UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT

DISTRICT OF OREGON


April 23, 2014
Portland
1001 SW 5th Ave #700
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 326-1500
Hours & Information
Map & Directions
Exterior of Eugene Bankruptcy Court location: click for map
Eugene
405 E 8th Ave #2600
Eugene, OR 97401
(541) 431-4000
Hours & Information
Map & Directions

Information for Debtors Without an Attorney



Before You File


 Deciding Whether to File for Bankruptcy
 Bankruptcy Basics Video
 Helpful Information for Filing without an Attorney
 Getting Assistance from a Petition Provider
 Credit Counseling

  • 1.  Who can start a bankruptcy?  

      Any person, and almost any partnership, corporation, or business trust may file a bankruptcy petition. Certain types of entities, such as banks and insurance companies, may not be eligible for bankruptcy protection, but almost all other entities who are not individuals can file under either Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 12. A business that is not a partnership, corporation, or business trust, cannot file a separate bankruptcy petition on its own, but must be filed as an individual bankruptcy under the name(s) of the owner(s).

      If the person or entity who owes the debts (the debtor) files the petition, it is called a voluntary petition. A voluntary petition can be filed under Chapter 7, 9, 11, 12, or 13

      The people or entities that are owed money (the creditors) may also have the right to file a petition against a person or entity which owes them money, and is not paying. This is called an involuntary petition. There are certain restrictions upon the creditors ability to file an involuntary petition. In an involuntary case, the debtor is allowed to contest the petition and contend that it should not be in bankruptcy. The Court can impose penalties against the creditors who filed the case if the debtor proves that the involuntary petition should not have been filed. An involuntary petition cannot be filed against joint debtors, and can be filed only under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 (11 USC §303).

      Only a family farmer or family fisherman may file a Chapter 12 petition. In addition, there are certain debt limitations in a Chapter 12 case. See 11 USC §101(18) and (19A).

  • 2.  Notice to Individual Consumer Debtor(s) Under Section 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code   

      In accordance with §342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, this notice: (1) Describes briefly the services available from credit counseling services; (2) Describes briefly the purposes, benefits and costs of the four types of bankruptcy proceedings you may commence; and (3) Informs you about bankruptcy crimes and notifies you that the Attorney General may examine all information you supply in connection with a bankruptcy case. You are cautioned that bankruptcy law is complicated and not easily described. Therefore, you should seek the advice of an attorney to learn of your rights and responsibilities under the law should you decide to file a petition with the court. If you need an attorney, the Oregon State Bar's Lawyer Referral Service number is 1-800-452-7636. Court employees are prohibited from giving you legal advice.

      A. Services Available from Credit Counseling Agencies

      With limited exceptions, §109(h) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that all individual debtors who file for bankruptcy relief on or after October 17, 2005 receive a briefing that outlines the available opportunities for credit counseling and provides assistance in performing a budget analysis. The briefing must be given within 180 days before the bankruptcy filing. The briefing may be provided individually or in a group (including briefings conducted by telephone or on the Internet), and must be provided by a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency approved by the United States Trustee. For a list of approved agencies, see the U.S. Trustee's website at http://www.justice.gov/ust/.

      Services can include (1) budget counseling, (2) debt management services, (3) debt settlement, (4) credit education and correction services, (5) housing advising services, (6) financial education, and/or (7) income tax preparation.

      In addition, after filing a bankruptcy case, an individual debtor generally must complete a financial management instructional course before he or she can receive a discharge. Also see the U.S.Trustee's website for a list of approved financial management instructional courses.

      B. The Four Chapters of the Bankruptcy Code Available to Individual Consumer Debtors

      Chapter 7: Liquidation (See Court Fees List for filing fee)

      1. Chapter 7 is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. Debtors whose debts are primarily consumer debts are subject to a means test designed to determine whether the case should be permitted to proceed under Chapter 7. In addition, if your income is greater than the median income for your state of residence and family size, in some cases, creditors have a right to file a motion requesting that the court dismiss your case under §707(b) of the Code. It is up to the court to decide whether the case should be dismissed.

      2. Under Chapter 7, you may claim certain property as exempt under governing law. A trustee may have the right to take possession of and sell the remaining property that is not exempt and use the sale proceeds to pay your creditors.

