Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?
  2. How do I find out who the trustee is in a case?
  3. How do I get a hearing date?
  4. How do I get certified copies of documents?
  5. How do I obtain case information?
  6. How long does a bankruptcy remain on my credit report?
  7. How many copies do I need to file at the Court?
  8. What are the federal holidays?
  9. What do we do if someone in bankruptcy owes us money?
  10. What if the case I'm interested in is closed or archived?
  11. What is a section 341(a) meeting of creditors?
  12. What is the difference between chapters?
  13. What is the function of the U.S. Trustee?
  14. Where can I obtain petition forms?
  15. Who do I notify about a possible fraudulent filing?
  16. What is the Post Judgment Interest Rate?
  17. What do I need to file when filing a Bankruptcy case or an Adversary case with the Court?
  18. How do I file an Amended Matrix?
  19. Can I file Amended Schedules with an Amended Matrix? 

1. Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?

While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case pro se that is, without the assistance of an attorney, it may be difficult to do so successfully. It is recommended that a person considering bankruptcy consult with a competent attorney prior to filing a case. For information on lawyer referral programs, or free legal clinics in your area contact the local bar association.

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2. How do I find out who the trustee is in a case?

The trustee's name and address is printed on the notice of the Sec. 341(a) meeting of creditors. You also can obtain the trustee's name from the court's online case information system PACER,, as well as by calling the automated public information systems, VCIS and or by calling the court and speaking to the operator.

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3. How do I get a hearing date?

To schedule a matter please contact the Judicial Assistant or scheduling clerk for the judge assigned to the case. Matters can also be requested via the court’s Web page. Go to court phone directory.

To view anticipated court calendars for each judge click here.

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4.How do I get certified copies of documents?

Certified copies of documents are available at the Clerk's Office. The cost is $11.00 per certification plus the copy fee. Go to the court's copy center page for more copy details.

To obtain copies by mail write to U.S. Bankruptcy Court c/o mail requests. Please specify the name of the document to be certified and the document number if available. There is an additional file search fee of $30.00 for mail requests that require research. Please make the check or money order payable to Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Clerk's Office does not accept personal checks from debtors.

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5. How do I obtain case information?

Bankruptcy cases are public records and are available for viewing via the Pacer link on this website.  Computers are available for viewing cases at the Clerk's Office, 350 South Main, Room 301, Salt Lake City, Utah.  In addition, the court's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) and Voice Case Information System (VCIS) provide basic case information by computer modem or touch tone telephone. Those with PACER and Windows95 can view images of court documents using our service.

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6. How long does a bankruptcy remain on my credit report?

The fact that an individual filed a bankruptcy can remain on the credit report no longer than 10 years under provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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7. How many copies do I need to file at the Court?

The court requires the originals for all new chapter 7 and chapter 12 case; chapter 13, 9 and chapter 11 cases (plus copies indicated on the chapter filing checklists).  Please provide an additional copy if you want one for your records. Local Rule 5005-1 governs requirements for filing papers with the court.

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8. What are the Federal Holidays?

The Clerk's Office is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for the following federal holidays:

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9. What do we do if someone in bankruptcy owes us money?

In a chapter 7 no-asset case do not file a claim unless requested to do so by the court. In a chapter 7 asset case you will receive a claim form and a notice setting a date to file the claim. In a chapter 13 case, a Proof of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the 341 meeting date. In a chapter 11 case, unless otherwise ordered by the court, the bar date for filing proofs of claim shall be 180 days after the date of the order for relief (Local Rule 3003-1). The original claim and any supporting documents are filed with the Clerk's Office. If you wish to have a conformed copy returned to you, please enclose an extra copy and a self-addressed stamped envelope.

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10. What if the case I'm interested in is closed or archived?

Closed cases are kept at the Clerk's Offices for a limited amount of time (usually 3-5 years) due to a lack of storage space. The closed cases are shipped to the Denver Federal Records Center (archives). To view a case at the Federal Records Center you need the accession, location and box number. This information is available by calling the Clerk's Office at (801) 524-6687. If you prefer to have the case shipped from Denver to the Clerk's Office to review, there is a $53.00 archive retrieval fee. The Denver Federal Records Center accepts copy requests from bankruptcy case files by mail or fax. Denver Records Copy Form

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11. What is a section 341(a) meeting of creditors?

Section 341(a) of the Bankruptcy Code requires every debtor to personally attend a meeting of creditors and to submit to an examination under oath. The United States Trustee, his designee or, in a chapter 7 case, a panel trustee, presides at the meeting. Creditors may question the debtor under oath, elect a trustee other than the one assigned, and conduct such other business as may be appropriate. Creditors are not required to attend the meeting.

