Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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1. What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a set of federal laws and rules that can help individuals and businesses who owe more debt than they can pay. In bankruptcy, the person or business that owes money is called the debtor. Bankruptcy permits the debtor to work out a plan to repay some or all of the debt, to liquidate assets, or to have some of the debt forgiven ("discharged") in an effort to obtain a "fresh start." The bankruptcy laws give the debtor protection and benefits not available outside of bankruptcy, such as requiring that creditors stop all collection efforts while the debtor is in bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, a debtor must make full disclosure of all assets, liabilities, and other financial information, and must either:

  • surrender non-exempt (unprotected) property for liquidation and distribution to creditors, or
  • provide a "plan" that pays creditors at least as much as they would receive if the assets were liquidated.

 

2. What is the Bankruptcy Code?

The Bankruptcy Code is federal law, which is also referred to as Title 11 of the United States Code. It provides help for individuals or businesses in financial difficulty while, at the same time, dealing with their creditors evenhandedly. The Bankruptcy Code is divided into several chapters. Each of the chapters provides a different set of options for dealing with debt. Most cases are filed under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. The text of the Bankruptcy Code is available in law libraries, or on the internet at:

www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/11/

3. Is the bankruptcy court a state or federal court?

Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. This means that a bankruptcy case cannot be filed in a state court. There are three federal bankruptcy courts in the State of Oklahoma: the Northern District located in Tulsa, the Eastern District located in Okmulgee, and the Western District located in Oklahoma City. The link below lists the counties served by the Northern District located in Tulsa.
http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/oklahoma-counties-district
http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/oklahoma-northern-district-county-map

4. Who can file bankruptcy?

A debtor is a person or business that owes a creditor money, goods, or services. A bankruptcy can be filed by a debtor or creditors. When a debtor starts the bankruptcy by filing a petition, it is called a "voluntary bankruptcy." If creditors of the debtor start the bankruptcy, it is called an "involuntary bankruptcy." When an involuntary bankruptcy has been filed, the debtor has an opportunity to respond to the petition and show why they should not be in bankruptcy.

Debtors that are corporations, partnerships, and business trusts cannot proceed without an attorney representing them. Only an individual can proceed in a bankruptcy case without an attorney (also known as "Pro Se").

It is important to understand that the bankruptcy process is extremely complex. Individuals are strongly encouraged to seek competent bankruptcy counsel before filing or proceeding in a bankruptcy.

5. What are the different "chapters" in bankruptcy?

  • Chapter 7 may be filed by an individual, a corporation, or a partnership. A Chapter 7 case may be referred to as a “Fresh Start,” “Liquidation,” or “Straight Bankruptcy.” In Chapter 7, federal and/or state laws allow the individual debtor to claim certain property as exempt. A Chapter 7 Trustee is then appointed to collect and sell all property that is not exempt or mortgaged, and use the sale proceeds to pay creditors. An individual debtor can get a discharge for most or all of their debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Corporations and partnerships do not receive a discharge. A discharge releases individual debtors from personal liability for some debts, and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtor.

    The chapters outlined below require the confirmation of a plan of reorganization or liquidation. Individuals seeking to file under Chapter 11, 12, or 13 are cautioned that it is extremely difficult to obtain confirmation of a plan without an attorney.
  • Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code provides for reorganization of municipalities (which includes cities, towns, villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts).
  • Chapter 11 is the reorganization chapter frequently involving a corporation or partnership, but can also be an individual. A Chapter 11 debtor proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.
  • Chapter 12 is for use by "family farmers" or "family fishermen" with "regular annual income." It enables financially distressed family farmers or fishermen to propose and carry out a plan, which must be approved by the court, to repay all or part of their debts. A certain portion of the Chapter 12 debtor's income must come from the operation of a farming or fishing business. In Chapter 12, a trustee receives the plan payments and also monitors the debtor's farming business operations while the case is pending. Once the plan payments are complete, the Chapter 12 debtor receives a discharge of some debts.
  • Chapter 13 is the debt repayment chapter for individuals with regular income, which may be referred to as a “wage earner’s plan.” Corporations and partnerships cannot file under Chapter 13. Chapter 13 generally allows a debtor to keep property and pay debts over time, usually three to five years. A Chapter 13 debtor proposes a repayment plan, which must be approved by the court. The plan payments are made to the Chapter 13 trustee, who distributes the funds to creditors. Once the plan payments are complete, Chapter 13 debtors receive a discharge of some debts.

6. What is a bankruptcy trustee?

A trustee is assigned in all Chapter 7, 12, and 13 cases and some Chapter 11 cases. They are appointed by the U. S. Trustee and are generally, but not always, lawyers. A trustee works on behalf of the bankruptcy estate and all of its creditors. Their fees come out of the bankruptcy case filing fee or from the money collected in a bankruptcy case. The trustee is not the debtor's attorney and does not represent the debtor.

The trustee's job is to administer the bankruptcy "estate" to make sure creditors are treated as anticipated by the Bankruptcy Code. The trustee can require that a debtor, under penalty of perjury, provide information and documents for review before, during, or after the meeting of creditors. The trustee presides over the meeting of creditors, and files a report of findings in the bankruptcy. In Chapter 7, the trustee may collect and sell non-exempt property, and pay out money on a percentage basis to creditors who have filed a claim. In chapters 12 and 13, the trustee receives the plan payments, and makes payments to the creditors based on the approved plan. Failure to cooperate with the trustee is grounds for a debtor's discharge to be denied.

7. Who is the U.S. Trustee?

The U. S. Trustee is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, and is separate from the court. They are a "watchdog" agency charged with monitoring bankruptcy cases, appointing and supervising all trustees, and identifying fraud in bankruptcy cases.

The U. S. Trustee's Office is involved in reviewing bankruptcy petitions, reviewing pleadings filed in cases, participating in many case proceedings, and filing motions to dismiss or convert in certain bankruptcy cases. They do not administer specific cases. The trustees, whom they appoint, administer the cases.

The U. S. Trustee's Office can give you information about the status of a case, but cannot give legal advice. If you are having problems with a trustee, or have evidence of fraud in a case, you may contact the U.S. Trustee at: 918-581-6670 or on the internet at the following link:

www.justice.gov/ust/r20/tulsa/index.htm

8. Where can I get a copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure?

The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure are available at law libraries and online at the following link:

www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frbp/

9. What are local bankruptcy rules? Where can I get a copy of them?

A court's local rules supplement the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The local rules are very important as they provide court specific guidance regarding all aspects of filing in that district. The Northern District of Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court's local rules may be obtained at the Clerk's Office during business hours, and are also available online at the following link:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/court-info/local-rules-and-orders

10. How do I get to the court?

The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma is located in downtown Tulsa. The street address is:

United States Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Oklahoma
224 South Boulder, Suite 105
Tulsa, OK 74103


Please note that public parking is prohibited around the federal building. However, there is metered parking nearby.
Driving directions may be obtained from the following online resource by simply entering your starting address, and then clicking the "Get Directions" button.
Please click here for driving directions:

http://maps.google.com

11. What are the court's hours of operation?

The court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except Tuesday, when it closes at 3:00 p.m. The court is closed for all Federal holidays.

