Courts

Wonder what it’s like to visit the bankruptcy courts when filing for bankruptcy? We’ll tell you what to expect if you’re filing without a bankruptcy attorney.

Guide to PACER: Getting your court notices without an attorney

PACER stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. It’s a system to access case information, the docket, and the documents filed in a particular case electronically. __As an Upsolve user you will receive court notices similar to PACER in your account for free. If you have issues viewing your court notices please contact us at upsolve.org/contact__

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6 simple steps to stop wage garnishment with bankruptcy

While this may sound like a scary process, you're mostly acting as the middle man, making sure that everyone is on the same page and is doing what they need to, so your next paycheck is not garnished again. Ultimately, if the creditor fails to take the necessary steps to stop the garnishment, you can ask the court to sanction them. The creditors - and their attorneys - know this and generally don't want to get called into court to explain their actions.

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Bankruptcy Court - A Definition

The bankruptcy court is a federal court that oversees all bankruptcy cases filed in the United States.

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3 Important Players in Bankruptcy Court

In addition to the person filing bankruptcy, other individuals who will play an important role in your bankruptcy case are your case trustee, your bankruptcy judge, and - if you have one - your bankruptcy attorney. Let’s take a look at some of the important players -other than your creditors - that you may encounter in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Where to file bankruptcy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Courts across the nation have had to figure out how to deal with the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Upsolve has gathered the most important information about accommodations made by the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. To ensure you have the most up to date information for your court, we're including the relevant links as well as the court's general website address for your convenience.

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Telephonic Hearings in Bankruptcy Court

A hearing is an appearance in court where one or more parties to the case show up in the courtroom to present something to the judge. A telephonic hearing is exactly what the name suggests: a court hearing that takes place over the telephone.

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How do I know whether the court approved my application for a fee waiver?

Anyone who earns less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines is eligible to apply for a fee waiver. But, that doesn’t automatically mean they will receive one. The court has full discretion on whether to grant a fee waiver application based on the information contained in the fee waiver application.

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Why does the bankruptcy court need my social security number? 

Interestingly, there is nothing in the Bankruptcy Code itself that requires the filer to have a social security number. But, your social security number is how you obtain and maintain credit and how your tax filings and liabilities are tracked, so the bankruptcy court system uses it to keep track of bankruptcy cases. So, if you have a social security number, you have to provide it to the bankruptcy court.

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What to do if I realized that the address for one of my creditors has changed since my case was filed?

If you notice that your creditor’s address has changed on a document/letter they sent to you regarding your bankruptcy, it’s likely that they’ve already provided their new/updated address to the court.

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What to do if I receive returned mail originally addressed to one of my creditors

If you receive a notice from the court in your bankruptcy case that was originally addressed to one of your creditors but returned to you, the creditor’s address may have been incorrect on your creditor’s matrix or changed after the case was filed.

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How to update a creditor’s address after filing

When you file bankruptcy, the court sends a document called the “Official Form 309A Notice of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case — No Proof of Claim” to the creditors you listed on your bankruptcy paperwork. This form gives each creditor important information about your case and tells them what they need to do if they have a reasonable objection to your bankruptcy. If a creditor didn’t receive a copy of this notice because the court did not have the correct address, follow these steps to make sure this is corrected.

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What to do if I receive a Notice of Undeliverable Mail from the court?

You’ll receive a Notice of Undeliverable Mail from the court if one (or more) notices to creditors were returned by the post office because their mailing address was incorrect. Typically, it includes instructions to add the new/updated mailing address directly on the form notice and send it back to the court.

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What is an Adversary Proceeding in Bankruptcy?

An adversary proceeding is a like a lawsuit that takes place as part of the bankruptcy case. Adversary proceedings are generally the most complicated part of a bankruptcy proceeding, but they don't happen in every case.

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I'm filing for bankruptcy. Will I have to go to court?

Most people who file for bankruptcy on their own only need to show up to court twice. The first time is when they file their forms with the bankruptcy court. This just involves walking into the court and giving the bankruptcy forms you have filled out to the clerk’s office.

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Where can I find my nearest bankruptcy courthouse?

You can find it by going to [the official court locator](http://www.uscourts.gov/court-locator "the official court locator") and typing in your city, state, or zip code.  

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Will someone show up in court against me?

In virtually all Chapter 7 cases that do not involve expensive property, no creditors show up to court against you. It's very, very, very unlikely that anybody will show up in court against you. 

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Filing for Bankruptcy with Electronic Self-Representation (ESR)

This article provides an overview of Electronic Self-Representation and how you can use it to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy by yourself without the help of an attorney. If you can't afford an attorney, but don't want to go through the process on your own, Upsolve may be able to help!

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4 things you should know about the bankruptcy court system

The bankruptcy court oversees bankruptcy cases filed in the United States. The court maintains the records for all bankruptcy cases.

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What is the San Diego Bankruptcy Court?

Are you ready to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in the San Diego Bankruptcy Court? If you need help but you cannot afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney, contact Upsolve for no cost bankruptcy services for low-income Americans from a trusted nonprofit organization.

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.