Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

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Information for Creditors

Bankruptcy can be complicated. The staff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Clerk's office provides a variety of services; however they are not permitted to assist with the preparation of documents, nor can they provide legal advice. All parties must comply with the Local Bankruptcy Rules for the Western District of Wisconsin, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The local library has law books that may be of assistance.

If you wish to retain an attorney, call the Wisconsin Bar Association Lawyer Referrals: 800-362-9082 (608-257-4666 Madison).

Do you want to file a claim electronically?

See our claims page for more information.

Forms

The forms on this page are in fillable PDF format. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print PDF files and PDF fill-in forms. Download Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader app for your mobile device Form sets can be purchased from an office supply store that sells legal forms.

Looking for Unclaimed Funds?

Unclaimed funds are available for look up on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the debtor?

A person who has filed a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Who is the creditor?

One to whom the debtor owes money or who claims to be owed money by the debtor.

What is a Trustee?

The representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers, principally for the benefit of the unsecured creditors, under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the United States trustee or Bankruptcy Administrator. The trustee is a private individual or corporation appointed in all chapter 7, chapter 12, and chapter 13 cases and some chapter 11 cases. The trustee's responsibilities include reviewing the debtor's petition and schedules and bringing actions against creditors or the debtor to recover property of the bankruptcy estate. In chapter 7, the trustee liquidates property of the estate, and makes distributions to creditors. Trustees in chapter 12 and 13 have similar duties to a chapter 7 trustee and the additional responsibilities of overseeing the debtor's plan, receiving payments from debtors, and disbursing plan payments to creditors.

What is the United States Trustee?

An officer of the Justice Department responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases, estates, and trustees, monitoring plans and disclosure statements, monitoring creditors' committees, monitoring fee applications, and performing other statutory duties.

Was a person listed as a creditor?

Often, P.A.C.E.R. (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) can be utilized to accommodate a request to see who is listed in a bankruptcy case.

PACER is a web-based format that allows anyone with internet access and a PACER login from the court to access official court records via the internet. This system contains Bankruptcy information after 04/01/91. There is no fee to open an account, however, the Judicial Conference of the United States has set a $.08 per page charge for downloading (viewing) case information on this system. The maximum charge for any imaged document is $2.40. All billing is handled directly by the PACER Service Center. To sign up for an account, go to the PACER website.

A limited amount of information, at no charge, is available from our Voice Case Information System. Please call the Voice Case Information System via 800-743-8247 and you can input a case number or name using the dial pad on your telephone.

Depending on the chapter of bankruptcy filed, you may want to discuss the situation with the individual trustee, if one has been appointed. Contact our office with the case number or name(s) of the debtor and we can provide the name and telephone number of the trustee. Additional contact information can be found on U.S. Trustee office website.

Someone who owes me money filed for bankruptcy in this court. Where can I find information on the case and/or how a bankruptcy case works?

You may call the court’s automated Voice Case Information Service 1-800-743-8247 to search for case information by name or case number.

You may access the electronic case docket and papers filed in the case for free at public computer terminals at each clerk’s office location or for a fee using PACER. Instructions for Electronic Public Access Services

If the debtor listed you as a creditor on the mailing matrix when the case was filed, you should receive a clerk’s notice of commencement of case no later than 7-10 days after the filing which will provide you with important information about and instructions for the case that was filed.

How a bankruptcy case works.

How do I get notices sent to me in a bankruptcy case where I am a creditor of the debtor?

To receive notices in a bankruptcy case the debtor must have listed you on the mailing matrix of creditors when the case was filed or you must file a written notice of appearance with the court. You will also be added to the mailing matrix when you file a proof of claim in an asset case (a case where funds will be available for distribution to creditors). If the address supplied by the debtor as your address is not correct or if you change your address during the time the case is proceeding, you must notify the court in writing of your correct address.

IMPORTANT: If your correct and current address is not listed in the court records, you will not receive notices in the case and, if dividends are distributed to creditors, your dividend check may not reach you.

The clerk’s office automatically sends the following notices to parties who are listed in a case at the time the notice is sent. Notice of Commencement of Case, Discharge of Debtor (if applicable), Order Dismissing Case (if applicable).

How do I file a claim?

The notice of commencement of case served by the clerk’s office when the case is filed will contain information regarding filing a proof of claim if the case has been designated as an asset case.