12. How do I file a document with the court?

Parties, who are not represented by an attorney, may file pleadings and claims on paper. Paper filings may be submitted in person or by mail to the Clerk's Office at the following address:

Clerk of Court
United States Bankruptcy Court
224 S. Boulder Ave., Suite 105
Tulsa, OK 74103

The Clerk's Office will not file documents received by fax or email.
The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma requires electronic filing of documents by attorneys. Documents shall be filed electronically pursuant to our local rules and the "CM/ECF Administrative Guide of Policies and Procedures." Please note that, to file electronically, a court-specific login and password to the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system is needed. Details on obtaining a CM/ECF login and password are provided at the following link:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/cmecf-registration-information

Exceptions to the mandatory electronic filing requirement are:

  • documents filed by a party not represented by an attorney
  • proofs of claim or interest filed by the claimant or interest holder
  • reaffirmation agreements if neither party to the agreement is represented by counsel.

13. What is a motion?

A motion is a written request made to the court for the purpose of obtaining a ruling or order directing that some act be done or decision made on a matter.
Parties that are not represented by an attorney are strongly urged to consult an attorney prior to filing a motion or request. The filing of various motions is governed by complex rules, time limits, and notice requirements, which can impact the outcome of a request.

14. What is a Certificate of Service?

A certificate of service states: (1) who was given a copy of a particular document, and (2) how, when, where, and in what format they received the document. Generally, the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the Court's local rules outline the specific requirements of service for a motion or other pleading. The requirements of service are varied and may include such things as time constraints, manner of distribution, and which parties must receive a copy. Please review our court's local rules and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure for more in-depth information on service of pleadings.

The correct and appropriate service of a pleading is critical to obtaining the requested relief. Unrepresented parties are strongly encouraged to consult an attorney.

15. What is an Adversary Proceeding?

An adversary proceeding is a lawsuit related to a particular bankruptcy case. An adversary proceeding begins when a complaint is filed with the court and the appropriate fee is paid. This complaint is given a separate case number, and advances according to the court's policies. More information on adversary proceedings may be found in the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the court's local rules.

Adversary proceedings are extremely complex; parties not represented by an attorney are strongly urged to consult a bankruptcy attorney when considering filing an adversary proceeding.

16. How can I get information about a case?

There are several ways you can get information about a case:

  1. If you have access to the internet, you may obtain information about a case through the "Public Access to Court Electronic Records" system also known as "PACER." PACER is a service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts via the internet. A login and password is required to access PACER. Once registered, a PACER login and password allows the account holder access to our court dockets and all documents from 1997 to present.

    To obtain a PACER login and password, call (800) 676-6856 or complete the on-line PACER Registration Form available at the following link:

    www.pacer.gov/psco/cgi-bin/regform.pl

    PACER charges $0.08 per page retrieved. This applies to both the pages of search results and the pages of documents you retrieve. The charge for any single document is capped at $2.40, the equivalent of 30 pages. The cap does not apply to name searches, reports that are not case-specific, and transcripts of federal court proceedings. If you accrue a total of less than $10.00 worth of charges in any given quarter, fees are waived for that quarter. More information on PACER can be accessed at the following link:

    www.pacer.gov/psc/faq.html
  2. If you are in the Tulsa area, the Clerk's Office has computer terminals available to the public for viewing electronic case records. Case files from 1997 to the present are available for review free of charge at our public use terminals. Please note there is a $0.10 per page charge to obtain copies of case documents from the public use computers. The Clerk's Office must have exact change; please plan accordingly if you anticipate needing copies.
    The Clerk's Office is located at:

    United States Bankruptcy Court
    Northern District of Oklahoma
    224 S. Boulder Ave., Suite 105
    Tulsa, OK 74103


    The Clerk's Office is open:

    Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Closed on All Federal Holidays
  3. From a telephone, you can access limited case information at any time, free of charge, using the Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS) at (866) 222-8029.

    Information available on McVCIS includes the debtor(s) name, case number, chapter, date filed, debtor's attorney name & telephone number, trustee name, and the date, time and location of the meeting of creditors.

17. Where can I find hearing information?

The court calendars for each judge are posted on our website. To access a calendar go to:

www.oknb.uscourts.gov

From the home page, click on the tab for the appropriate Judge and then click "Calendars."

18. How do I get copies of a document from a case?

You can get copies of a document on the web if you have a PACER account or by coming into the clerk's office. You may also call the clerk's office at 918-699-4000, but you must pay for the copies and send a self-addressed, stamped envelope before the copies will be sent.

19. How do I get certified copies of documents from the Clerk's Office?

Certified documents must be copied and prepared by the Clerk's Office. The certification fee is $11.00 per document, plus $.50 per page. If a certified docket sheet is required, it is subject to similar fees.

To obtain certified copies:

  1. You may come to the Clerk's Office during business hours. Our address is: 224 S Boulder, Suite 105, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  2. Or, if you are not able to come to our office, you can request the copies by phone at 918-699-4000. The Clerk's Office will quote callers the cost based on the number of copies needed. Once you have received the quote, mail a money order for the amount specified by the Clerk's Office. Also, include a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage to cover the mailing costs of sending back the certified copies you have ordered.

20. Will the court fax documents to me?

The Clerk's Office does not transmit documents by fax. Requested documents may be paid for and picked up at the Clerk's Office during normal business hours.

Alternatively, the Clerk's Office will quote callers the specific cost based on the number of copies requested. You can then mail a money order for that amount along with a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage to cover the mailing costs of sending the copies. Your documents will be processed and returned by mail promptly.

21. Is the United States Bankruptcy Court accessible to handicapped persons? Will the court provide and pay for an interpreter for me?

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma has implemented a number of accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • The South door that faces Boulder Avenue is handicap accessible. There is an intercom system located next to the door to request access thru the handicap entrance.
  • All public restrooms are ADA compliant.
  • All smoke detectors/fire alarms have strobe lights for the deaf.
  • All elevators are equipped with Braille signage and emergency call buttons.
  • All courtrooms are wheelchair accessible.

