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 Eastern District of Texas.
- Can attorneys or bankruptcy petition preparers use eSR?
No, eSR is not available for attorneys. Attorneys must still register for electronic filing pursuant to the Local Rules of the court. 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 or chapter 13 filings.
- Where can I access eSR?
eSR can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection by visiting our eSR system homepage at https://ecf.txeb.uscourts.gov/n/esr/pages/registration.jsf and clicking on the eSR logo “click to get started” link.
- How do I use eSR?
To use eSR, create a user profile, unique login, and password. This can be done by visiting the eSR system home page. Next, answer questions about your property, income and debts. After submitting the petition you will receive a Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing within 1 business day containing a case number. The filing fee in the form of a money order, completed and signed eSR Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form and additional required forms must be submitted to the divisional office where your case is filed. You must also obtain credit counseling from a court-approved credit counseling agency prior to filing your case. A bankruptcy petition is NOT considered “filed” until you receive the Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing with your case number.
- What are the computer requirements for using eSR at home?
You must have an Internet-enabled computer with the pop-up blockers disabled. You will also need Adobe Reader, version 8 or higher. With respect to browsers, it is recommended that you use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Safari.
- Who can I contact for help regarding eSR?
For procedural questions regarding eSR, you may receive assistance by calling the Bankruptcy Court at one of our divisional offices. Unfortunately, the Clerk’s Office cannot give legal advice.
- Is there a cost to use eSR?
No one should charge you for using eSR. There is no cost to use eSR. Pay only the chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee. The court has a convenient way to pay the filing fee online. See the court's fees page at https://www.txeb.uscourts.gov/fees.
- 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 the Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form, additional forms and bankruptcy filing fee?
The Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Form, additional forms, and bankruptcy filing fee or Application for Waiver and/or Fee Installment are due within 7 days of the date of receiving 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.
- 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?
Once the clerk has notified you of your case number, you can make your payment using our online payment form. Go to https://www.txeb.uscourts.gov/fees for instructions on how to make payment using your debit card number or checking account and rounting number.
- What additional forms need to be completed after submitting my petition via eSR?
The following forms with original signatures must be mailed to the Bankruptcy Court after submitting your petition electronically: Statement About Your Social Security Numbers (Form 121), Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing, Declaration by Debtor(s) as to Whether Income was Received From an Employer within 60 Days of the Petition Date, Bankruptcy Petition Preparer’s Notice, Declaration and Signature (Form 119), if applicable, Disclosure of Compensation of Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (Form B2800), if applicable, Initial Statement About an Eviction Judgement Against You (Form 101A), if applicable, Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgement Against You (Form 101B), if applicable, and any other documents/attachments required to file your bankruptcy case.
- How do I know where to submit my additional forms and bankruptcy filing fee?
To determine where you must submit these items, please visit the Court Locations section of our website. The specific location of where to file for bankruptcy is determined by the zip code of a debtor's residence address or location of principal assets of business.
- I completed my chapter 7 or chapter 13 petition via eSR but want to apply for a fee waiver and/or installment.
Depending on the divisional office where your bankruptcy case will be filed, you may be required to have a complete chapter 7 or chapter 13 petition in order to apply for a fee waiver or installments. Please contact the Court for additional information.
- How many days do I have to pay my filing fee, and mail the declaration of electronic filing and additional local forms?
The filing fee, declaration of electronic filing and additional forms are due to the Court within 7 days of the date of receipt of the Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing. If these requirements are not met, your case may be dismissed. It’s important to remember that your eSR petition is NOT filed until you receive from the court a Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing containing a case number.
- 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 didn’t receive a confirmation email. What information is on it?
The email contains important information and steps needed to be taken to complete the official filing process of your chapter 7 or chapter 13 petition. eSR petition is NOT filed until you receive from the court a Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing containing a case number. If you did not receive the confirmation email, please follow the steps below. If you need assistance or have any questions, you may contact the Court.
Submit the items listed below to the Bankruptcy Court within 7 days of receipt of the Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing in the manner prescribed. The specific location of where to file for bankruptcy is determined by the zip code of a debtor's residence address or location of principal assets of business.
- Make a Payment. Once you receive your case number from the clerk, yo umay proceed to the online payment form to pay the applicable fee for your case using your debit card or checking account number and routing number. To pay oneline, click on https://pay.gov/public/form/start/787213551.
- If Paying in Installments or Requesting a Waiver of the Fee:
- Mail a completed Application to Pay in Installments OR
- Mail a completed Application for Waiver of Filing Fee
- Mail a Copy of a Certificate of Credit Counseling (or printed copy of electronic version).
- Mail a photocopy of your government-issued photo identification such as your driver's license or passport.
- Mail Paystubs (if applicable)
- Print and complete the following and submit by mail:
- Statement About Your Social Security Numbers (Form 121)
- Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing Excluding Local Forms (Self Represented Individual)
- Bankruptcy Petition Preparer’s Notice, Declaration and Signature (Form 119); (if applicable)
- Disclosure of Compensation of Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (Form B2800); (if applicable)
- Initial Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgement Against You (Form 101A), if applicable
- Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgement Against You (Form 101B), if applicable
- I submitted my petition but realized I need to make some changes before filing. How can I do that?
If you need to make changes to the petition but have already submitted it, you will need to contact the Court to make the petition available to you again via eSR. You may request to send the petition back to eSR by contacting the Court.