      3. The purpose of filing a Chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of your existing debts. If, however, you are found to have committed certain kinds of improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, the court may deny your discharge and, if it does, the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy petition will be defeated.

      4. Even if you receive a general discharge , some particular debts are not dischargeable under the law. Therefore, you may still be responsible for most taxes and student loans; debts incurred to pay nondischargeable taxes; domestic support and property settlement obligations; most fines, penalties, forfeitures, and criminal restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; and debts for death or personal injury caused by operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. Also, if a creditor can prove that a debt arose from fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, theft, or from a willful and malicious injury, the bankruptcy court may determine that the debt is not discharged.

      Chapter 11: Reorganization (See Court Fees List for filing fee)

      Chapter 11 is primarily designed for the reorganization of a business, but is also available to individual debtors. Its provisions are quite complicated, and any decision by an individual to file a Chapter 11 petition should be reviewed with an attorney.

      Chapter 12: Family Farmer or Fisherman (See Court Fees List for filing fee)

      Chapter 12 is designed to permit family farmers and fishermen to repay their debts over a period of time from future earnings and is similar to Chapter 13. The eligibility requirements are restrictive, limiting its use to those whose income arises primarily from a family-owned farm or commercial fishing operation.

      Chapter 13 : Repayment of All or Part of the Debts of an Individual with Regular Income ( See Court Fees List for filing fee)

      1. Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income who would like to pay all or part of their debts in installments over a period of time. You are only eligible for Chapter 13 if your debts do not exceed certain dollar amounts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.

      2. Under Chapter 13, you must file with the court a plan to repay your creditors all or part of the money that you owe them, using your future earnings. The period allowed by the court to repay your debts may be three years or five years, depending upon your income and other factors. The court must approve your plan before it can take effect.

      3. After completing the payments under your plan, your debts are generally discharged except for domestic support obligations; most student loans; certain taxes; most criminal fines and restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; certain debts for acts that caused death or personal injury; and certain long term secured obligations.

      C. Bankruptcy Crimes and Availability of Bankruptcy Papers to Law Enforcement Officials

      A person who knowingly and fraudulently conceals assets, or makes a false oath or statement under penalty of perjury, either orally or in writing, in connection with a bankruptcy case is subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both. All information supplied by a debtor in connection with a bankruptcy case is subject to examination by the Attorney General acting through the Office of the United States Trustee, the Office of the United States Attorney, and other components and employees of the Department of Justice.

      WARNING : Section 521(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that you promptly file detailed information regarding your creditors, assets, liabilities, income, expenses and general financial condition. Your bankruptcy case may be dismissed if this information is not filed with the court within the time deadlines set by the Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Rules, and the local rules of the court.

  • 3.  What are the consequences of filing for bankruptcy?  

      Depending on a debtor's financial condition and reasons for filing, the consequences of filing for bankruptcy protection may outweigh the benefits. The timing of the filing may be very important, and those considering bankruptcy should be aware of the following:

      1. Filing for bankruptcy protection is not free. See response to FAQ (How much are the court fees to file a bankruptcy?).

      2. Not all debts are dischargeable. For example, most domestic support obligations, most tax debts, and most student loan debts are not dischargeable. See response to FAQ (What is a bankruptcy discharge and what is the difference between denial of discharge and denial of the dischargeability of an individual debt?)

      3. Within 14 days of the filing of a bankruptcy petition, schedules of the debtor's assets and liabilities must be filed with the Court. Failure to timely file the appropriate schedules will result in a dismissal of the bankruptcy case, and may bar the debtor from filing again for 180 days (6 months).

      4. The Bankruptcy Code imposes time limitations on successive discharges as follows:

      A. If a Chapter 7 or 11 discharge is entered by the Court, the debtor is prohibited from being granted another discharge in a later-filed Chapter 7 case (filed on or after 10/17/05) filed within eight years of the filing of the first case.

      B. If a Chapter 7 or 11 discharge is entered by the Court, the debtor is prohibited from being granted another discharge in a later-filed Chapter 7 case (filed prior to 10/17/05) filed within six years of the filing of the first case.