If you are a debtor (the person who filed bankruptcy), a creditor (person owed money from the debtor) or other interested party to a bankruptcy case, and you are deaf, hearing impaired, or have other communication disabilities, a sign language interpreter or assistive listening device will be provided by the bankruptcy court for the hearing, without charge.

  • Sign language interpreters: To request a sign language interpreter for a hearing or trial, please contact the Clerk's Office at 918-699-4014.
  • Assistive listening device: The courtrooms are equipped with infrared emitters and receivers for use with headphones or for individuals who have hearing aids that are compatible with an induction loop. Please call at 918-699-4014 for further assistance.

The Clerk's Office would appreciate at least five business days advance notice when the need for an interpreter or use of the assistive listening device is anticipated. If you need similar assistance for a meeting of creditors, please contact the U. S. Trustee's Office at 918-581-6670.

22. May I speak directly with a bankruptcy judge?

Speaking with a judge outside of a hearing is considered improper "ex parte" contact with the court. In order to preserve the integrity of the court and to prevent the appearance of any impropriety or allegations of preferential treatment, all contact and communications with the judges must happen through pleadings or in a court hearing.

23. What if I don't agree with an order in a case?

A party in a bankruptcy case, who thinks the judge has decided a matter incorrectly, has a right to appeal any final judgment, order, or decree of the judge.

You are strongly encouraged to seek legal advice if you wish to file an appeal.

24. What if I am interested in a case that has been sent to the archives?

There are a number of options available to persons who wish to obtain case records stored at the National Archives.

  1. Copies of case files are available via fax, mail, email, or online from the Archive Southwest Region branch in Fort Worth, Texas. There are a variety of options when ordering directly from the archives. Order options include: the case file, certified case file, case docket, pre-selected documents, or certified pre-selected documents. Ordering costs range from $35 and up.

    Order Forms, instructions, costs, and additional information are available from the archives at:

    http://www.archives.gov/research/court-records/

    When ordering from the archives, you will need to contact the Clerk's Office for certain information needed to complete the order form such as the accession number, location, and box number. Please have a pen and paper handy when you call for this information. The Clerk's Office phone number is 918-699-4000.
  2. If the case was filed prior to 2004, the original case file may be retrieved so that it may be viewed and copied in person at the Clerk's Office. Please prepare the "Local Archive Retrieval" form located on our website, and submit it along with a fee of $64 for the first box and $39 for each additional box to the Clerk's Office. The Local Archive Retrieval form is available at:

    http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/local-forms

    Once the case file has been shipped to the Clerk's Office, you will be contacted by phone. You may view and copy the case file at the Clerk's Office during normal business hours.

25. Who do I notify about a possible fraudulent filing?

The Office of the U. S. Trustee reviews complaints and concerns about possible fraudulent filings, and notifies the U.S. Attorney for further investigation when appropriate.
For more information on reporting suspected fraud, please go to the U.S. Department of Justice website at the following link:

www.justice.gov/ust/eo/fraud/index.htm

Alternatively, you may contact the U. S. Trustee at:

Office of the United States Trustee
224 S. Boulder Avenue, Suite 225
Tulsa, OK 74103
Phone: 918- 581-6670
Fax: 918- 581-6674

 

26. Where can I find post-judgment interest rates?

Post judgment interest rates may be found at the following link:

www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h15/current/

27. How do I get admitted to practice in the bankruptcy court?

Attorneys who have been admitted to practice, and are in good standing before the United States District Court for the Northern, Western, or Eastern District of Oklahoma, or before the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma, may practice in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma without special permission. Attorneys who have been admitted to practice, and are in good standing before any other court of the United States, or before the highest court of any other state, must apply for limited admission (Pro Hac Vice) and pay the $75 fee.

Additional information is available on the Northern District of Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court website at:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/pro-hac-vice

28. What is Electronic Case Filing (ECF)?

The U.S. Courts maintain electronic case files and offer internet based electronic filing using the Case Management/ Electronic Case Filing system (CM/ECF). The CM/ECF system enables users to open new bankruptcy cases, adversary proceedings, and file case documents over the internet. Filing documents using the CM/ECF system requires: a personal computer running Windows or Mac OS X, a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, an internet connection, and a court specific login.

For additional information on CM/ECF, please visit the U.S. Courts website at:

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/CMECF/FAQs.aspx

29. Why can't I view transcripts using my PACER account?

The Judicial Conference has determined that transcripts may only be viewed in PACER by parties that have purchased the transcript from the transcriber, for the first ninety days after filing. Other interested parties may view the transcripts at the Office of the Clerk without charge.

The court's transcript policy and procedure is available at:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/transcripts

30. Why is a transcript available to anyone who wants to view it at the Office of the Clerk, even in the first seven days after the transcript is filed? I thought parties had 7 days to examine a transcript and file a Statement of Intent to Redact.

The Judicial Conference has determined that transcripts must be available in the Office of the Clerk from their original filing. After a transcript has been redacted, the Clerk will seal the original, unredacted transcript. As with any other document, a party can always ask the Court to seal a transcript.

The court's transcript policy and procedure is available at:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/transcripts

1. Where can I get additional information before I file bankruptcy?

There are a number of resources available:

  1. There is online information provided by the Administrative Office of the U. S. Courts located at this link: www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy.aspx
  2. The website of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma also has numerous links to information and resources. http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/filing-without-attorney
  3. Consider reviewing this list of Frequently Asked Questions for further information and answers to questions you may have.

2. How do I file for bankruptcy protection?

Filing is accomplished by completing the required forms and returning them to the Clerk's Office. A competent bankruptcy attorney can also ensure that you take all the required steps for filing. Before filing you must also complete a credit counseling session with a certified agency.

3. Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?

If you are an individual, you may represent yourself in bankruptcy court without an attorney (this is also known as "pro se"). Keep in mind that, while individuals can file a bankruptcy case pro se, it is extremely difficult to do it successfully as the rules are very technical, and a misstep may affect your rights. Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.

Corporations and partnerships must have an attorney to file a bankruptcy case.

You may contact the Oklahoma Bar Association for more information and referrals.

http://www.okbar.org/public/public.aspx

4. I can't afford an attorney. What should I do?

If you cannot afford an attorney, the following links to legal assistance agencies and referral services may help you:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/find-attorney-sometimes-available-free

The Oklahoma Bar Association has information and links for individuals who may qualify for low cost or no cost legal assistance.

http://www.okbar.org/public/LegalServices.aspx

5. May I file without an attorney?

While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case pro se (without an attorney) it is a difficult thing to do successfully. We recommend getting assistance from a competent bankruptcy attorney. All Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedures and Local Rules must be followed.