If the debtor’s case was designated as an asset case, meaning there may be funds for distribution to creditors, and you are listed as a creditor on the debtor’s matrix, you will receive a proof of claim form with the notice. If the case starts out as a no asset case and is later designated an asset case, you will be sent a notice of claims bar date and a proof of claim form if you are listed as a creditor in that case.

If you do not receive a claim form in an asset case and wish to file a proof of claim, you may use the Official Bankruptcy Form - Proof of Claim.

Do I have to respond to a notice I receive from the court or appear at a hearing scheduled in the notice?

If you receive a notice from the court or from another party in the case, you should read it carefully to determine what deadlines and other information apply to you. The clerk’s office can not provide legal advice, including whether you must respond to a notice or whether you must appear at a hearing. If you are uncertain what to do, you may wish to obtain the advice of an attorney.

As a creditor, how do I become registered to file documents and receive notice of case activity electronically in CM/ECF?

Creditors seeking access to CM/ECF in order to file documents and receive electronic notice must submit the Registration Form Limited Filer and complete a proof of proficiency requirement to demonstrate knowledge of CM/ECF. Read the form thoroughly to determine if you want to complete the process to be able to file the documents permitted by the court and to receive electronic notification of case activity.

If you don't choose to register as a CM/ECF creditor filer as described above, another option you may wish to consider is to register for electronic bankruptcy noticing with the Bankruptcy Noticing Center. Once registered, you will receive all notices (including attachments) served by the clerk's office electronically instead of via US mail. For information on, or to register for this free service, contact the Bankruptcy Noticing Center. Note: Notice served under this BNC electronic service option will not include all notices served in the case, just those notices the clerk is required to serve. You will receive service of all other documents in paper format by the party required to serve the document.

I have information about bankruptcy fraud in a case. Where do I report it?

The following link to the bankruptcy fraud hotline contains information for reporting bankruptcy fraud. Bankruptcy Fraud Hotline

How do I find out if there is money deposited in my name as a creditor in a bankruptcy case in this court?

If a payment was made to you and the check was undeliverable to the address the trustee mailed it to and you know the case name or case number for the debtor who owes you money, you can review the case docket to see if the trustee filed a Notice of Deposit of Funds with the Clerk of Court. Then you can review this document to see if you are listed on the notice of deposit. If you are, you may apply to claim the funds by following the instructions for unclaimed funds.

Where do I find Chapter 13 plan/payment information?

Visit the Chapter 13 website. Once there select "Case Information" on the left. Enter the case number (without a dash ex: 0613335) and click "Search". When the case information appears, click the appropriate buttons.

Where can I find archived case information?

To retrieve case information or copies of documents from the Federal Records Center, you must obtain the Accession Number, Location Number, and Box Number from the clerk's office where the bankruptcy case was filed. You may obtain this information in person, by writing to the court where the case was administered, or from the archive section in this website.

How do I get copies of documents in a case?

If you call or mail in a written request, there is a $26.00 per case search fee, and a photocopy fee of $ .50 cents per page. Payment must be made in the form of either a bank cashier's check or money order made payable to: United States Bankruptcy Court. No personal checks will be accepted.

Please include the case name, case number, filing date, and the title of the specific document(s) which you wish to have copied. In addition, please include your name, address, and daytime telephone number.

Mail your request to the appropriate Clerk's Office location.  If you wish to visit the court, there is no search fee and the copy fee is reduced to $.10 cents per page.

Copies of a discharge after February of 2002 are available at the clerk's office for free.

Another way to retrieve copies is through PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). PACER allows anyone with internet access and a PACER login to access official court records. This system contains bankruptcy information after 4/1/1991 and copies are available in cases filed after 2/1/2002. In order to obtain a PACER login and password, complete the online PACER Registration form. Once your registration has been processed by the PACER Service Center, a login and password can be retrieved online if a credit card is provided or sent by U.S. mail to the address provided on the registration form. There is no registration fee. All registered agencies or individuals will be charged a user fee. Access to web based PACER systems will generate an $.08 per page charge.

How do I get CERTIFIED copies of documents in a case?

You may mail a written request, along with a $26.00 per case search fee, a $9.00 certification fee per document, and a photocopy fee of $ .50 cents per page in the form of either a bank cashier's check or money order made payable to: United States Bankruptcy Court. No personal checks will be accepted.

Please include the case name, case number, filing date, and the title of the specific document(s) which you wish to have certified. In addition, please include your name, address, and daytime telephone number.

Mail your request to the appropriate Clerk's Office location. If you wish to visit the court, there is no search fee and the copy fee is reduced to $.10 cents per page.

     
 
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