      C. If a Chapter 7, 11, or 12 discharge is entered by the Court, the debtor is prohibited from being granted another discharge in a later-filed Chapter 13 case (filed on or after 10/17/05) filed within four years of the filing of the first case.

      D. If a Chapter 13 discharge is entered by the Court, the debtor is prohibited from being granted a discharge in a later-filed Chapter 13 case (filed on or after 10/17/05) filed within two years of the filing of the first case.

      E. If a Chapter 12 or 13 discharge is entered by the Court, the debtor is prohibited from being granted a discharge in a later-filed Chapter 7 case filed within six years of the filing of the first case, unless (a) the debtor paid 100% of allowed unsecured claims in the Chapter 12 or 13 case, or (b) the debtor paid at least 70% of the allowed unsecured claims in the Chapter 12 or 13 case, the plan was proposed in good faith, and was the debtor's best effort.

      5. Submission of fraudulent information, or commission of certain acts by the debtor can also be grounds for the denial of discharge of an individual debt, or for the denial of the discharge of all debts, and can also give rise to criminal charges. See response to FAQ(What is a bankruptcy discharge and what is the difference between denial of discharge and denial of the dischargeability of an individual debt?).

      6. In some instances, transfers of property and/or payments made to (1) general creditors within ninety days prior to the filing of a bankruptcy petition, and/or (2) relatives within one year prior to the filing of a bankruptcy petition, are subject to being recovered by the bankruptcy trustee.

      7. If the debtor is seeking to discharge utility bills from a utility company currently providing service to the debtor, the utility company may terminate services if the debtor does not pay a reasonable security deposit or provide other adequate assurance of payment within 20 days of the filing of the bankruptcy petition.

      8. Depending on the timing of the filing of the bankruptcy petition, and what chapter of bankruptcy is filed, the debtor can be required to turn over state and federal tax refunds to the bankruptcy trustee.

  • 4.  What is the Chapter 7 "Means Test" ?  

      As part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 which became effective on October 17, 2005, a "means test" has been instituted to determine whether or not a debtor is entitled to a Chapter 7 discharge, or whether such debtor must convert the case to one under another chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. The basic purpose of the means test is to compare monthly income and expenses to determine whether or not a Chapter 7 discharge would constitute an "abuse" of the provisions related to Chapter 7 in the Bankruptcy Code.

      Means testing is only applicable to debtors whose annualized current income exceeds the median family income for the state of residence and family size involved. Such median income figures can be obtained from the U.S. Trustee's web site. In calculating income for means testing, however, average income for the six months immediately prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition is used as opposed to actual or projected income at the time of filing. Some types of income (e.g., social security benefits) are not included for the means test calculation. With respect to expenses, allowable expenses are to some extent determined by IRS guidelines as opposed to actual expenditures.

      NOTE: The amounts shown below are effective as to cases files on and after 4/1/10. These amounts will also be adjusted on 4/1/13 and every 3 years thereafter with respect to cases commenced on or after the date of adjustment.

      After subtracting allowable expenses from income, if the monthly disposable income is less than $109.58, no presumption of abuse will exist. If the monthly disposable income is between $109.58 and $182.50, a presumption of abuse will arise only if the debtor can pay at least 25% of the non-priority unsecured debts over five years. On the other hand, if monthly disposable income is greater than $182.50, a presumption of abuse will exist regardless of the amount of the debtor 's non-priority unsecured debts .

      Forms for the means test calculation are available on the U.S. Court's web site.

      If a debtor "fails" the means test, this does not necessarily mean that such debtor will be precluded from obtaining a Chapter 7 discharge . The debtor has the opportunity to rebut the presumption of abuse by showing documented special circumstances or expenses which prove either that (1) monthly disposable income is less than $109.58 or (2) monthly disposable income is between $109.58 and $182.50 with an inability to pay at least 25% of non-priority unsecured debts . If a presumption of abuse exists, it will be up to some party in interest (e.g., Court, Trustee, U.S. Trustee, or creditor) to file a motion seeking a dismissal of the case, or the conversion to another chapter. If a motion is filed, and the debtor is unable to rebut a presumption of abuse, the debtor will be required to convert the case to either Chapter 11, 12, or 13 (whichever is appropriate), or the case will be dismissed. Moreover, even a debtor not subject to means testing can still have a case dismissed or converted if the Court finds that the petition was filed in bad faith, or if the totality of the circumstances of the debtor's financial situation demonstrates abuse.

