The Clerk's Office
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.
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.
Filing Fee Increases
Bankruptcy Filing Fees Increasing November 1st
On September 13, 2011, the Judicial Conference of the United States voted to increase certain miscellaneous filing fees, effective November 1, 2011. The "administrative fee" portion of the filing fee for each chapter will increase from $39 to $46, which will have the result of increasing the overall filing fee for each chapter by $7.00. Thus, as of November 1, the filing fees for each chapter will be as follows:
In addition, the fee for amending schedules will increase from $26 to $30, the adversary filing fee will increase from $250 to $293, the fee for filing a notice of appeal will increase from $250 to $293, and the fee for filing a motion for relief from stay will increase from $150 to $176.
There are other miscellaneous fee increases for certification, exemplification, audio recording, records searches, record retrieval, and returned checks.
Fee Changes Effective November 21, 2012
The Temporary Bankruptcy Judgeships Extension Act of 2012 (Pub.L.No. 112‐121) was signed into law by the President on May 25, 2012. This law includes a provision that increases the fee for filing a bankruptcy case under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. This fee increase will take effect on November 21, 2012, 180 days from date of enactment. For Chapter 11 cases filed on or after that date, the statutory filing fee will increase to $1,167. The total fee for filing a Chapter 11 case will increase to $1,213 (statutory fee of $1,167 plus the administrative fee of $46).
The Judicial Conference recently approved a recommendation to increase three miscellaneous fees that are derived from the Chapter 11 filing fee:, to correspond with an increase in the Chapter 11 filing fee under the Temporary Bankruptcy Judgeships Extension Act of 2012 (Pub.L.No.112‐121):
$ the fee for splitting a joint Chapter 11 case( Item 18 of the Fee Schedule)
$ the fee for reopening a Chapter 11 case (Item 11 of the Fee Schedule) and
$ the fee for filing a Chapter 15 case (Item 15 of the Fee Schedule).
The new amount for each of these fees will be $1,167, and these fee increases will also take effect on November 21, 2012.
In addition, the fee for filing a Chapter 9 case will increase because under 28 U.S.C.§1930(a)(2), the Chapter 9 filing fee is "equal to the fee specified in paragraph (3) for filing a case under Chapter 11 of Title 11." (Paragraph 3 is the Chapter 11 filing fee). Therefore, the fee for filing a Chapter 9 will increase to $1,167. The total fee for filing a Chapter 9 case will increase to $1,213 (statutory fee of $1,167 plus the administrative fee of $46).
The fees for converting a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 11 will also increase. 28 U.S.C. §1930(a) states that “for converting, on the request of the debtor, a case under Chapter 7, or 13 of Title 11, to a case under Chapter 11 of title 11, the debtor shall pay to the clerk …a fee of the amount equal to the difference between” the fee for filing a Chapter 11 and the fee for filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Because the statutory fee for filing a Chapter 11 is increasing to $1,167, the fee for converting a Chapter 7 (statutory fee of $245) to a Chapter 11 will increase to $922. The fee for converting a Chapter 13 (statutory fee of $235) to a Chapter 11 will increase to $932.
Obtain Copies of Documents
Ways to Obtain a Copy:
1. Visit the Clerk’s office - Documents can be printed from the court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system from one of several public computers in the clerk’s office lobby.
2. Online – Register for a PACER account
Costs for Copies:
1. The fee for copies of documents printed from one of the court’s public computers is $0.10 per page.
2. The fee for copies made by court staff is $0.50 per page.
3. The fee for copies made using your PACER account is $0.10 per page with a maximum of $2.40 (except for transcripts and recorded audio files)
1. For Debtors:
a. Money Order or Cashier’s Check
i. Please make checks and money orders payable to the “Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court”
b. Cash – cash can only be accepted when visiting the Clerk’s office. Please do not mail cash to the court.
2. For Non-Debtors:
a. Personal Check
b. Credit Card
c. Options for Debtors
1. Any document that needs certification will incur a charge of $11.00 plus a $0.10 fee to print off the document. Any exemplified copy will have an additional charge of $21.00.
2. If requesting a certified copy through the US Mail the cost to certify is $11.00. Additional costs of $30.00 to conduct a case search and a $0.50 per page will be added for each case. To receive an exemplified copy an additional $21.00 will be added.
Documents from cases filed before 2004 have been stored with the Federal Records Center (FRC). There are two ways to request copies of documents from archived files:
a. For $35.00 the FRC will retrieve and copy a preselected group of documents which includes the Voluntary Petition, the Summary of Debts and Property, Schedules D, E, F and the Discharge of Debts. For a certified copy, add an additional $15.00.
b. For $90.00 the FRC will retrieve and copy the full file.
c. Depending on the request, the documents can be faxed to the requester within 1-2 business days or mailed using the US Mail within 3-5 business days.
2. The other option is to have the archived file delivered to the court for viewing. The cost to order an archived file is $53.00 and $0.50 per page for any copies. You will be notified by the court when the file arrives. Please allow 10 business days for the file to be delivered to the court.
a. A written request can be submitted to the court in lieu of viewing the case in person. There is an additional $30.00 search fee for this option. All documents requested will be mailed through the US Mail.