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REGISTERING A NATIONAL ADDRESS FOR ALL BANKRUPTCY NOTICES
AND REQUESTING ELECTRONIC NOTICES

11 United States Code section 342(f), enacted in 2005, allows a creditor to register one address where they want bankruptcy notices sent from any or all of the bankruptcy courts. The process to register this address is relatively simple and can be completed by filling out a paper form and mailing that form to the appropriate address or by filling out the form online. Both the form and the online registration process can be found at www.ncrsuscourts.com.

Once a creditor has registered their preferred address, any bankruptcy court should send all bankruptcy notices to that address. However, it takes thirty days for the registration to become active. In addition, when filling out the form or going through the online registrations process, a creditor should be sure to provide any trade name of the creditor that a debtor may use to identify the creditor company. When a debtor identifies a creditor in a bankruptcy filing, the court will use an electronic search process to determine if that creditor has a registered preferred address. If a debtor misidentifies a creditor in some way, the possibility exists that the court will not discover that a creditor has a registered preferred address. If a bankruptcy court is not aware of a preferred address, a notice will still be sent to the address provided by the debtor. At this time, there is no case law that explains who bears the risk of notice being sent to an address that is not the registered preferred address. However, it is unlikely that the court will bear this risk.

Creditors also have another option to streamline their receipt of bankruptcy notices. United States Bankruptcy Courts now offer Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing ("EBN"). This is a free service that delivers bankruptcy notices electronically by a variety of methods. More information about this system and the links needed to sign up for the service can be found at www.ebnuscourts.com.

Much like the system used in determining whether a creditor has a registered preferred mailing address, EBN runs an electronic search based on the names provided by the debtor and sends out electronic notice to those creditors who have registered for EBN. If an electronic notice is sent, a paper notice will not be sent to the creditor. If the electronic search does not yield a registered EBN user, the court will then send a paper notice to address provided by the debtor.

Court case law also offers no guidance as to who bears of the risk that the electronic search system fails to identify a creditor. In this situation, a paper notice will be sent to the address provided by the debtor. This paper notice may serve the purpose of alerting the creditor that the system did not find the correct address. However, this may still create difficulties if the notice is sent to a branch office that does not typically deal with such notices. It is important to provide EBN with every name of the creditor that a debtor may use for the creditor.

Both of these systems offer convenient options to a creditor who deals with numerous bankruptcies and wants all notices to go to one person, department or office. If a creditor prefers to deal with debtor bankruptcies on a regional level, the creditor may also register specific mailing address with specific bankruptcy courts to get notices sent to the appropriate creditor offices. While these systems have some risk, a paper notice will still be sent to the address provided by the debtor if a registered address or EBN registration is not identified by the electronic search process used by the bankruptcy court. As a result, if the electronic search process fails to properly identify the creditor, the creditor is in essentially the same position as if they were not registered at all. These systems do not eliminate the need for local branches and managers to be on the look out for notices, but should streamline the process substantially.

Bankruptcy Checklist

Notice of Bankruptcy Received?

Be on Creditors' Committee?

Preserve Security Rights on Uncollected Receivable
Spread Receivable by Project, amount owed and date of last delivery

Mechanic's Lien Rights
Payment Bond Rights
Trust Fund Rights
Consensual Security Agreements
Reclamation Rights
Equitable Lien Rights

Collect Preference Information on money collected in last 100 days (Client or Pacer)

Get Payments during preference period from debtor's Statement of Financial Affairs
Get Client records of checks received in last 100 days
Preserve Security Rights on money collected in last 100 days
Spread by Project, amount money collected in last 100 days and date of last delivery
Name of owner and general contractor

 

Motion for Deadline on Preference Action to Preserve Security Rights for Preference Exposure

Get Copies of Invoices paid w/ money collected in last 100 days
Get Payment History of customer three years prior to bankruptcy

Check for Assumption of Contracts on projects with collected and uncollected receivable

Check Petition for Executory Contracts - are we on any of them?

Continue to do business with Debtor?

Critical Vendor Motion?
Security on projects, including ML or Bond rights?
Require Cash in advance or new security?
Compel Assumption of Contract
Eliminates Preference Exposure
Better Security (Cure Required) for Pre-petition Debt
Better Security (Cure Required) for Post-petition Debt

Get Schedules of Assets and Liabilities?

Accounts payable to client (is debt correct amount, liquidated, uncontested, undisputed?)
Accounts receivable to debtor on delivery projects

 

File Proof of Claim

Attach copies of all contracts, invoices and proof of delivery

Send Rule 2002 Notice to get on mail list or request a CM/ECF (Case Management/Electronic Case Filings) ID and Password from PACER to electronically file and monitor all papers filed in that bankruptcy case.

Go to Meeting of Creditors
File Objection to Discharge

 

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