6. What happens when I file bankruptcy?

Shortly after the petition is filed, the U. S. Trustee appoints a trustee and the court will issue a "Notice of Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors & Deadlines." This notice, also known as the "341 Notice," is sent to all creditors in the case and contains the following information:

  • Debtor's name
  • Date, time, and location of the first meeting of creditors (also known as the "341 meeting").
  • Deadline to file a complaint objecting to discharge or dischargeability of debts (if applicable).
  • Deadline to object to exemptions.

    Please read this notice carefully!

7. Can you recommend a good bankruptcy attorney?

Clerk's Office staff is prohibited from recommending specific attorneys. The Tulsa County Bar Association is a good source for finding a qualified attorney to help you with your bankruptcy needs. The phone number for the Tulsa County Bar Association is 918-584-5243. Their website is as follows:

www.tulsabar.com

8. Can you help me complete the bankruptcy forms?

Clerk's Office staff may assist with procedural matters only. They are prohibited from assisting with the completion of any forms because this is comparable to giving legal advice. Clerk's Office staff is prohibited from giving legal advice by law.

While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case without an attorney (pro se), it is a difficult thing to do successfully. We recommend getting assistance from a competent bankruptcy attorney.

9. What are the different "Chapters" in bankruptcy?

  • Chapter 7 may be filed by an individual, a corporation, or a partnership. A Chapter 7 case may be referred to as a "Fresh Start," "Liquidation," or "Straight Bankruptcy." In Chapter 7, federal and/or state laws allow the individual debtor to claim certain property as exempt. A Chapter 7 Trustee is then appointed to collect and sell all property that is not exempt or mortgaged, and use the sale proceeds to pay creditors. An individual debtor can get a discharge for most or all of their debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Corporations and partnerships do not receive a discharge. A discharge releases individual debtors from personal liability for some debts, and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtor.

    The chapters outlined below require the confirmation of a plan of reorganization or liquidation. Individuals seeking to file under Chapter 11, 12, or 13 are cautioned that it is extremely difficult to obtain confirmation of a plan without an attorney.
  • Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code provides for reorganization of municipalities (which includes cities, towns, villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts).
  • Chapter 11 is the reorganization chapter frequently involving a corporation or partnership, but can also be an individual. A Chapter 11 debtor proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.
  • Chapter 12 is for use by "family farmers" or "family fishermen" with "regular annual income." It enables financially distressed family farmers or fishermen to propose and carry out a plan, which must be approved by the court, to repay all or part of their debts. A certain portion of the Chapter 12 debtor's income must come from the operation of a farming or fishing business. In Chapter 12, a trustee receives the plan payments and also monitors the debtor's farming business operations while the case is pending. Once the plan payments are complete, the Chapter 12 debtor receives a discharge of some debts.
  • Chapter 13 is the debt repayment chapter for individuals with regular income, which may be referred to as a "wage earner's plan." Corporations and partnerships cannot file under Chapter 13. Chapter 13 generally allows a debtor to keep property and pay debts over time, usually three to five years. A Chapter 13 debtor proposes a repayment plan, which must be approved by the court. The plan payments are made to the Chapter 13 trustee, who distributes the funds to creditors. Once the plan payments are complete, Chapter 13 debtors receive a discharge of some debts.

10. Which chapter should I file?

Clerk's office staff cannot give "legal advice" or "practice law" as they are prohibited under Title 28 U.S.C. Section 955. Bankruptcy Basics information at the following link may assist you:

http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics.aspx

11. What is a joint petition?

A joint petition is a bankruptcy petition filed by a husband and wife together.

12. I am married. If I file bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file too?

No. Married individuals can choose to file a joint petition, or one spouse can file alone. However, information about assets and wages of the non-filing spouse must appear in your statements and schedules to give a complete picture of your financial situation even if only one spouse files bankruptcy.

13. Where do I file my case?

There are three judicial districts in Oklahoma. Your county of residence or the location of the principal assets of a business (for the greatest part of the 180 days prior to filing) determines the district in which you should file. The U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma serves 11 counties. Please see the county map on the Clerk's Office website for the counties covered by the Northern District of Oklahoma:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/oklahoma-northern-district-county-map

14. Do I have to stand in line?

The Clerk's Office makes every effort to ensure you are served promptly, and customers rarely have to wait for assistance. Individuals filing without an attorney (pro se) should allow at least one hour for filing a bankruptcy petition. The court is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday except Tuesday, when it closes at 3:00 pm. The court is closed for all federal holidays.

15. What are the court's hours of operation?

The court is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday except Tuesday, when it closes at 3:00 pm. The court is closed for all federal holidays.

16. What must I do before I file bankruptcy?

To be eligible to be a debtor, with limited exceptions, an individual must receive credit counseling from an agency approved by the U. S. Trustee within 180 days prior to the date of filing bankruptcy. A link to a list of approved agencies is provided below:

www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm

17. What documents do I need to submit to file bankruptcy?

There is a list of forms required for each bankruptcy chapter on the Clerk's Office website at the following link:

www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/FormsRequiredToFile_0.pdf

There are also detailed instructions for filing chapters 7, 11, 12, & 13 that can be found on our "Filing without an Attorney page." http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/filing-without-attorney

18. Where can I get the forms needed to file bankruptcy?

Paper copies of the required forms are available from the Clerk's Office during business hours. If you have access to a computer, the forms are available without charge on the Clerk's Office website at:

www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/forms

19. I cannot download your forms. What can I do?

Copies of all required forms are available at the Clerk's Office during business hours.

20. What services can a "Bankruptcy Petition Preparer" provide?

Information on bankruptcy petition preparers is available from the Department of Justice at the following link:

www.justice.gov/ust/r05/docs/general/guidelines/bank_pet_prep.pdf

If you think a bankruptcy petition preparer fails to comply with the law, notify the U. S. Trustee and any trustee appointed in your case. The Tulsa office of the U. S. Trustee serves the Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma. You may contact them by phone: 918-581-6670.

21. What is the creditor list?

The creditor list is a list of the companies and individuals to whom you owe money. This list must be provided to the court in electronic format when you file your bankruptcy petition.

The creditor list may be submitted on 3.5-inch "floppy" disk, CD ROM, or input from a computer terminal in the Clerk's Office. When using a floppy disk or CD, please label it with the debtor's name and the date. The electronic file must be in ASCII file format with an appropriate text extension (.txt).

