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Frequently Asked Questions
My ex-spouse has filed bankruptcy and listed me as a co-signer on a debt, what must I do? He/she got the debt in the divorce.
What is a Voluntary Petition?
Who can file a bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy Basics | United States Courts
Almost anyone can file a bankruptcy case, though there are restrictions. It is always advisable to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in making this decision, so you understand your rights and obligations.
Are there fees associated with CM/ECF?
There are no additional fees for filing documents over the Internet using CM/ECF. Only standard court document filing fees apply. Electronic access to individual case docket sheets and filed documents is available through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) program. Litigants receive one free copy of documents filed electronically in their cases through a link in the e-mailed Notice of Electronic Filing; additional copies are available to attorneys and to the general public for viewing or downloading through PACER. There is no charge to view court opinions and court calendars. As directed by Congress, the judiciary's electronic public access program is funded entirely through user fees set by the Judicial Conference of the United States.
How will users learn how to file documents in CM/ECF?
Filing documents in CM/ECF is easy; generally only a minimal amount of training is needed. More information about training in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia will be provided after you submit your registration form.
A participant must complete the training provided by the Court and learn the basics using the training database before the Clerk will issue a login and password to the LIVE database. The CM/ECF Live password will not be assigned until a participant has demonstrated sufficient aptitude in using CM/ECF, based on testing conducted by Court personnel. Training requirements may be waived for current CM/ECF participants in another Bankruptcy Court.
The PACER Service Center website also has computer-based training modules and FAQs.
How do I add additional email addresses to my CM/ECF account?
Any email address changes need to be made by the Clerk's Office. Please email the change(s) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can file a bankruptcy?
Almost anyone can file a bankruptcy case, though there are restrictions. For instance, there are specific debt levels for filing under Chapter 13 and if you file under Chapter 7, in certain situations your case may be converted to Chapter 13 if it appears you have sufficient income (or means) to repay some of your debts. Further, if you have been in a previous bankruptcy case that was dismissed, your eligibility to file another bankruptcy case or obtain the benefit of the automatic stay in a subsequent case could be affected. In all cases, it is advisable to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in making this decision so that you understand your rights and obligations.
Where do I file my bankruptcy case?
Bankruptcy cases are filed in the Clerk’s Office of the appropriate United States Bankruptcy Court. Bankruptcy Courts are part of the federal court system which divides the country into 94 judicial districts. Every state has at least one federal judicial district, and many have more. Georgia has three federal judicial districts, Northern, Middle and Southern. Due to its size, the Northern District of Georgia has been split into four divisions, each with a fully staffed Clerk’s Office. All four divisional Clerk’s Offices are open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except legal holidays).
The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia covers the 56 counties in northern Georgia. If the debtor's residence, principal place of business or principal assets have been located in one or more of these counties for the necessary period of time, the case should be filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The specific county of your residence, principal place of business or principal assets determines in which of the Northern District of Georgia’s four divisions your case should be filed. Click HERE to determine which division to file in.
Will I have to appear in Court?
Yes. When a debtor files a bankruptcy case, he or she is required to attend a hearing titled Section 341, First Meeting of Creditors. This hearing is scheduled approximately 30 days following the filing of the case. A debtor filing a Chapter 13 case may also be required to attend his or her confirmation hearing. The confirmation hearing is when the judge assigned to the case approves the repayment plan filed by the debtor. Further, a debtor may be required to attend additional hearings depending on the circumstances of his or her case.
What is the Meeting of Creditors?
This meeting of creditors is held approximately thirty days after the bankruptcy petition is filed. The Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Trustee presides over the meeting of creditors. The debtor and everyone listed on the list of creditors filed by the debtor will receive written notice of the day, time, and location of this meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to give the Trustee and creditors an opportunity to question the debtor under oath. The meeting of creditors is also called the “section 341 meeting” because 11 U.S.C. § 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires that the meeting be held.
The debtor (both spouses in a joint case) must be present at the meeting to be questioned under oath by the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Trustee and by creditors. Creditors are welcome to attend, but are not required to do so. The meeting may be continued and concluded at a later date without further notice.