  • 5.  When may I file bankruptcy again?  

      As a general rule, there is no statutory prohibition against an individual filing another bankruptcy at any time. However, the court could enter such an order (for example if you are found to be abusing the system by repeatedly filing cases solely for purposes of delay). Additionally, the Bankruptcy Code [11 USC §109(g)] does provide that you may have to wait 180 days (6 months) to refile if either: (a) your previous case was dismissed for willful failure to abide by orders of the court (possible examples could include the failure to pay filing fees, to file required documents, or to complete the first meeting of creditors), or (b) if your case was dismissed on your request after a creditor filed a motion for relief from the automatic stay. In addition, there are certain prohibitions against receiving another chapter 7 discharge in specific circumstances. See 11 USC §727(8) and (9).

      Subsection (8) prohibits entry of a chapter 7 discharge if you received a discharge in a chapter 7 or 11 case filed within eight (8) years of the filing of the new case.

      Subsection (9) prohibits entry of a chapter 7 discharge if you received a discharge in a chapter 12 or 13 case commenced within six years of the chapter 7 filing unless payments under the plan totaled either 100% of allowed unsecured claims or at least 70% of the unsecured claims if the plan was proposed in good faith and was the debtor's best effort.

      Moreover, under 11 USC §1328(f)(1) and (2), a discharge cannot be entered in a chapter 13 case if the debtor (1) has received a discharge in a chapter 7, 11, or 12 case filed within four years of the chapter 13 filing, or (2) has received a discharge in a chapter 13 case filed within 2 years of the new chapter 13 case.

      For other things that should be considered before actually filing another bankruptcy petition, see Who Can Start a Bankruptcy? and What are the Consequences of Filing for Bankruptcy?

      Only an individual may file a Chapter 13 petition. As with Chapter 12 cases, there are debt limitations in a Chapter 13 case. See 11 USC §109(e).

  • 6.  Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?  

      While it is possible for an individual to file a bankruptcy case "pro se", that is, without the assistance of an attorney, it may be difficult to do so successfully. Click here for some important general information about filing for bankruptcy without an attorney.

      As noted in the general information, it is recommended that a person considering bankruptcy consult with a competent attorney prior to filing a case. For information about lawyer referral programs, contact the Oregon State Bar at (503) 684-3763 in the Portland metropolitan area or 1-800-452-7636 if calling from other areas.

      NOTE: Any entity other than an individual (i.e., corporation, partnership, trust, LLC, LLP, conservatorship, guardianship, etc.) must be represented by an attorney.

  • 7.  Is there any place I can get free or low cost legal advice before I file?  

      Here are a few possibilities to consider:

      1. The Oregon State Bar has a Lawyer Referral program which will direct you to an attorney who has agreed to provide limited consultation at reduced rates. The Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Program can be contacted by calling 503-684-3763 in the Portland metropolitan area or 1-800-452-7636 if calling from other areas.

      2. In Portland, the Lewis & Clark Legal Clinic provides services of law school students under the supervision of an attorney to low income clients. Their office can be reached by calling 503-768-6500.

      3. Multnomah, Yamhill, Washington, Clackamas & Columbia Counties - If you are low income and live in Multnomah, Yamhill, Washington, Clackamas or Columbia Counties, you can call the legal aid office for your county and, if you meet the income and asset guidelines, they will schedule you for an appointment to meet with a volunteer lawyer immediately after you attend one of the Bankruptcy Clinic classes described below.

      In Multnomah or Yamhill County: Call Multnomah County Legal Aid Service at (503) 224-4086.

      In Washington, Clackamas or Columbia County: Call Oregon Legal Services (Hillsboro office) at (503)-648-7163.

