorneys to electronically file documents. To obtain access to the district court’s CM/ECF system, visit: http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov.  A PACER login ID is required for querying cases. You cannot use your PACER login to file documents in CM/ECF. Contact the PACER Center at 1-800-676-6856 or http://www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov for assistance or to request a PACER login and password.

  • Password - can I change the password assigned to me by the court?

    As a new registered user of CM/ECF, the court will assign a unique login and an initial password. Change your password upon accessing your account by navigating to Utilities> Change Your Password.

  • Payment address - can I include a separate address the payments should be mailed to in an electronic proof of claim?

    Yes – Check the box indicating that the Payment Address differs from Notice Address. An additional address field will appear for this alternative address.

  • PDF/A - what is it?

    The Judiciary is planning to change the technical standard for filing documents in the Case Management and Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system from PDF to PDF/A. PDF/A is an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard document format that will improve the archiving and preservation of case-related documents. Courts currently accept PDF/A documents. However, a target date for requiring that all new documents be filed in PDF/A has not been set. For additional information visit PACER’s website: CM/ECF to Transition to PDF/A.

  • Personal Identifiers - how do I correct a filed document that mistakenly contained personal identifiers so that the information will be redacted?

    Bankruptcy Rule 9037(a) establishes privacy protection for filings made with the court. If a party files a document containing information that should be restricted from public access (e.g., social security number, financial account number, date of birth, minor’s name), the party may file an ex parte motion, accompanied by the required filing fee,  requesting an order directing the clerk to restrict the unredacted document from public view. The party shall also submit a proposed order granting the motion and the amended redacted document. The clerk may restrict public access to the originally filed document pending entry of an order granting the ex parte motion. If the case has been closed, a motion to reopen is not required if the sole purpose of the reopening is to file a motion to redact personal information. [See Local Rule 5005-1(A)]

    Note: Local Rule 5005-1(A)(2) sets forth the types of information that should not be included in order to comply with the Federal Judicial Privacy Policy. Local Rule 5005-1(A)(3) sets forth the procedure for filing an ex parte motion to redact personal information.

  • Personal information - what type should not be included in documents filed with the court?

    Bankruptcy Rule 9037(a) establishes privacy protection for filings made with the court. If a party files a document containing information that should be restricted from public access (e.g., social security number, financial account number, date of birth, minor’s name), the party will need to file forms directing the clerk to restrict the unredacted document and pay the filing fee [see Local Rule 5005-1].

    Note:

    • Local Rule 5005-1(A)(2) sets forth the types of information that should not be included in order to comply with the Federal Judicial Privacy Policy.
    • Local Rule 5005-1(A)(3) sets forth the procedure for filing an ex parte motion to redact personal information.

  • Petition Preparer - what requirements do I need to meet when using a petition preparer to file for bankruptcy?

    Petition preparers are barred by law from providing legal advice — they cannot explain or answer legal questions or assist in bankruptcy court.  They cannot sign a document on the debtor’s behalf or receive payment from the debtor for court fees. Visit the Legal Assistance page for more information on low cost or free alternatives.

    Bankruptcy Petition preparers are required to provide you with the Official Bankruptcy Form 119, Bankruptcy Petition Preparer’s Notice, Declaration and Signature. Additionally, petition preparers must sign all documents they prepare; print their name, address, and social security number on such documents; and furnish copies to the debtor.

  • Pro Bono attorney representation - what local rules address this type of representation?

    There are various rules as follows that provide guidance on pro bono representation:

    • Local Rule 2090-1(B), CLE Credit for Pro Bono Legal Services, provides that certain pro bono service in this court may earn up to three CLE credit hours during any one three-year cycle toward this court’s legal education credit-hour requirement specified in Local Rule 2090-1(A)(3).
    • Local Rule 5005-4(B)(6), Access to Electronic Filing, permits attorneys appearing pro bono on behalf of debtors to seek waiver of the requirement to become a registered CM/ECF efiler if the attorney does not intend to file non-pro bono bankruptcy petitions or other documents that might otherwise require the attorney to become a registered user.
    • Local Rule 9071-2, Referral of Pro Se Parties to Pro Bono Representation, provides for representation if certain circumstances exist in an adversary proceeding.

  • Pro hac vice - may an attorney make a pro hac vice appearance in this court? Do any fees apply?

    Refer to Local Rule 2090-1(C)(2) and the Appear Pro Hac Vice page, for court requirements and U.S. District Court Administrative Order 2015-43 for fee authority.

  • Proof of Claim - how do I file a proof of claim electronically?

    A proof of claim may be filed electronically using the electronic proof of claim form. If you are filing a proof of claim electronically for the first time, please read all information provided BEFORE attempting to file your proof of claim.

  • Proof of Claim - how do I file a proof of claim?