The required local form "Verification as to Official Mailing Matrix" and guidelines are available on the court's website at:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Forms/mailing%20matrix.pdf

Instructions for preparing the creditor list in electronic format are available on the court's website at:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/credmatrix/index.php

22. What is the filing fee?

The filing fee for a new petition as of November 21, 2012 is:

Chapter 7 $ 306.00
Chapter 9 $ 1213.00
Chapter 11 $ 1213.00 Non-Railroad
Chapter 11 $ 1046.00 Railroad
Chapter 12 $ 246.00
Chapter 13 $ 281.00
Current fees may be found at the following link:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/attorney/Feeschedule.pdf

The court cannot accept personal checks or credit cards from individuals filing a new petition or who have an ongoing case. Please bring a cashier's check, money order, or cash for the exact amount of the filing fee.

23. Can I pay my filing fee by check or credit card?

The court accepts payment in the form of cash (exact amount required), cashier's check, or money order made payable to "Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court." We cannot accept personal checks or credit cards from individuals filing a new petition or who have an ongoing case.

24. Why do I have to pay a fee to file bankruptcy? Can the court waive the fee?

Federal law requires a fee to file a bankruptcy petition. If you cannot afford to pay the full fee at the time of filing, you may apply to pay the fee in installments. A form must be completed to make that application. The form is available in the Clerk's Office or by clicking the link below:

www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/RulesAndPolicies/rules/BK_Forms_1207/B_003A_1207f.pdf

If you cannot afford to pay the fee either in full at the time of filing or in installments, you may request a waiver of the filing fee by completing and filing an application. A judge will decide whether you have to pay the fee. By law, the judge may waive the fee only if your income is less than 150 percent of the official poverty line applicable to your family size and you are unable to pay the fee in installments. The form is available in the Clerk's Office or by clicking the link below:

www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/RulesAndPolicies/rules/BK_Forms_1207/B_003B_1207f.pdf

You may obtain information about the poverty guidelines in the Clerk's Office or at the following link:

www.oknb.uscourts.gov/hhs-poverty-guidelines

25. What is credit counseling? What is personal financial management instruction? Are there required forms?

"Credit counseling" is a class session taken from a provider approved by the U.S. Trustee. It is a requirement for all individual debtors filing bankruptcy, and must be completed in the 180-days before filing bankruptcy. When filing jointly, each spouse must complete credit counseling. When the counseling session has been completed, the counselor will issue a certificate that must be filed with the court. The failure to file a properly issued "Certificate of Credit Counseling" will result in the dismissal of your bankruptcy case in almost all circumstances.

"Personal financial management" instruction, also called "debtor education," is obtained after your case has been filed. It is required of each individual debtor, including both spouses in a joint case. Each debtor must file a "Debtor's Certification of Completion of Instructional Course Concerning Financial Management" (Official Bankruptcy Form B23), and include the number of the certificate of completion on this form. The form contains both instructions and deadlines for filing in Chapter 7, Chapter 11 under § 1141(d)(5)(B), and Chapter 13 cases.

www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/RulesAndPolicies/rules/BK%20Forms%201210/B_23_1210.pdf

Approved credit counseling agencies and debtor education providers are available from the U. S. Trustee at the following link:

www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/index.htm

Exceptions to the above requirements might be available in certain circumstances. Examples would include but not be limited to: prior military service in a combat area, disability, handicap, certain defined emergency situations, insufficient approved agencies.

26. What is the means test?

The means test is a statement on an official form that must be completed by individual debtors filing for bankruptcy relief. Joint debtors may generally complete a single form. Official Bankruptcy Form 22A is the form Chapter 7 debtors will complete for "means testing" purposes; Official Bankruptcy Form 22C is the form Chapter 13 debtors will complete. A link to the Official Bankruptcy Forms is provided below:

www.uscourts.gov/bkforms/bankruptcy_forms.html#official

A debtor must enter income and expense information on the appropriate Form 22, and then make calculations using the information entered. Some of the data needed to complete these forms, such as a debtor's current monthly income, comes from the debtor's own personal records. Other information needed to complete the forms comes from the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards.

A link with more in depth information from the U.S. Trustee program is provided below.

www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/meanstesting.htm

27. How can I change or correct information in the petition, statements, or schedules I have already filed?

The information contained in your petition, schedules, and statement of financial affairs is submitted under penalty of perjury. Therefore, you must be certain that it is correct when you sign these documents. If, however, you later discover that something is inaccurate or incomplete, the documents may be corrected by filing either an "amendment" or an "amendment to" the documents with the Clerk's Office. Any amendment to schedules or statements must be signed and verified by the debtor(s), and a fee of $30.00 must be paid in certain situations. A link to the fee schedules is provided below.

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/attorney/Feeschedule.pdf

When creditors are added after case filing, the debtor has certain noticing duties and deadlines according to federal and local rules.

If you have questions about amendments, please consult an attorney.

28. What is a meeting of creditors? What happens there?

The meeting of creditors, which is also sometimes referred to as a "341 meeting," is a meeting all debtors must personally attend. If the case involves spouses filing jointly, both spouses must appear at this meeting. The primary purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for creditors and the trustee to question the debtors under oath about their bankruptcy petition and schedules.

At the meeting of creditors, the trustee reviews the debtor's petition and schedules face-to-face with the debtor. The debtor is required to answer questions under penalty of perjury (swearing or affirming to tell the truth) about the debtor's conduct, property, liabilities, financial condition, and any other matter that may affect the administration of the case or the debtor's right to discharge.

29. Where will my section 341 meeting of creditors be held?

Generally, the 341 meeting of creditors is conducted at the Bankruptcy Court at 224 S. Boulder, Room B04, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74103. The exact date, time, and location of your meeting will be mailed to you within a few days of your initial filing on Official Bankruptcy Form 9 titled "Notice of Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines."

30. How do I know if a debt is secured, unsecured, priority, or administrative?

Secured Debt:

A secured debt is a debt that is backed by collateral (i.e. property). Typically, things like a car or a house are collateral to a secured loan. For example, when people obtain a loan to buy a car, they give the lender a "security interest" in the car. Such a loan would be a "secured debt" because the lender could take the car if the borrower failed to make the loan payments.

Unsecured Debt:

A debt is unsecured if you have simply promised to pay someone a sum of money at a particular time, and you have not pledged any real or personal property as collateral for that debt. Typically things like medical bills, utility bills, and credit card bills are unsecured debts.

Priority Debt:

A priority debt is a debt entitled to be paid ahead of most other debts in a bankruptcy case. The Bankruptcy Code defines what debts are entitled to priority. Some examples of priority debts are: claims for domestic support obligations, some taxes, and wage claims of employees.