      4. The Debtor-Creditor Section of the Oregon State Bar in cooperation with Legal Aid and the Lewis & Clark Legal Clinic has a Bankruptcy Clinic. Anyone who is thinking about filing a consumer chapter 7 can come to the class but only those low income people who have separately made an appointment through the Legal aid offices will receive individual help from their volunteer attorney after the class. Click here for further information on the Bankruptcy Clinic.

  • 8.  What are exemptions?  

When You File


 Filing Checklist
 Hints for Filing on Your Own

  • 1.  How do I obtain the required credit counseling before I file?  

      For a list of approved agencies, see the U.S. Trustee's website at http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/ index.htm . The briefing must be given within 180 days before the bankruptcy filing. You must also complete an instructional course concerning personal financial management after your case is filed, and file a certificate of completion with the court.
  • 2.  Where can I obtain forms, and which ones do I need for filing?   

      BANKRUPTCY PETITION FORMS:

      If hiring an attorney is not possible, download Local Bankruptcy Form #100. Form #100 which provides a list of all the forms necessary for each chapter, and detailed instructions on how to assemble the petition packets.

      A petition packet is made up of two kinds of required forms, Official Bankruptcy Forms (OBF) and Local Bankruptcy Forms (LBF). The majority are OBFs, (i.e., Voluntary Petition, Schedules A - J, Statement of Affairs, etc.) which can be obtained electronically from the U.S. Courts' web site. Click here to access OBFs.

      The rest are LBFs (e.g., Exhibit C, Individual Debtor’s Application to Pay Fees in Installments, Chapter 12 and 13 Plans, etc.). Click here to access these and other LBFs.

  • 3.  How much are the court fees to file a bankruptcy?  

      Click here to see/download the current list of Bankruptcy Court filing fees.

      You must normally pay all of the required fees at the time you file a bankruptcy petition. Except as provided below, if the debtor is an individual and cannot pay the full amount at the time of filing, the filing fee and administrative fee may be paid in up to three installments in an individual chapter 7 or chapter 11 filing, but in a chapter 12 or 13 filing, any balance owing must be paid within 45 days of filing and before the plan can be confirmed. To pay fees in installments, a fully completed Individual Debtor's Application To Pay Filing Fee In Installments (LBF #110) must be filed with the petition. Please be aware that anyone filing a chapter 11 or a chapter 13 must pay the minimum payment required by LBF #110.

      If an application for payment of fees in installments is approved, you may not pay an attorney or petition preparer any further amounts of money for services rendered until all of the filing fees are paid.

      The court also has the discretion to waive the filing fee for an individual chapter 7 debtor if his or her income is less than 150% of the official poverty line (as defined by the federal government) applicable to a family of the size involved, and is unable to pay that fee in installments. If you feel that a fee waiver is warranted, you must file with your petition a fully completed Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived (Official Bankruptcy Form Official Bankruptcy Form #B3B). If the judge denies your application for a fee waiver, he or she will normally enter an order requiring the payment of the filing fee in installments. In that case, failure to make the installment payments will result in a dismissal of the bankruptcy case.

  • 4.  Where do I file?  

      The District of Oregon Bankruptcy Court has two offices of the clerk. The specific location for filing bankruptcy petitions or other documents is determined by the county in which the debtor resides or has its principal place of business or principal assets. If the debtor resides in Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion or Polk counties, filings must be made in the Eugene office at 405 E 8th Ave #2600, Eugene, OR 97401. If the debtor’s address is in any other county, filings must be made in the Portland office at 1001 SW 5th Ave #700, Portland OR 97204. All documents relating to a case must be filed in the office where the case is pending.
  • 5.  How many copies do I need to file at the court?  

      Petitions - If a petition is conventionally filed on paper, no copies are required.

      However, you will need to provide an additional copy if you want one stamped with the date of filing for your records plus a self addressed envelope with adequate postage if you are filing by mail.

      Motions and other pleadings - Unless filed within three (3) business days of a hearing that pertains to such document, the court requires only an original of any motion, supporting documents or other pleading. If filed within three days of a hearing, a paper copy of any document filed within three (3) business days of a scheduled hearing to which the document pertains must be clearly marked “JUDGE’S COPY” and must also be contemporaneously filed with the clerk.