    Proofs of claim may be filed, transferred, assigned and withdrawn electronically by registered users. Non registered CM/ECF users may use the electronic claim form on the court website to file a claim. Claims that are filed on paper will be imaged by clerk’s office staff. [See Local Rule 3001-1]. Although the filing of a proof of claim electronically will generate a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF), this filing shall not constitute an electronic appearance by the claims filer for purposes of being added to the case to receive NEFs for subsequently filed documents. A separate notice of appearance must be filed by that creditor if desired [see Local Rule 9036-1(A)]. Under Local Rule 3001-1(A)(1), 5005-4(B)(3) and (D), a claimaint or claimant’s agent, including an attorney who is not a registered CM/ECF user, may utilize the electronic claims filing feature available on the court website without becoming a registered user. No user id or password is required.

  • Proof of Claim [B10 form] - do I need to attach the hard copy of the B10 Proof of Claim form as an attachment?

    No – The electronic fillable form on this site will create the B10 “Proof of Claim” form. Any attachments should consist of supporting documentation to the proof of claim.

  • Proposed orders - how are they submitted in CM/ECF?

    Unless otherwise directed by the court or by the local Rules, requests for relief which may be considered immediately by the court without opportunity for objection or hearing must be accompanied by proposed order submitted in accordance with the “Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting, and Serving Orders”. The proponent and any opponent of any requested relief set for hearing on an emergency basis shall bring to the hearing a proposed order granting or denying the relief requested. Otherwise, the proposed order shall be uploaded in electronic format using the E-orders program in CM/ECF. See Local Rule 5005-1(G).

  • Reaffirmation Agreement - what documents do I need?

    A Reaffirmation Agreement must be filed using Official Bankruptcy Form Reaffirmation Agreememt Cover Sheet and other Reaffirmation Agreement Form(s), when applicable. Visit the Reaffirmation Agreement page to review requirements, and additional information.

    See Also
    Reaffirmation Agreement - what is it?

  • Reaffirmation Agreement - what is it?

    The reaffirmation agreement is an agreement between a chapter 7 debtor and a creditor that the debtor will pay all or a portion of the money owed, even though the debtor has filed for bankruptcy. In return, the creditor promises that, as long as payments are made, the creditor will not repossess or take back its collateral. This means that the debtor will remain personally liable on that debt. Visit the Reaffirmation Agreement page to review requirements, forms, and additional information.

    See Also
    Reaffirmation Agreement - what documents do I need?

  • Registered user - do I need to become a CM/ECF registered user to file a proof of claim (POC)?

    No – Under Local Rule 3001-1(A)(1), 5005-4(B)(3) and (D), a claimant or claimant’s agent, including an attorney who is not a registered CM/ECF user, may utilize the electronic claims filing feature available on the court website without becoming a registered user. No log in or password is required.

     

     

  • Registered user - what is required to become a CM/ECF user? How do I register?

    There are two types of registered CM/ECF users – those with full filing privileges and those with limited filing privileges. For both types, there is a free online course you can register for. Additionally, you can review the Category of Filing to determine which type of registered user (full or limited) best fits your needs.

    An attorney appearing in a case in this district must complete court approved CM/ECF training to become a registered user and begin efiling in this court (see Attorney Admissions). This training course has been approved for 5 CLE credits by The Florida Bar, which can be applied to the CLE credit hour requirements set forth in Local Rule 2090-1(A)(3). You must also have a PACER account. Registration with full filing privileges is required for all trustees and for all attorneys appearing in cases in this district under Local Rules 2090-1(A) and (B)(3), except for government attorneys appearing for those limited purposes under Local Rule 2090-1(B)(1) and those attorneys except under Local Rules 5005-4(B)(5) or (B)(6). [See Local Rule 2090-1 and 5005-4.]

    Additional questions regarding training requirements should be submitted via email to: CMECF_Support@flsb.uscourts.gov.

  • Registered user in another bankruptcy court - do I still need to complete the training requirement for Southern District of Florida Bankruptcy Court?

    Yes. An Attorney who has been certified as registered user of CM/ECF with full filing privileges in another federal bankruptcy court may become an efiler in this district upon the successful completion of the online CM/ECF training program. See also Local Rule 2090-1(B). Questions may be submitted via e-mail to: CMECF_Support@flsb.uscourts.gov.

  • Required Forms - what type of required forms are needed to file?

    When filing, make sure the required forms are included and current. DO NOT use any other forms; they may be from a different court or may be old forms that cannot be used in this court since they have been replaced by updated versions. Below  you'll find information on the various forms and instructions to guide you when filing.

    Official Forms: Copies of all forms can be found at the U.S. Courts website under Forms and are further subdivided by category, for example: Bankruptcy Forms

    Local Forms: Additionally, this court has adopted various local forms for use in filing documents in this court. If a local rule or administrative order directs you to use a specific local form, you must use the latest version of the form which is posted on this court’s web site. Visit our All Forms page to review the combination of forms that may be needed during the life of your case.

    Intructions: For additional assistance when filing follow the guidelines provided in the Clerk's Filing Instructions.

  • Respond to a Notice - do I have to appear at a hearing scheduled in the notice or respond to the notice?