If you have questions deciding which of your debts are entitled to priority status, you should consult an attorney.

Administrative Debt:

An administrative debt is a type of priority debt created when someone provides goods or services to the bankruptcy estate during the case. Attorney fees, trustee fees, and other authorized professional fees are examples of administrative debt.

If you have questions about the nature of a debt, you should consult an attorney

 

31. What are exemptions?

The law allows debtors to keep or "exempt" certain assets; this is an "exemption" and such property is called an "exempt asset," which means that it is protected from distribution to your creditors. Exemptions are defined by Oklahoma state laws. Examples of exempt assets may include: vehicles up to a certain value, a certain amount of equity in a home, and tools of your trade. Debtors are required to list the items they claim as exempt on Schedule C.

Deciding which assets are exempt can be one of the more important and complex parts of your bankruptcy case. The failure to properly claim an exemption may result in the loss of your right to claim the exemption. It is extremely important to consult an attorney if you have any questions.

Oklahoma State exemptions can be found in the Oklahoma Statutes at the following link:

www.oklegislature.gov/osstatuestitle.html

32. What happens after I file my bankruptcy case?

A general explanation of the bankruptcy process may be found at:

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics.aspx

33. How can I find a case number?

You can find case number and other case information anytime of the day or night from the "Public Access to Court Electronic Records" (PACER) website. The website may be found at the following link:

www.pacer.gov

If the case has been filed in the Northern District of Oklahoma, the case number and limited case information is also available by calling the Voice Case Information System (VCIS) at 918- 699-4001 or (888) 501-6977.

34. Will bankruptcy stop eviction?

The Clerk's Office is prohibited from providing legal advice. Please contact the sheriff's department or an attorney with questions on how a bankruptcy filing affects eviction proceedings.

35. Will the judge advise me of my options during the bankruptcy case?

A judge hears arguments from both debtors and creditors, and must remain impartial. Therefore, the judge cannot advise or instruct you in how to proceed with your case.

If you have questions about your case, you are encouraged to consult with an attorney.

36. What is a discharge?

A discharge releases individual debtors from personal liability for most debts. A discharge also prohibits the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtor.

The following link provides more information on a bankruptcy discharge:

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/DischargeInBankruptcy.aspx

Please consult an attorney if you have questions about your discharge.

37. How do I get my discharge?

Once a discharge is entered in your bankruptcy, the clerk of the bankruptcy court will mail a copy of the "order of discharge" to the debtor, all creditors, the trustee, and attorneys who have entered an appearance in the case.

38. I attended the meeting of creditors before my case converted to another chapter. Do I have to attend another meeting?

In general, a new trustee is assigned when a case is converted, a new meeting of creditors is set, and a new notice of the meeting is sent to all creditors. The debtor must attend this meeting.

39. What if my case is dismissed?

A dismissal order ends the case. The order of dismissal is then mailed by the Clerk's Office to all parties and creditors in the case.

40. My case was dismissed. Can I file a new bankruptcy case?

If your case was dismissed, you should read the order of dismissal carefully. The order will indicate the restrictions placed on future filings.

Please consult an attorney if you have questions.

41. What is a reaffirmation agreement?

A reaffirmation agreement is a document in which the debtor agrees to remain legally obligated to pay a debt that might otherwise be discharged in bankruptcy.

Reaffirmation forms and instructions are available on the U. S. Courts website at the following link under the heading "Part II – Procedural Forms and Instructions:"

www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Forms/BankruptcyForms.aspx#official

Additional information on reaffirmation agreements is provided on the U. S. Courts website at the following link under the heading "The Chapter 7 Discharge:"

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Chapter7.aspx

You are strongly advised to consult legal counsel before agreeing to a reaffirmation of a debt.

42. What is a motion for relief from stay?

In general, when you file for bankruptcy, you are protected by the "automatic stay." The automatic stay prohibits creditors from taking action to collect the debt or from taking your property. In some cases, the creditor will ask the court for permission to continue efforts to collect the debt by filing a motion for relief from the stay. For example, this is may be done by a creditor who wants to continue foreclosure proceedings on a house or seek repossession of a vehicle.

You are strongly advised to contact a bankruptcy attorney if a motion for relief from stay is filed in your case.

43. What can I do if a creditor keeps trying to collect money after I have filed bankruptcy?

Information on a debtor's rights when a creditor tries to collect money after their bankruptcy case has commenced is available at the following link under the heading "How Chapter 7 Works:"

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Chapter7.aspx

You are strongly encouraged to contact a bankruptcy attorney if collection calls continue after your case is filed.

44. What if a creditor tries to collect money after I get a discharge?

Information on a debtor's rights when a creditor tries to collect money after a discharge is entered is available at the following link under the heading "May the debtor pay a discharged debt after the bankruptcy case has been concluded?:"

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/DischargeInBankruptcy.aspx

You are strongly encouraged to contact a bankruptcy attorney if a creditor is seeking to collect on a discharged debt.

45. How can I get another copy of my discharge?

When the order of discharge has been docketed in the case, the debtor will receive a copy by mail. Should you need another copy, there are three ways to obtain a copy of your discharge:

  1. Online:

    Through the "Public Access to Court Electronic Records" (PACER) by calling 800-676-6856 to set up an account or visiting their website at:

    www.pacer.gov
  2. By Mail:

    If your discharge was issued in the Northern District of Oklahoma, you may call the Clerk's Office at 918-699-4000. We can give you the exact cost of printing your documents. We will print and mail copies of requested documents to you upon receipt of your payment for the copies in the exact amount due and a self-addressed stamped envelope. The cost for this option is 50 cents per page plus the cost of returned postage.
  3. In Person:

    The Clerk's Office is located at 224 S. Boulder, Room 105, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hours are 8:30 to 4:30, except on Tuesdays, when we close at 3:00. Copies from one of our self-service terminals cost 10 cents per page; or, we can print them for you at 50 cents per page.

46. How many years will a bankruptcy show on my credit report?

The Federal Trade Commission provides detailed information on bankruptcy and your credit report at the following link:

www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre03.shtm

You may be able to obtain a free credit report at:

www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

47. How can I get a case reopened?

Information on reopening a case is provided on the U. S. Courts website at the following link under the heading "May the debtor pay a discharged debt after the bankruptcy case has been concluded?"

