FAQs

While the information presented below is accurate as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It is highly recommended that legal advice be obtained from a bankruptcy attorney or legal association. For filing requirements, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code), the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules), and the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona.

  • How do I obtain hearing information?

    The court calendars for each judge are posted weekly on this website under the Judges' Info section.

  • Who do I notify about a possible fraudulent filing?

    In order to expedite the handling of complaints of criminal violations in the bankruptcy system, the United States Trustee requires that your complaint be submitted in a signed letter, bearing your return address and telephone number to:

    Office of the United States Trustee Special Investigations Unit 230 N. First Ave., Ste. 204 Phoenix, AZ 85003

    Upon receipt, your complaint will be reviewed promptly. If the information furnished establishes a reasonable belief that a criminal violation has occurred, the matter will be referred to the United States Attorney. If the United States Attorney deems the matter to hold prosecutorial merit, it will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. A clearly written statement containing copies of any available documentation will expedite this process.

    Submit the following information:

    1. The bankruptcy case name and file number, together with copies of any pertinent court filings.
    2. A chronological summary of the matter.
    3. A narrative of what occurred.
    4. Names, addresses and telephone numbers (to the extent available) of the subjects and witnesses known to you.

    Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, all information submitted regarding the debtor or entity becomes a matter of public record, no matter what the outcome of the case. This information, which is regularly checked by credit companies, may affect the debtor's or entity's credit rating.

    Get more information regarding reporting suspected bankruptcy fraud from the U.S. Trustee's web site.

  • Where do I get a copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules)?

    A copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules) is available for review in any Clerk’s Office location and legal libraries. Bankruptcy Rules are not available for purchase from the Court. Local Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure are available on this web site.

  • What is Electronic Case Filing (ECF)?

    ECF was originally developed by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and supports electronic filing of documents and the viewing of case dockets and documents, via the Internet. Our first ECF case was entered on October 1, 1997.

    As of February 16, 2003, ALL Arizona bankruptcy case dockets can be viewed through the Internet with a PACER id and password at http://ecf.azb.uscourts.gov. To register for a PACER id and password, please contact the PACER Service center at 800-676-6856 or visit their web site at http://pacer.uscourts.gov.

    If you are unable to utilize your PACER password, please call 1-800-676-6856 (Pacer Center).

    If you are an attorney, you can request a filing password/account. Your registration must be on the appropriate application form and submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Clerk by mail (230 N. First Ave, #101, Phoenix, AZ 85003), email (azbml_all_dqa@azb.uscourts.gov), or fax (602-682-4901). ECF Attorney Password Application.

    You can download the documentation and password applications for ECF from our Reference Manuals area.

  • What is the difference between bankruptcy chapters?

    Chapter 7: Often called the 'liquidation chapter,' Chapter 7 is used by individuals, partnerships, or corporations who have no hope for repairing their financial situation. In Chapter 7, the debtor's estate is liquidated under the rules of the Bankruptcy Code. Liquidation is the process through which the debtor's non-exempt property is sold for cash by a trustee and the cash is distributed to creditors.

    Chapter 9: Chapter 9 is available only to municipalities, and is a form of reorganization, not liquidation.

    Chapter 11: Often called the 'reorganization chapter,' Chapter 11 allows corporations, partnerships, and individuals to reorganize, without having to liquidate all assets. In filing a Chapter 11, the debtor presents a plan to creditors which, if accepted by the creditors and approved by the Court, will allow the debtor to reorganize personal, financial or business affairs and again become a financially productive individual or business.

    Chapter 12: Chapter 12 is a reorganization bankruptcy and is similar to Chapter 13, but is available only to "Family Farmers" and "Family Fishermen."

    Chapter 13: An individual with a regular income who is overcome by debts, but believes such debt can be repaid within a reasonable period of time, may file under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 permits the debtor to file a plan in which the debtor agrees to pay a certain percentage of future income to the Bankruptcy Court for payment to creditors. If the Court approves the plan, the debtor will be under the Court's protection while repaying such debts.

