Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Opening

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November 2011
Follow this step by step guide to open a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.


    A list of Forms required to file a case may be found on our Court’s website at:

    1. National Forms:
      Petition, Exhibits, Summaries, Schedules, Statement of Financial Affairs, Declarations, other forms as specified in the list of Forms Required to File a Case.
      Items 2 & 3 may be combined with the petition and schedules or filed as separate docket events.
    2. Local Forms:
      • Payment Advices Certification (Local Form 1007-1F (10/07))
        Local form, and appropriately redacted pay stubs (when applicable).
      • Verification as to Official Mailing Matrix, Creditor List
      • Corporate Ownership Statement (Corporate Debtor)
    3. Certificate of Credit Counseling: (when applicable)
      Exhibit D, and attached certificate.

      An original copy of above documents must be appropriately executed prior to filing in CM/ECF.
      Documents to be filed in CM/ECF must be in .pdf format. Each .pdf file should be no larger than 6mb.

    4. Filing Fee:
      $ 306.00

    Log into CM/ECF and docket the Voluntary Petition packet.

    1. Select Bankruptcy > Open Voluntary BK Case
      • Select chapter 7
      • Select “yes” if joint petition (joint debtor).
      • Deficiencies set to “n”
    2. Search for a debtor / Search for a joint debtor screen:
      • Enter Social Security Number/tax identification number to search for debtor name in the CM/ECF database.
      • Party search results:
        • If debtor name appears, select the name from the list and verify debtor information (pop up window).
        • If debtor information is the same, click on “Select name from list” button.
        • If debtor name does not appear, or is not an exact match, click on “Create new party.”
    3. Debtor Information /Joint Debtor Information screen:
      • Enter complete name as it appears on the petition.
      • Enter complete Social Security Number/Tax Identification Number.
        PDF of Petition must contain redacted Social Security Number only.
      • Mailing address as it appears on the petition.
      • County of Residence, as indicated on the petition.
      • Do Not include Phone, Fax or Email.
      • Select the “Alias” button if alias names are indicated on petition.
        • For each alias indicated on the petition complete the appropriate fields.
        • Select appropriate role for Alias Information: aka, dba, fdba, fka, or pka.
        • Click Add Alias button.
      • Review information; Click Submit.
      • Repeat steps above for Joint Debtor, if applicable.
        If Joint Debtor’s address is different from Debtor, uncheck “Copy previous party’s address”.
    4. Statistical Information Screen:
      Complete the information as indicated on the petition.
      • Prior filing within last 8 years. Select 'No' or 'Yes' as appropriate.
      • Fee Status: Select “Paid,” “Installment,” or "fee not paid" as appropriate.
        Note: select "fee not paid" when filing an Application to Waive Filing Fee.
      • Select "business" or “consumer” as indicated on the petition for Nature of debt.
      • Select asset designation for Chapter:
        All Chapter 7’s should be commenced as No Asset
      • Select the appropriate: Estimated number of creditors, Estimated assets, and Estimated liabilities as indicated on the petition.
      • Select the appropriate Type of debtor as indicated on the petition`.
      • Select the appropriate Nature of business if indicated on the petition`.
      • Review information; Click Next.
    5. Click the Browse button, locate and select the Voluntary Petition (pdf file); Click Next.
      Important: PDF copy of Voluntary Petition must contain the redacted Social Security Number only
    6. Select Presumption Arises no or yes as indicated on the Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation.
      (Only for Chapter 7 individual cases with primarily consumer debts).
    7. Verify filing fee amount.
      When filing an Application to Pay Filing Fees in Installments, enter the amount being paid at case opening, and file the Application to Pay Filing Fees in Installments as a separate docket event.
      When a Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fees is requested, enter a fee amount of 0.0 and file the Application for Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee as a separate docket event.
    8. Summary of Schedules Screen: enter values from the corresponding schedules.
    9. Additional Data Screen: enter values from the corresponding schedules and means test.
    10. Verify The Docket Text: Final Text is correct prior to clicking the next button.
    11.  Attorney filers may want to save the Notice of Electronic Filing.
    12. If case preparation software was not used, upload the creditor list, formatted as a “text” (.txt) file.
      Bankruptcy > Creditor Maintenance > Upload a Creditor List File.
    13. Select Judge/Trustee Assignment
      This will assign a 341 time and a judge to the case.
      If multiple cases are being opened in the same day, this step may be done once after all the cases have been opened.
      Bankruptcy > Judge/Trustee Assignment
    14. File additional required documents, if they were not included with the Voluntary Petition.
      • Certificate(s) of Credit Counseling
        Bankruptcy > Miscellaneous > Certificate of Credit Counseling
      • Means Test Bankruptcy
        > Miscellaneous > Chapter 7 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test
      • Pay Advices
        Bankruptcy > Miscellaneous > Payment Advices Certification
  3. Finalize

    Pay for the cases filed before the close of business day.
    The payment screen can be accessed by clicking on Utilities/Internet Payments Due.

    If you have questions call or email the CM/ECF help desk