Case Opening


Filing Case Using Conventional ECF System - Open a BK Case
Last Updated: June 16, 2005

The following is the conventional way to open a new case.

Note: It is important to complete all steps in this procedure.



  1. Log into CM/ECF


  2. Select Bankruptcy.

  3. Select Open a BK Case.

    • Leave Case type at the default bk

    • Select appropriate chapter from the drop down box

    • Select “y” or "n" for Joint Petition.

    • Always leave deficiencies as n

  4. Search for a Party screen:

    • Enter Social Security Number/tax identification number to search for debtor name in the ECF database and click on [Search].

    • 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.”

  5. Party Information screen:
    This screen appears for selected name or creating new party.

    • Complete/Update all appropriate fields for the debtor.

      • Enter complete name.

      • Enter complete Social Security Number/Tax Identification Number.

        Note: PDF copy of Petition must contain redacted Social Security Number.

      • Include mailing address.

      • Indicate County.

        Note: If prompted on the next screen that the county spans multiple divisional offices, choose the divisional office that is closest to the debtor's residence.

    • Select the “Alias” button if debtor has alias.

      • Complete all appropriate fields for alias(es).

      • Select appropriate Role for alias(es) (aka, dba, fdba, fda).

    • Review debtor information once more before submission; Click Submit.

      Note: Repeat steps 5 and 6 for Joint Debtor, if applicable.  If Joint Debtor’s address is different from Debtor, uncheck “Copy previous party’s address”.

  6. Statistical Information Screen:

    • Select “Type of Debtor” such as individual, corporation, etc.

    • Select “Paid” or “Installment” for Fee Status.

    • Select “consumer” or “business” for Nature of debt.

    • Select “yes” for Asset Case for all Chapter 13s. If the case is a Chapter 7 unless you know for sure there are assets, leave it at "no" and let the Trustee decide.

    • Select the appropriate Estimated number of creditors, assets and debts.

    • Review information; Click Next.

  7. Enter the information from the Summary of Schedules page from the petition.

  8. Browse

    to select the Voluntary Petition (pdf file); Click Next.

    Important: PDF copy of Voluntary Petition must contain the redacted Social Security Number.

  9. Verify filing fee amount. If paying in installments, change the fee amount to the amount of the first installment payment and click Next

  10. The Final Docket Text Screens appears. VERIFY the text is correct before submitting.




U.S.C.: 301-304
Bk FRBP: 1002-1008


Open AP Case


Open AP Case
Last Updated: June 24, 2005

An Adversary is a lawsuit arising in or related to a bankruptcy case. It is commenced by filing a complaint with the court.

Step-by-Step Procedures:
To File Electronically

  1. In CM/ECF, Select [Adversary].

  2. Select [Open an AP Case].

    • Do not enter a case number.

    • Case type “ap”

    • Date filed (today’s date)

    • Complaint “y”

  3. Enter Lead Case Number.

    • Association Type is Adversary.

  4. Case assignment appears next.

  5. Search for a Party screen:

    • Enter last/business name (upper and lower case) to search for plaintiff name in database.

    • Party search results:

      • If plaintiff name appears, select the name.

      • If plaintiff name does not appear, click on “Create new party."

  6. Party Information screen:
    This screen appears for selected name or creating new party.

    • Enter address information if known.

    • Select Role “Plaintiff.”

  7. Select the “Attorney” button and search by last name of attorney representing plaintiff.

    • Review plaintiff information once more before submission.

  8. Repeat steps for each plaintiff and defendant.  

    Note: When entering defendant(s), do not enter attorney for defendant(s) at this time. Change pro se field to yes.

  9. Case Information Screen:

    • Select Party Code.

    • Select only one nature of suit (ALWAYS select 727 objection to discharge if it is one of the suits).

    • Origin-default “original proceeding.”

    • Transfer date (court function).

    • Rule 23 (class action) - default  “n.”

    • Jury demand (default none) .

    • Enter dollar demand to the nearest thousand (e.g. enter 5 for $5,000).

  10. Browse

    to Select the Complaint (pdf file).

  11. The filing fee exceptions screen appears. Leave the Fee box blank if any of the 3 special cases apply to you..

  12. The trustee fee option screen appears. Follow the instructions for Trustees/ DIP's on the screen

  13. Click [Next]

  14. Verify the final docket text; if correct, click [Next] to submit your document(s).





11 U.S.C.:


Statement of Social Security Number


Statement of Social Security Number
Last Updated: June 23, 2005

A Statement of Social Security Number must be filed in every case

Step-by-Step Procedures
To File Electronically:

  1. Log into



  2. Select [Bankruptcy >  Other]
    Note: This is a private entry.  Only court staff are able to view the PDF document.

  3. Enter the case number (e.g, xx-xxxxx).

  4. Select [Statement of Social Security Number(s) (Form 21)] from the event list.

  5. Skip the Joint Filing screen

    to select the Statement of Social Security Number (pdf file).

  6. Click [Next] on the blank screen.

  7. Verify the final docket text; if correct, click [Next] to submit your document(s).






FRBP: 1007(f)


Uploading a Creditor Matrix


Uploading a Creditor Matrix
Last Updated: June 6, 2005

The creditor matrix must be in ASCII text format, usually a .txt file, before it can be successfully uploaded.  Refer to the procedure “How to Convert a Creditor Matrix to a .txt File.”  All other file types within CM/ECF will be portable document format (PDF) files.  

Important!  You can upload creditors only once per case.


  1. Prepare the matrix on your computer.

  2. Log into CM/ECF


  3. Select Bankruptcy.

  4. Select Creditor Maintenance.

  5. Select Upload a Creditor Matrix File.

  6. Enter the case number (e.g., xx-xxxxx).

  7. Browse

    to select the creditor mailing list (.txt file).

  8. Click on the submit button.

  9. Verify number of creditors.