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/DischargeInBankruptcy.aspx

In depth information on reopening fees is available on the U. S. Courts website at the following link:

www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Fees/BankruptcyCourtMiscellaneousFeeSchedule.aspx

48. How do I get my case dismissed?

The local rules on dismissing a case are available at the following link:

www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Local%20Rules.pdf

49. If my case gets dismissed, or I change my mind about filing, can I get my filing fee refunded?

Please review our court's local rules for information on the refund of filing fees.

www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Local%20Rules.pdf

50. When am I under bankruptcy protection?

The automatic stay is in effect upon the filing of a bankruptcy. The U. S. Courts glossary defines the automatic stay as: An injunction that automatically stops lawsuits, foreclosures, garnishments, and all collection activity against the debtor the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed.

For more information on bankruptcy protection, review the following information:

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/UnderstandingtheFederalCourts/HowCourtsWork/BankruptcyCases.aspx

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyResources/FilingBankruptcyWithoutAttorney.aspx

51. Who has access to my bankruptcy file?

Bankruptcy files are public records, which are available from the "Public Access to Court Electronic Records" (PACER) website. PACER allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts via the internet using the PACER Case Locator.

52. Will all my creditors be notified of my discharge?

At the time a discharge is entered, a copy is mailed to all creditors that are on the case mailing list. Creditors listed at case opening, and those added to the list by amendment prior to the discharge being entered, will receive notice of your discharge.

53. When is my case complete?

When a final decree is entered, a bankruptcy case is considered closed. A no asset case will be closed within a reasonable time after a discharge is issued. An asset case is closed after the trustee has completed their obligations.

54. How soon after I get my discharge can I file bankruptcy again?

The U. S. Courts website provides information that may assist you in determining when you might be eligible to file another bankruptcy. Please review the material at the following link under the heading "Can a debtor receive a second discharge in a later Chapter 7 case:"

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/DischargeInBankruptcy.aspx

It is strongly advised that you seek legal advice from a competent bankruptcy attorney on this matter.

55. How do I get errors removed from my credit report?

1. Am I required to attend the meeting of creditors?

Creditors are welcome to attend the meeting of creditors, but are not required to do so. The scheduled date, time, and location of the meeting of creditors can be found on the front side of the debtor's "Notice of Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines" (Official Bankruptcy Form 9).

2. What is an automatic stay?

The U. S. Courts glossary defines the automatic stay as an injunction that automatically stops lawsuits, foreclosures, garnishments, and all collection activity against the debtor the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed.

Violating the automatic stay can have serious consequences. You are strongly encouraged to seek the assistance of an attorney before proceeding with collection efforts when an automatic stay is in effect.

3. How do I file a motion for relief from stay?

The motion and appropriate fee should be submitted to the clerk for filing.

The local rules governing motions for relief from the automatic stay are available at the following link:

www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Local%20Rules.pdf

The current fees for filing a motion for relief from stay are available at the following link:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/fee-schedule

The assistance of an attorney is strongly recommended, and mandatory in certain circumstances, when filing a motion for relief from stay.

4. What is an adversary proceeding?

An adversary proceeding is a lawsuit arising in, or related to, a particular bankruptcy case. An adversary proceeding begins when a complaint is filed with the court and the appropriate fee is paid. This complaint is given a separate case number, and advances according to the court's policies. More information on adversary proceedings may be found in the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the court's local rules.

Adversary proceedings are extremely complex; parties not represented by an attorney are strongly urged to consult a bankruptcy attorney when considering filing an adversary proceeding.

5. A company or individual has filed bankruptcy and owes me money. What can I do?

If you have received a "Notice of Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines" (Official Bankruptcy Form 9), read it carefully as this notice provides guidance to a creditor. A creditor is a person, corporation, or other entity owed money by the debtor that arose on or before the date of the bankruptcy filing. Generally, creditors may file a proof of claim by filing out the appropriate form, but the specific answer depends on many factors.

An attorney can provide information on how best to protect your interests if someone who owes you money has filed bankruptcy.

6. What is a claim and how do I file one?

A claim is the creditor's right to receive payment on a debt owed by the debtor that arose on or before the date of the bankruptcy filing. See 11 U.S.C. §101 (5). A claim may be secured or unsecured.

A "proof of claim" is a form used by the creditor to indicate the amount of the debt owed by the debtor on the date of the bankruptcy filing. The creditor must file the form with the clerk where the bankruptcy case was filed.

The "Proof of Claim" (Official Bankruptcy Form B10), is available at the following link:

www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Forms/BankruptcyForms.aspx

7. How do I file a proof of claim?

To file a proof of claim, begin by completing Official Bankruptcy Form B10 titled "Proof of Claim." Detailed instructions for completion are found on the form's second page; please review and follow them carefully. The "Proof of Claim" (Official Bankruptcy Form B10), is available at the following link:

www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Forms/BankruptcyForms.aspx

A completed proof of claim should then be filed by delivering it, either in person or by mail, to the clerk of the bankruptcy court where the bankruptcy case was filed.

If you are filing a proof of claim in a case filed in the Northern District of Oklahoma, you may mail it or bring it to the following address:

United States Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Oklahoma
224 South Boulder, Suite 105
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74103

8. How can I find a case number?

You can find case number and other case information anytime of the day or night from the "Public Access to Court Electronic Records" (PACER) website.

www.pacer.gov

If the case has been filed in the Northern District of Oklahoma, the case number and limited case information is also available by calling the Voice Case Information System (VCIS) at 918- 699-4001 or (888) 501-6977.

9. How do I find out if I am listed as a creditor in a case?

If you received a "Notice of Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines" (Official Bankruptcy Form 9), you are listed as a creditor. You may review the record of the case from PACER.

www.pacer.gov

You may review the record of the case available in the Clerk's Office during normal business hours.

10. Why did I receive this notice? I have no knowledge of this person or company?

The "Notice of Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines" (Official Bankruptcy Form 9), is used to give notice of the filing of the bankruptcy case, the time, date, and location of the meeting of creditors, the time for filing various documents in the case, instructions for filing proofs of claim, and other information concerning the case.

If you feel you were notified in error, you may contact the debtor's attorney. You will find debtor's attorney address and phone number on the form.

11. Is there a deadline for filing a proof of claim?

The deadline for filing a proof of claim ("Claims Bar Date") will vary depending on what chapter the bankruptcy was filed under.

A Chapter 7 case does not have a "Claims Bar Date" until a "Notice to File Claims" is entered in the case. Once this happens, and you are listed as a creditor in that case, you will be sent a "Notice to File Claims."

Creditors listed in a Chapter 9 or 11 case will receive a notice of the last date within which proofs of claim may be filed shortly after the entry of the "Order Fixing Time Within Which to File Proofs of Claim."

Creditors listed in a Chapter 12 or 13 case will receive notice of the deadline in the "Notice of Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines" (Official Bankruptcy Form 9).