      Adversary Proceedings - If filed on paper, the court requires an original of a fully completed bankruptcy adversary cover sheet and the original complaint or proposed judgment. The plaintiff who electronically files a complaint shall print and use the summons electronically issued, if one is so issued, by the court via the ECF system during the filing process for service.

  • 6.  Do I need to send a copy of the petition to anyone else?   

      It is your responsibility to do what you think is necessary to notify the appropriate people. A few days after the date of filing, the Clerk’s Office will send a notice of your filing to all the creditors you have listed on the “matrix” (the list of creditor names and addresses that you must file with your petition). You are responsible for being sure you have listed all your creditors and that their complete street address, city, state and zip code is accurate.

      Local Bankruptcy Form #104 sets out all the requirements for preparation of your mailing list in a format that can be accurately entered into the court’s system.

After You File


 Financial Management Course (Debtor Education)
 341(a) Meeting Video
 Reaffirmation Hearing Video


  • 1.  What happens after I file bankruptcy?  

      Upon filing the original petition with the Clerk’s Office, the court’s restraining order, called the “Automatic Stay”, immediately takes effect and prohibits virtually all creditors from taking any collection action against the debtor or the debtor’s property. Although the stay is automatic, creditors need to be advised of the stay. The court issues a notice to all creditors advising them of the filing of the bankruptcy, the case number, the automatic stay, the name of the trustee assigned to the case (if filed under chapter 7, 12, or 13), the date set for the meeting of creditors, the deadline, if any, set for filing objections to the discharge of the debtor and/or the dischargeability of specified debts, and whether and where to file claims. The exact information in the notice differs depending on the chapter under which the case is filed.

      A meeting of creditors will usually be held within 20 to 40 days of filing unless the debtor lives in an outlying area, then it may be a little longer. The meetings set for Portland and Eugene will be held at the office of the U.S. Trustee. At the meeting the debtor is required to respond, under oath, to questions from the case trustee and to any questions that creditors may have relating to the financial condition of the debtor and the debtor’s assets. Attending this meeting is mandatory for the debtor but creditors need not attend.

      In a chapter 7 case involving an individual debtor, the creditors generally have 60 days from the first date set for the meeting of creditors to object to the discharge of all the debtor’s debts and/or the dischargeability of a specific debt. If the deadline passes without any objections to the debtor’s discharge of all debts being filed, the court will issue the Discharge Order. If any objections to the dischargeability of specific debts are filed they will be heard by the court, but will not delay the granting of a discharge with respect to other debts. An objection to discharge or to the dischargeability of certain debts is considered a separate lawsuit (an adversary proceeding) within the bankruptcy and may result in a trial before the judge assigned to the case. Corporate and partnership chapter 7 debtors do not receive discharges. If there are no estate assets from which a dividend can be paid to the creditors, the trustee will prepare a report of no distribution and the case will be closed. If there are assets that are not exempt, funds will be available for distribution. The court will set claims deadlines and notify all creditors to file their proofs of claim. The trustee will proceed to collect the assets, liquidate them and distribute the proceeds to creditors. When the assets have been completely administered, the court will close the case.

      In a chapter 13 case, creditors are given an opportunity to object to the plan. If no objection is filed by creditors or the trustee, the plan may be confirmed as filed. Once the plan is confirmed, the trustee will distribute the proceeds of the debtor’s plan payments to the creditors until the debtor completes the plan or the court dismisses or converts the case. Upon completion of the chapter 13 plan, the court will issue a Discharge Order, the trustee will prepare a Final Report and the case will be closed. If the debtor is unable to complete the plan through no fault of his/her own, and requests a “hardship discharge”, if certain requirements are met, a discharge may be granted.

      In a chapter 12 case, the confirmation hearing must be concluded within 45 days of filing the plan. The court may consider dismissal of the case if a plan is not confirmed. Once the plan is confirmed, the trustee disburses the payments received from the debtor and makes sure the farming operation is running according to plan. Upon completion of the chapter 12 plan, the court will issue a Discharge Order, the trustee will prepare a Final Report and the case will be closed. If the debtor is unable to complete the plan through no fault of his/her own, and requests a “hardship discharge”, if certain requirements are met, a discharge may be granted.