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12. What is the difference between chapters?

Chapter 7

Individuals, corporations and partnerships are eligible. A trustee is appointed to liquidate the estate. State law determines what portion of his property a debtor may keep by claiming he is exempt. The trustee will sell the rest of the debtor's property and distribute the proceeds to creditors. If all the debtor's property is exempt, the case will be a "no-asset case, " with no distribution to creditors.

Chapter 11

Although individuals may file a petition under Chapter 11, it is primarily designed for the rehabilitation of distressed businesses. The court's largest and most complex cases are usually Chapter 11 cases. When a Chapter 11 petition is filed, the debtor becomes a "debtor-in-possession" with rights and duties of a trustee. No trustee will be appointed in the case unless some interested party motions the court to do so and shows sufficient "cause" (e.g. fraud or mismanagement on the part of the debtor). A committee of unsecured creditors is usually appointed in Chapter 11 cases to act as a counterbalance to management. The Chapter 11 debtor's ultimate goal is to file a plan of reorganization that is acceptable to creditors and the court.

Chapter 12

This chapter was enacted into law by the 99th Congress in 1986 to provide relief for family farmers with a regular income. Chapter 12 is patterned very closely after a Chapter 13, but has attributes of Chapter 11 as well. Individual, corporate or partnership farming operations are eligible to file where aggregate debts (secured and unsecured ) do not exceed $1,500,000.00. A plan must be filed within 90 days of the entry of the order for relief, unless the court extends that time. The trustee, though appointed upon filing, does not remove the family farmer debtor-in-possession. After confirmation, payments are made to the trustee to consummate the plan.

Chapter 13

This chapter provides a way for individuals with a regular source of income to pay off their debts over a period of time and under the courts and trustee's supervision. Corporations and partnerships may not file under Chapter 13. Individuals may file only if their unsecured debts do not exceed $336,900.00 and their secured debts do not exceed $1,010,650.00. A plan is filed with the petition or immediately after. Payments are made to the Chapter 13 "Standing trustee," who makes distribution to creditors according to the provisions of a confirmed plan. The debts may be paid back in whole or in part, depending on what the debtor is able to do.

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13. What is the function of the U.S. Trustee?

The Office of the United States Trustee is an Executive Branch agency within the Department of Justice. Its function is to oversee the administration of bankruptcy cases. The U.S. Trustee establishes and supervises a panel of private trustees in chapter 7 cases, appoints standing trustees in chapter 13 cases, and appoints case trustees in chapter 11 and chapter12 cases. The U.S. Trustee monitors the administration of chapter 11 cases by, among other things, reviewing disclosure statements and plans of reorganization, and monitoring post-confirmation plan performance. The U.S. Trustee also monitors bankruptcy cases for possible crimes which may be reported to the United States Attorney.

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14. Where can I obtain petition forms?

The Bankruptcy Court website offers limited official forms. The Federal Judiciary also has Bankruptcy Forms available along with instructions and Committee notes. Petition forms can also be found from other sites on the Internet or at most office supply stores, or from businesses that sell legal forms .

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15. Who do I notify about a possible fraudulent filing?

The Office of the United States Trustee reviews complaints about possible fraudulent filings and, if appropriate, notifies the U.S. Attorney for further investigation. For more information contact: The U.S. Trustee’s Office at (801) 524-5734.

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16. What is the Post Judgment Interest Rate?

For post judgment interest rate information, visit the Post Judgment Interest Rate page.

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17. What do I need to file when filing a Bankruptcy Case with the Court?

Checklists are available on the court's forms page for the following case types:

18. How do I file an Amended Matrix

If you are adding eight (8) or less creditors, use amended matrix form. Please use the cover sheet and place the creditor address on the cover sheet (thus only one page is filed). Gummed labels can be used. If you are adding more than eight (8) creditors, complete only the heading on the cover sheet and submit the list of creditors in a scannable format (i.e. one column down the center of an otherwise blank page). Attach the list to the cover sheet and file it to be scanned into the system. Do not submit any creditors that have been previously submitted. Amended Matrix Cover Sheet

19. Can I file Amended Schedules with an Amended Matrix?

Many petitioners are filing separate amended schedules adding creditors and amended matrixes and are paying a $30.00 fee for each of these. Please review the proper procedure for filing these schedules and matrixes (pdf) to alleviate paying the filing fee twice.

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