The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia (“GANB”) now offers individual debtors the opportunity to request delivery of court notices and orders via email, instead of U.S. mail, through a program called “Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing” or “DeBN.”
DeBN provides the following advantages:
- Faster — Debtors receive notices the same day they are entered on the case docket.
- Convenient — Access court notices and orders anywhere you can access your email.
- No more lost paperwork — Electronic copies of court notices and orders means never losing a paper copy.
- Less paper clutter — Helps the environment and reduces paper clutter.
- It is FREE!
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9036, a party may make a written request for delivery of notices by electronic means, instead of U.S. mail. Through the DeBN program, only notices and orders from the bankruptcy court can be emailed to the debtor. Debtors requesting participation in the DeBN program must complete and file a Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form in their current GANB case and any subsequent case filed. Debtors in joint cases who each request enrollment must file separate forms.
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What is DeBN?
Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN) is a FREE and voluntary service that allows individual debtors to request delivery of court notices and orders from the bankruptcy court, through the BNC, by email instead of U.S. mail.
Who is the BNC?
The Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) sends court notices and orders from all bankruptcy courts to debtors and other parties in bankruptcy cases by either mail or email.
What are Court Notices and Orders?
Court notices and orders refer to the documents from the bankruptcy court, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Notice of Meeting of Creditors
- Notice of Deficiency
- Notice of Hearing
- Notice of Requirement to Complete Course in Financial Management
- Order Confirming Chapter 13 Plan
- Order of Discharge of Debtor
- Order on Motion for Relief from Stay
- Order of Dismissal
Who Will Serve Me via Email?
By enrolling in DeBN, a debtor consents ONLY to service of court notices and orders from the bankruptcy court. The BNC, on the bankruptcy court’s behalf, sends the emails.
No other parties, such as creditors and trustees, are allowed to use the DeBN program to email debtors—all other parties will continue to serve documents upon the debtor according to court rules (by U.S. Mail, overnight mail, or personal delivery).
Length of Enrollment in DeBN:
For GANB cases, once the debtor’s DeBN account has been created, the account will continue to remain active, unless:
- Debtor’s account is automatically disabled due to an email transmission failure (email bounce-back); or
- Debtor files a request to deactivate the account (a debtor may file this request at any time); or
- Debtor’s GANB case is closed.
As long as the debtor’s DeBN account is active, all court notices and orders will be emailed to the debtor by the BNC in any current bankruptcy or adversary case from any bankruptcy court district in which the debtor’s name and address in that case match the name and address in the debtor’s DeBN account. This includes cases where the debtor may be listed as a creditor, plaintiff, or defendant.
How it Works:
Once the debtor files a DeBN request form and the clerk's office creates the DeBN account, all future court notices and orders from the bankruptcy court will be emailed to the debtor by BNC.
When a court notice or order appears on a case docket and is transmitted to the BNC for service upon the debtor, the BNC will email the notice or order to the debtor at the end of the day. The court notice or order will be emailed as a single PDF attachment, and a separate email will be sent for each court notice or order.
There is no limit to the number of times the debtor may view the PDF attachment, and the debtor may print the attachment, save it, or simply retain the email for viewing at any time.
If the PDF attachment exceeds 8 MB, the court notice or order will be sent to the debtor by U.S. mail instead of email.
How Do I Request DeBN?
Signing up for DeBN is easy:
- Complete and sign the request form: Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form
- File the completed request form with the court: in person at the Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office (photo ID required); or by mail with a copy of your driver’s license or other Government issued ID; or electronically (Attorney CM/ECF participants only).
- The court creates your DeBN account.
Once activation of your account is complete, you will receive a confirmation email from the BNC. From this point forward, all future court notices and orders from the court will be delivered to you via email, as long as your name and address in the bankruptcy case match your name and address in your DeBN account and there are no email transmission failures.
Keep the Court Advised by Filing an Updated Request Form if You:
- Change your email address; or
- File a new case after enrolling in DeBN (so the court can make sure your name and address in your DeBN account match your new case); or
- Wish to deactivate or reactivate your account.
Requirements of the DeBN program include:
1. Reliable Internet Access
2. Email Account
The email address you use for your DeBN account will become a part of the official court record. A DeBN account will not be created if the clerk's office determines that the debtor's email address is inappropriate.
3. Adobe Reader
Court notices and orders will be emailed as PDF documents. It is recommended that you use the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader software for viewing these PDF documents. If you do not have this software, you can download it free of charge here.
If you are using a mobile device, please visit your mobile device’s app store for a free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
4. Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request Form
Debtors requesting email delivery of court notices and orders through the DeBN program must complete and file a Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form with the court.
The BNC will transmit emails to DeBN participants in the evening of the same day a court notice or order appears on the case docket.
The court notice or order will be attached to the email as a single PDF file. It is recommended that the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader software for viewing these PDF documents is used. If you do not have this software, you can download it free of charge here. If you are using a mobile device, please visit your mobile device’s app store for a free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Not all notices you receive in a case are processed through the BNC. You may receive documents relating to your bankruptcy case by U.S. Mail from other parties such as the trustee or a creditor.
BNC Email Addresses
The BNC will send you confirmation emails and court notices using these addresses:firstname.lastname@example.org
Please add these email addresses to your contacts/safe-sender list to ensure delivery of court notices and orders to your email inbox.
Note: Please do not reply or send emails to the above email addresses. Those email accounts are used for the sole purpose of sending emails, and the inboxes are not monitored. Please contact the Clerk’s Office if you have any questions about the DeBN program.
Each email containing a court notice or order will be formatted as follows:
1. A subject header containing the BNC email serial number and your DeBN account number. The serial number increases each time you are sent an email notice in order to help you determine that you have received all your emails.
2. Text that describes the number of notices and total notice pages.
3. Text that shows the name and address of the recipient, case number, court form code, originating court and title of document filed for each notice.
4. Contain a PDF attachment of the court notice or order that was docketed in your case.
Name and Address Matching
Your DeBN account is created using your name and address exactly as it appears in your bankruptcy case. As long as your name and address in your bankruptcy case exactly matches your name and address in your DeBN account, all court notices and orders from the court transmitted to the BNC for service upon you will be delivered to you via email.
If your name and address in your DeBN account does not match the bankruptcy case, then the BNC will send court notices and orders to you via U.S. mail.
If you or your attorney files a notice of change of address with the court, then the clerk’s office will make the necessary changes to both your bankruptcy case and your DeBN account. You will then receive an email from the BNC advising you that your DeBN account has been updated.
Email Bounce-Back (Undeliverable Email)
The first time the BNC receives an email bounce-back (undeliverable email), your DeBN account will automatically be disabled, and the notice or order will be resent to you via U.S. mail (as long as the bounce-back occurrs within 10 days). Any future court notices and orders will be delivered to you via U.S. mail, and you must file an updated request Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form if you wish to reactivate your DeBN account.
DeBN Request Form & Docket Event
Download the request form: Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN)
Debtors must complete, sign, and file a Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form in order to participate in the DeBN program. It is a fillable PDF form providing three options:
1. Initial Request
2. Update to Account Information:
a.) Change an email address;
b.) Debtor files a new case and has an existing DeBN account; and/or
c.) Request reactivation of a DeBN account.
3. Request to Deactivate Electronic Noticing
File the request form:
Debtors: You may file the form in person at the Bankruptcy Court clerk’s office (photo ID required) or mail to the court with a copy of your driver’s license or other Government issued ID.
Attorneys who are CM/ECF Participants may file the Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form using the event Debtor Electronic Noticing under Bankruptcy > Other in CM/ECF. See Docketing Procedures for Attorneys.