Monday, May 30, 2016, in observance of Memorial Day.
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Featured Articles and Announcements
Notice: Bankruptcy Judge Position
The Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit is now seeking applicants for a bankruptcy judge position for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin headquartered in Milwaukee. The judge will also need to spend about forty percent of the time handling Eau Claire and Madison cases. Applicants must also be willing to travel to other locations in the Seventh Circuit to handle cases as need arises. Click HERE for the full announcement.
Chapter 11 Closing Forms
Now available: Two sets of sample forms for closing Chapter 11 cases. The first is for non-individual debtors (corporations, partnerships, etc.) who have substantially consummated their Chapter 11 plan and for individual debtors who have either completed all plan payments or who qualify for an early discharge. The second set is for individual debtors who want to administratively close the case while they make their plan payments and then reopen the case to obtain a discharge. The sample forms are available HERE, or on the Local Forms page, under the Bankruptcy Forms menu tab (“Chapter 11 Forms” link).
Pro Se Help Desk
Milwaukee-Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., U.S. Courthouse, Room 153.
The bankruptcy section of the Milwaukee Bar Association, with the assistance and support of the State Bar of Wisconsin, provides a Pro Se Bankruptcy Help Desk at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Milwaukee. The Pro Se Help Desk is funded by the State Bar of Wisconsin, the American College of Bankruptcy and the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation. The service is provided on a first come, first served basis. Due to increased volume, it is possible that if you do not come early you may not be seen. There will be a sign-in form and each person will be called in turn.
The service is available to chapter 7 debtors (or people considering filing chapter 7 bankruptcy) who wish to proceed pro se (i.e., do not have a lawyer to represent them in a bankruptcy case).
The service provides assistance with completing the required bankruptcy paperwork.
We need volunteer attorneys for the Pro Se Help Desk and attorneys who may be willing to accept referrals of Chapter 13 debtors. If you are an attorney, and you wish to volunteer or add your name to the referral list, please contact the Clerk's Office at (414) 297-3291.
Forms for Motions to Restrict Documents for Privacy Violations Now Available
If you file a document that contains personal identifiers as defined by Bankruptcy Rule 9037 (e.g., full social security number, full account number, individual's birth date, or minor's name), you must file a Motion to Restrict Public Access to the document and pay a $25 filing fee. We have prepared a fillable form Motion and proposed Order for your use in these circumstances. If the Clerk determines that a document contains personal identifiers, the Clerk will restrict the document and issue a deficiency notice. Failure to comply with the notice by filing the Motion and proposed Order will be referred to the Judge for appropriate action. The new forms are available here: Local Forms (Sample Pleadings).
Bankruptcy Form Changes Effective December 1, 2015
Most Official Bankruptcy Forms will be replaced with substantially revised, reformatted and renumbered versions effective December 1, 2015. These new forms are part of a forms modernization project that was begun by the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules in 2008.
For a PDF file containing all the revised forms, please click HERE.
For the Attorney implementation guide, please click HERE.
To view more information on the U.S. Courts website, please click HERE.
Scam Targets Bankruptcy Filers
Phone scammers are targeting bankruptcy filers in several states, using personal information from filings and posing as attorneys to get intended victims to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt.
The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys issued a warning that “Under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.”
Bankruptcy filers in Vermont and Virginia reportedly have received calls. Vermont’s Attorney General says scammers use software to “spoof” the Caller ID system so the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Typically the calls come late in the evening or during non-business hours to make it difficult for intended victims to verify the call by contacting their attorney.
Consumers receiving this kind of call are advised to hang up and contact their bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do not give any personal or financial account information to the caller.
Local Rules Committee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin is undertaking a review of its local rules. It will convene a meeting on October 28, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. in Room 190 at the United States Courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for purposes of creating a new local rules committee and to solicit proposed rules changes. All members of the bar are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting.
July 1, 2015 Changes to MMM Program
New CM/ECF Transcript Events Regarding Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8009(b)
Rule 8009(b), effective December 1, 2014, defines the responsibility of the appellant and the appellee to document whether each has ordered a transcript as part of the record for an appeal. Both appellant and appellee must file the appropriate event, listed below, after each has filed the Designation of Record and Statement of Issues on Appeal.
For filing questions, please contact the Clerk's Office CM/ECF Help Desk (414-290-2700).
Bankruptcy Opinions Posted on FDsys
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin is pleased to announce that beginning May 1, 2014, in addition to posting our Judges’ written opinions on the Court’s website (http:www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions), we will now be posting these opinions on the Government Printing Office’s (GPO) website through the Federal Digital System (FDsys), the link to which is set out below. FDsys provides free online access to federal court opinions that are pulled nightly from the courts' CM/ECF files. Collections on FDsys are divided into appellate, district or bankruptcy court opinions and are text-searchable across courts.
Notice of Fee Cap for Petition Preparers, Effective January 1, 2012
Effective January 1, 2012, the presumptively reasonable fee that a bankruptcy petition preparer in the Eastern District of Wisconsin is allowed to charge or collect will be capped at $75 per case. The $75 fee includes all services provided by a non-attorney for assisting a debtor in preparing the petition, schedules, statements, applications and other required documents for a bankruptcy case.
Mandatory Electronic Filing
Pursuant to Local Rule 5005, “Electronic filing is mandatory for all attorneys who file in this district except in limited emergency circumstances or where the attorney has received a waiver from the mandatory requirement from the Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Court. If an attorney encounters emergency circumstances that require the attorney to file documents in paper form, the paper filing shall be accompanied by a letter briefly discussing the emergency circumstances that prevented electronic filing.” For additional information on how to become a registered electronic filer, please refer to the “Training” link under the above entitled section “Information for Attorneys.”
Online CM-ECF Registration
To enhance the registration process for new electronic filers, the Bankruptcy Clerk's Office has added an online submission process. To register for an electronic filing account on this Court’s Electronic Case Filing System (CM-ECF), please click here.