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Craig D. Robins, Esq. New York Bankruptcy Attorney, Longisland bankruptcy attorney

“ Craig D. Robins, Esq., has been a practicing Long Island bankruptcy attorney for over twenty-four years ”

Craig D. Robins, Esq.

Consumer Bankruptcy Update

Posted on Sunday (December 21, 2003) at 6:01 pm to Bankruptcy Legislation
Bankruptcy Practice
Suffolk Lawyer

On October 1, 2003, E.C.F. became mandatory. All documents except proofs of claim must now be filed by E.C.F. This involves converting documents to a format called P.D.F., which stands for portable document format. You must obtain special software to do this, such as Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or 6.0. While most computers come with Adobe Acrobat reader (which is free), formatting into a P.D.F. file requires that you purchase a program that writes PDF files. All of the current versions of the bankruptcy software programs automatically do that as well.

To participate in the E.C.F program, attorneys must first sign up for a course offered by the Court. After completing the course they must register with the Court and obtain a password. By registering, participants agree to receive notices by e-mail pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9036 instead of by normal mail service. Registered users would then receive e-mail notification when additional documents are filed, and can access the system through the Eastern District of New York website. Registered users can file pleadings, pay filing fees, and view dockets, pleadings and exhibits over the internet. You can pay filing fees by credit card. Unregistered users can also access dockets and view documents over the internet, but cannot file pleadings. Signature requirements are satisfied by inclusion in the document of the initials of the filing attorney and the last four digits of the filing attorney’s Social Security number.

Attorneys who do not have E.C.F. authorization can still file documents electronically by converting their papers to P.D.F format, placing the P.D.F. files on a 3.5 inch diskette, and delivering them to the clerk’s office. The Court does not currently accept submissions on any other media including CD-roms.

There are tremendous benefits to registering for E.C.F. An attorney can set up the account so that the Court sends the attorney an immediate e-mail every time a paper is filed on a case that the attorney is involved with. Each e-mail comes with an attachment of the actual document or docket entry. The contents of virtually all E.C.F. court files are now available 24 hours a day. Viewing filed documents and information on the web site costs seven cents per electronic page of information.

Court Information on the Web. In addition to the Court’s web site for filing papers and reviewing court documents, the Court maintains an additional web site that contains a great deal of helpful information (http://www.nyeb.uscourts.gov/index.html). You will find chambers directories and chambers rules, court calendars, forms, general information, links, court rules, urgent bulletins, and a monthly E.C.F. newsletter. The Bankruptcy Court also maintains a special E.C.F. help desk, which is also available by phone (631-712-6200).

New Privacy Laws and New Bankruptcy Forms. The Judicial Conference, the official board that has the ability to propose changes to bankruptcy forms and fees, has adopted a revised set of bankruptcy petition forms designed to protect the privacy of sensitive information. The privacy amendments became effective on December 1, 2003. The most significant change is that only the last four digits of the debtor’s Social Security number will be displayed publicly on any documents including the docket. Thus, petitions from now on may only contain the last four digits of the Social Security number.

In addition, when referring to minor children, only their initials should be used. With regard to bank account numbers, only the last four digits should be used. Full dates of birth should no longer be provided; rather, just the year.

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Craig D. Robins, Esq. is a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer, who is focused primarily on helping individuals and families, find solutions to their debt problems. Read more »


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Craig D. Robins, Esq.
35 Pinelawn Road, Suite 218E, Melville, NY 11747.

Tel : 516 - 496 - 0800