    Chapter 15: Chapter 15 is a reorganization bankruptcy and deals specifically with cross-border insolvency: foreign companies with debts in the United States.

    You may also click the link below to watch videos that explain the bankruptcy process and bankruptcy chapters

    Bankruptcy Basics

  • How do I get certified copies of documents?

    You may mail a written request, along with a $30.00 per document search fee plus a photocopy fee of $ .50 cents per page or a printing fee of $.10 per page if the document is in electronic form. The fee for certification is $11.00. Please include the case name, case number, filing date, and the title of the specific documents 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 at which the case was filed, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for return mailing.

    You may also obtain copies at the court for the photocopy fee of $ .50 cents per page or a printing fee of $.10 per page if the document is in electronic form. If you wish to visit the court, there is no $30.00 search fee. The fee for certification is $11.00.

    The court accepts payment in the form of either a bank cashier's check or money order made payable to: Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court. No personal checks will be accepted.

  • What is a certificate of service?

    When you file a motion or pleading with the Court, you must file a written statement that you have mailed or delivered a copy of the motion to all interested parties. This is called a certificate of service. You must list the name and address of each person and attorney being served with the motion, and the name of the party each attorney represents, and you, your attorney, or an employee of your attorney must sign the certificate. It is very important to file a certificate of service with your pleadings. The Court may deny your relief if you do not file a certificate of service. Because the service of a pleading is critical to obtain the relief that you request, you are strongly urged to consult a bankruptcy attorney.

  • How do I obtain information (such as debtor's name, attorney, case number, judge assigned to the case and the status) on a case?

    There are several ways to obtain case information:

    1. Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS)

      McVCIS is a free service that allows callers to access case information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any touch tone telephone. McVCIS can be accessed by calling 1-866-222-8029. Just follow the voice instructions provided. Click here to see more detailed information on using McVCIS.

    2. Internet Access

      Electronic case information and documents may be retrieved using a computer on the internet, via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records web site (PACER). For registration information, please call the PACER Service Center at (800) 676-6856 or go to their web site at http://pacer.uscourts.gov. Registered agencies or individuals can access the PACER system for the District of Arizona at http://ecf.azb.uscourts.gov. There is also a national U.S. Party/Case Index available at http://pacer.login.uscourts.gov. A fee of $.08 per page will be assessed.

    3. In Person

      Public access computers are available for use, at no charge, in the Records Section of Clerk's Office. Bankruptcy documents may be viewed in person or retrieved for printing or copying. There is a per page fee for printing and copy services.

  • How do I tell which Judge is assigned to my case?

    A Bankruptcy case number consists of the location where the case was filed, the two-digit filing year, type of case, five digit sequence number and the code for the judge assigned to the case.

    Office Codes:

    0 - Yuma
    2 - Phoenix
    3 - Prescott
    4 - Tucson

    Case Types:

    bk - Bankruptcy Case
    ap - Adversary Proceeding
    mp - Miscellaneous Proceeding

    Judge Codes:

    EPB - Judge Eddward P. Ballinger
    RTB - Judge Redfield T. Baum
    DPC - Judge Daniel P. Collins
    MCW - Judge Madeleine C. Wanslee
    EWH - Judge Eileen W. Hollowell
    BKM - Judge Brenda K. Martin
    GBN - Judge George B. Neilsen
    BMW - Judge Brenda M. Whinery
    PS - Judge Paul Sala
    SHG - Judge Scott H. Gan

    Example: Case 2-14-bk-00001-DPC is a Bankruptcy case, filed in the Phoenix Division in 2014, followed by the five-digit sequence number of 00001 and is assigned to the Honorable Daniel P. Collins.

  • May I speak directly with Bankruptcy Judges?

    No. Federal law prohibits any "ex parte" contact with the Court in order to preserve the integrity of the Court and to prevent the appearance of any impropriety or allegations of preferential treatment for any party.

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