eSR Frequently Asked Questions
Before using eSR:
- What is eSR?
eSR is an online tool to help an individual prepare a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition for later filing with the court after he or she has decided to file bankruptcy without an attorney.
- Who can use it?
Individuals who wish to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and who live in the Western District of Michigan.
- Can attorneys or bankruptcy petition preparers use eSR?
No, eSR is not available for attorneys. Attorneys must still register for electronic filing through PACER services. While bankruptcy petition preparers are currently permitted to use eSR, there is no need to pay for anyone to assist you other than a licensed attorney who can give you needed legal advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, assistance is available for free through various free legal aid organizations. See our website for those resources. If a bankruptcy petition preparer uses eSR, the assistance and the amount you paid must be disclosed on the proper forms filed with the court.
- What chapters is eSR available for?
eSR is currently available for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings.
- Where can I access eSR?
- Is there a cost to use eSR?
There is no cost to use the eSR system. Pay only the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee. For filing fee amounts, see the court’s fee schedule.
- What are the benefits of using eSR?
eSR is free to use. You pay only the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee. eSR has a guided, step-by-step process that allows you up to 45 days to complete your petition. Your personal information is only accessible to you using a unique login and password assigned to you. eSR is accessible 24 hours a day from any Internet-enabled computer. There is no software to download or purchase.
- How many days do I have to work on my eSR petition after starting?
From the first day you begin working in eSR, you have up to 45 days to complete the eSR petition. If you do not submit your petition to the bankruptcy court for filing within 45 days, whatever you have done will be deleted from the system. If you do not think you will finish within 45 days, please print out a copy of your work for future reference.
- How many days do I have to submit an originally signed Voluntary Petition and the Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form?
An originally signed Voluntary Petition and Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form are due within 7 days of the date of the Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing.
While using eSR:
- I need help answering questions in the system. Where can I get assistance?
You may contact the court by phone for assistance with eSR. However, court staff are prohibited from giving legal advice.
- How do I know what to list for my exemptions?
The Bankruptcy Code for federal exemptions is 11 U.S.C. § 522. If you own anything of value or if your car or house is worth more than you owe on it, it is very important that you consult an attorney before claiming exemptions. A bankruptcy trustee may be required to sell your property to pay creditors if you claim the exemptions improperly.
- I have more creditors than the fields in the eSR schedules allow. What should I do?
If you reach the limit of fields allowed in the schedules, you may type additional creditors on a paper copy of the schedule and prepare a mailing list of those creditors pursuant to court Local Rules. Paper copies of schedules and mailing list must be mailed to the Bankruptcy Court at the time the additional combined forms are filed, and the bankruptcy petition filing fee is paid.
After using eSR:
- What happens after I submit my eSR Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petition?
After submitting your petition, you will receive an email confirming the electronic receipt of the bankruptcy petition submitted to the Court. The bankruptcy petition will NOT be officially filed until you receive a Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing from the court with a case number.
- How do I pay the filing fee?
Payments must be made in the form of a cashier’s check or money order. Payments can be mailed or brought to the court in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- What additional forms need to be completed after submitting my petition via eSR?
Once a petition packet is submitted to the court through the eSR system, an originally signed Voluntary Petition and Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing form must be delivered to the court within 7 days of the date of the Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing. For additional required documentation, please review the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Filing Checklists.
- How do I know where to submit my additional forms and bankruptcy filing fee?
Forms and payment can be mailed, or hand delivered to the clerk’s office at 1 Division Ave, N., Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
- I completed my Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petition via eSR but want to apply for a fee waiver and/or installment.
To request a waiver of the fee (Chapter 7 only) or apply to pay in installments, Debtors must mail or drop off a completed Application to Pay in Installments OR a completed Application for Waiver of Filing Fee.
- How does the Court locate my petition?
The Clerk's Office locates your petition by searching by the email address used to create the petition through the eSR program.
- I can’t open the attachments in the confirmation email. Where can I get the forms attached?
The forms can be found on the court’s website.
- I submitted my petition but realized I need to make some changes before filing. How can I do that?
eSR only allows a one-time submission. Any schedules or statements not completed at the time the eSR packet is submitted cannot be completed later using eSR. All subsequent pleadings and amendments to pleadings must be filed in paper via mail or dropped off at the Grand Rapids Courthouse.