12. I am a creditor. What should I do if my address changes from the address on my proof of claim?

To update the address listed on your proof of claim, complete a "Notice of Change of Address of Creditor" form, which is available on the court's website or at the link listed below:

http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/forms/COACR.pdf

Submit the completed form by mail or bring it to the Clerk's Office during normal business hours.

13. The debtor owes me child support. How can I find out if my debt is nondischargeable?

Information on a child support creditor's rights is available at the following link under the heading "Are all of the debtor's debts discharged or only some:"

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/DischargeInBankruptcy.aspx

You are strongly encouraged to contact an attorney to determine your rights if you are owed child support by a debtor.

14. I am a creditor in a Chapter 7 case. When can I expect payment?

The Clerk's Office staff do not have information as to when or if you will receive a payment in a Chapter 7 case. General information on possible payments to creditors in a Chapter 7 case is available at the following link under the heading "Role of the Case Trustee:"

http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Chapter7.aspx

15. I am a creditor in a case that converted to another chapter. Do I have to file another proof of claim?

The claims register is not modified when a case converts to another chapter, and the filed date and dollar amounts of claims remain the same. In most situations, you do not need to file another claim. In the event your claim needs to be re-filed, you would be notified.

16. I am a creditor in a Chapter 11 case, and the plan of reorganization has been approved. When will payments begin?

Creditors should review the Chapter 11 plan carefully to determine when payments should begin.

Please consult your attorney for additional assistance in determining when payments should begin.

17. I received a notice and summary of the trustee's "Final Report and Accounting." How long will it be before I receive payment on my claim?

Generally, trustees distribute funds to creditors six to eight weeks after they send out the notice of the "Final Report and Accounting," but that period may be longer. Please contact the Chapter 7 trustee if you have further questions.

18. How do I know when the deadline is to object to a debtor's discharge or the dischargeability of a debt owed to me by the debtor?

You will find the deadline to object to the discharge or the dischargeability of a debt on the "Notice of Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines" (Official Bankruptcy Form B9), which is sent to all creditors listed on the debtor's schedules when a case is opened. If you did not receive this notice in the mail, you can access it online from the case docket using PACER.

www.pacer.gov

19. How do I object to a debtor's general discharge or the discharge of a debt owed by the debtor?

The U. S. Courts website has information for creditors interested in objecting to a debtor's discharge or the dischargeability of their specific debt at the following link under the heading "Does the debtor have the right to a discharge or can creditors object to the discharge:"

www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/DischargeInBankruptcy.aspx

The local rules on objections to the discharge or dischargeability of certain debts are available at the following link:

www.oknb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Local Rules.pdf

The issues surrounding objections to discharge are complex and time sensitive. Creditors are strongly encouraged to contact an attorney when considering objecting to a discharge or dischargeability of a specific debt.

20. Who do I notify about a possible fraudulent bankruptcy filing?

The Office of the U. S. Trustee reviews complaints and concerns about possible fraudulent filings, and notifies the U.S. Attorney for further investigation when appropriate.

For more information on reporting suspected fraud, please go to the U.S. Department of Justice website at the following link:

www.justice.gov/ust/eo/fraud/index.htm

Alternatively, you may contact the U. S. Trustee at:

Office of the United States Trustee
224 S. Boulder Avenue, Suite 225
Tulsa, OK 74103
Phone: 918- 581-6670
Fax: 918- 581-6674

1. Can any member of the public use CM/ECF to file documents with a court?

No. Access to CM/ECF is available to authorized attorneys, trustees, and on a limited basis to high volume creditors.

2. Can the general public view CM/ECF cases and the documents in those cases?

Access to view cases and documents in CM/ECF is available to anyone with a PACER login and password. PACER offers convenient electronic access to case file documents, listing of all case parties, reports of case related information, chronologies of events entered in the case record, claim registries, listing of new cases, judgments or case status, and a calendar of events.

To defray the costs of PACER and CM/ECF, the Judicial Conference has set a fee of 10-cents per page or a $3.00 maximum charge per document for electronic court data via the internet, except for calendar information, for which there is no charge. All fees are set by the Judicial Conference of the United States and subject to change. Parties entitled to documents as part of the legal process receive a free electronic copy, although they will be charged for replacement copies, whether in paper or electronic form.

3. Since access is limited to authorized attorneys, is there any way for pro se filers or attorneys without Internet access to file documents in CM/ECF cases?

Yes. The court still accepts paper filing, and then dockets the image in the CM/ECF system. Attorneys who file paper documents will receive a show cause order, as the Court is mandatory electronic filing for attorneys.

4. How is payment of filing fees handled for CM/ECF cases?

Attorneys that file documents on-line that require a filing fee will be prompted at the end of their transaction to pay fees using a credit card or debit card. Filers can choose to pay after every transaction or can simply make one payment at the end of the day for all transactions.

5. How is the requirement of an original signature (attorney and/or debtor) handled for CM/ECF cases?

There are two distinct issues: attorney signatures and debtor signatures.

When registering to use the system, attorneys sign an agreement to the effect that use of their login name and password (whether by themselves personally or by delegation to a filing agent) constitutes their signatures on the documents electronically filed. The electronically filed document will indicate a signature e.q. "s/Attorney Name" wherever a signature is needed.

For documents that must be signed by the debtor (such as petitions, lists, schedules, statements, etc.), originally executed paper copies must be kept by the attorney. The signed document may be scanned or an electronically filed document may indicate a signature, e.g. "s/ Jane Doe"

For more information on this topic see the CM/ECF ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDE OF POLICIES & PROCEDURES.

6. Can an attorney authorize someone in the attorney's office (such as a paralegal) to use the attorney's login name and password to file documents in CM/ECF?

It is recommended that the attorney be the only one to use the attorney's account. Documents may be filed on behalf of the attorney by a registered filing agent. More information on filing agents is available at the following link: http://www.oknb.uscourts.gov/content/cmecf-registration-information

7. How long will it take to transmit lengthy documents?

The time it takes to transmit a document primarily depends on the user's Internet Service Provider (ISP), modem speed, and the size of PDF file being transmitted. Generally, the larger the file, the longer it will take to load.

8. What happens if a document is filed in error?

Most errors will be immediately advertised through the real time electronic notices and access to the docket report; making deletions of entries to the docket or associated .pdf document is very rare. CM/ECF allows court personnel to edit errors made in the docket entry. Besides making the appropriate corrections, the court may need to ask participants to submit amended pleadings. Instances that affect calendar entries and noticing will need to be refiled by the user or docketed by the Court.

 

 

 

 

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