    If you receive a notice from the court or from another party in the case, you should read it carefully to determine what deadlines and other information apply to you. The clerk’s office can not provide legal advice, including whether you must respond to a notice or whether you must appear at a hearing. If you are uncertain what to do, you may wish to obtain the advice of an attorney. If you have an attorney check with him/her before coming to court. By law you are required to receive notices of certain matters even when you have a lawyer but you don't always need to go to court. However, you are always required to appear at your first meeting of creditors. The date, time, and location of that meeting will be in a notice you receive at the beginning of your case.

  • Security - How secure is CM/ECF?

    CM/ECF has many security features and has passed an evaluation by the National Security Agency. Access to the system is through a court-issued login and password.

  • Services Matrices - what list of creditors do I need to provide?

    Service information about creditors you listed on your schedules must be provided in the form of a service matrix so that notices can be sent to all your creditors. It is your responsibility to make sure that the mailing information for each of your creditors is accurate and complete and in the correct form required by the court.  You should file this document along with your schedules and other required documents when you file your petition. The absolute deadline to file the service matrix of creditors is 14 days after you file your petition. Before filing the matrix, please review the Clerk’s Instructions for Preparing, Submitting and Obtaining Service Matrices.

  • Signatures - what local rules address signatures on electronically filed documents?

    Signature of Judges: Local Rule 5091-1 provides that any order entered electronically without the judge’s original signature has the same force and effect as if the judge signed a paper copy of the order and it was entered on the docket conventionally.

    Signatures of Registered Users: Local Rule 9011-4(A)(2)(a) provides that a registered user’s electronic signature has the same force and effect as if the registered user signed a paper copy of the document being filed.

    Retention Requirement for non-registered user signed documents:

    • Local Rule 5005-4(C) provides that documents that are electronically filed and require original signatures other than that of the registered user must be maintained in paper form at least five years from the date of discharge of the debtor, dismissal of the case or final resolution of all appeals pending in the case, whichever is later. This retention neither affects nor replaces any other retention period required by other laws or rules of procedure. The court may require the production of original documents for review by the court, a trustee, the U.S. Trustee, or any interested party.
    • Local Rule 3070-1(D), Wage Deduction Orders, requires that a proposed Local Form 75 “Agreed Order to Employer to Deduct and Remit and for Related Matters” be signed by the debtor and debtor’s attorney and if the proposed order is submitted to the court in electronic format, the order must contain the actual imaged signature of the debtor.

  • Signing - how do I sign an electronic proof of claim?

    Pursuant to Local Rule 5005-4(D), a proof of claim signed and filed electronically, shall constitute the filer’s approved signature and have the same force and effect as if the individual signed a paper copy. The full name and title of a creditor or other person authorized to file a proof of claim must appear on the form. If a party other than the creditor is filing the proof of claim, the address of that party must be included. Filing a proof of claim electronically deems the claim signed by the creditor or authorized person.

  • Tax Returns - do I have access to this as a creditor?

    Under the Bankruptcy Code and rules or order of the court, the debtor, in some instances may be required to either provide copies of tax returns to the trustee, creditors or file them with the court. As a result, a creditor may obtain a copy of certain tax returns of the debtor, however such requests are governed by the Bankruptcy Code and rules, this court's local rules, and Tax Return Guidance.

  • Tax Returns - who do I need to provide this to?

    Under the Bankruptcy Code and rules or order of the court, the debtor, in some instances may be required to either provide copies of tax returns to the trustee, creditors or file them with the court. The following links provide information about providing tax returns to trustees or creditors.

  • Transcript - how do I access a transcript that has been restricted from public viewing?

    For a period of 90 days from the filing of the transcript electronic access via PACER will not be permitted. However, a copy of the transcript may be obtained from the court reporter at the rate established by the Judicial Conference of the United States. After 90 days, the transcript will always be available for viewing only, free of charge, at any public terminal located in any of the three divisional clerk’s offices.

  • Trustee - what is a U.S. Trustee? a case trustee?

    U.S. Trustee

    The US Trustee is an officer of the Justice Department responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases, estates, and trustees, monitoring plans and disclosure statements, monitoring creditors’ committees, monitoring fee applications, and performing other statutory duties. Please visit the Office of the U.S. Trustee page for more information.

    Case Trustee

    A case trustee is the representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers, principally for the benefit of the unsecured creditors, under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator. The trustee is a private individual appointed in all chapter 7, chapter 12, and chapter 13 cases and some chapter 11 cases. The trustee’s responsibilities include reviewing the debtor’s petition and schedules and bringing actions against creditors or the debtor to recover property of the bankruptcy estate. In chapter 7, the trustee liquidates property of the estate, and makes distributions to creditors. Trustees in chapter 12 and 13 have similar duties to a chapter 7 trustee and the additional responsibilities of overseeing the debtor’s plan, receiving payments from debtors, and disbursing plan payments to creditors.