Case Opening

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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