      In a chapter 11 case, the debtor will meet with the U.S. Trustee’s staff before the creditors’ meeting. At the meeting, the U.S. Trustee will go over the responsibilities and restrictions of the debtor-in-possession, explain the quarterly fees and monthly operating reports, and generally discuss the financial situation of the debtor and the scope of the anticipated plan of reorganization. Interested unsecured creditors are encouraged by the U.S. Trustee to form a Creditors’ Committee and to take an active part in moving the case along. A disclosure statement must be filed with the plan and approved by the court before votes for and against the plan can be solicited. After the estate has been fully administered, the court enters a final decree closing the case. A chapter 11 estate may be considered fully administered and closed before the payments required by the plan have been completed.

  • 2.  I received a notice that I have a “deficient” pleading. What does that mean?  

      A deficient pleading is one that is incomplete or incorrectly done in some way. The notice you received should tell you specifically what needs to be done to correct the document so that it can be filed and also gives the deadline for filing. When you make the corrections, you will need to attach a copy of the “deficiency” notice to the documents and resubmit them for filing before the filing deadline.

  • 3.  How do I change or correct information in the petition, schedules and statements I have already filed with the Clerk’s Office?  

      The information contained in your petition, schedules and statement of affairs is submitted under penalty of perjury. Therefore, you must be certain that it is correct when you sign these documents. If, however, you later discover that something is inaccurate, the documents may be corrected by the filing, typically well before the case is closed, of an amendment with the Clerk’s Office where the petition was filed.

      Petition information: If only changing the debtor’s address, use local form LBF #101. If changing other information such as debtor’s Social Security Number or any other information contained on the first two pages of the petition packet, mark the document “Amended”, highlight what is being changed, and completely fill out the form with all required signatures affixed. Copies of the amended document must be sent to the case trustee, the U.S. Trustee and to all creditors listed on the matrix. The reason for this is that the incorrect information was sent to everyone when the notice of the first meeting of creditors went out so they need to be informed if any of that information was incorrect.

      Schedules or Statement of Affairs: To change information contained in the schedules or Statement of Affairs, the document must be labeled “Amended” and be accompanied by a signed declaration under penalty of perjury.

      Schedules D, E, F, G or H: LBF #728 accompanied by a fee per the Court Fees List, must be submitted to amend Schedules D, E, F, G or H after notice to creditors has been sent out in the case. LBF #728 contains certain instructions which must be strictly followed in order for the amendment to be processed properly. For instance, if adding creditors to Schedule F, clearly mark the schedule “Amended”, put Add Creditors so it is clear exactly what you are doing, and then list only the creditors being added. A supplemental matrix showing only the creditors whose information is being changed by the amendment is required.

      Service: Copies of all amendments must be sent to the United States Trustee and the case trustee. Some amendments (to Schedules D, E, F, G or H) must be served upon the creditors affected by the amendment as set out in LBF #728. A signed certificate of service showing to whom the amendment was mailed and the date of mailing is to be included.

  • 4.  How do I get a hearing date?  

      Each judge maintains an individual hearings calendar. The procedure for obtaining a hearing date depends upon the nature of the hearing.

      1. The §341(a) hearing ("meeting of creditors") is automatically scheduled by the Court shortly after the filing of the bankruptcy petition. The date and time of such hearing is contained in the notice sent by the Court to the debtor and to all creditors. The date and time of a confirmation hearing in a Chapter 13 case is likewise contained in that notice.

      2. To schedule a hearing resisting a motion for relief from stay in a Chapter 7 or 13 case, or to schedule a hearing resisting a motion for relief from co-debtor stay in a Chapter 13 case, review the requirements set forth in LBF #720 (Notice of Motion).

      3. To schedule a hearing regarding a motion to extend or impose the automatic stay, to object to a debtor's attempt to obtain an extension of the automatic stay to cure a pre-petition residential rental deficiency, or to object to a landlord's attempt to obtain a termination of the automatic stay to continue with eviction proceedings, review the requirements of LBF #721.3 (Procedures Re Motions/Objections To Extend/Impose 11 USC §362 Automatic Stay Pursuant To §362(c),§362(l),§362(m) or §362(n)).

      4. To obtain hearing dates for any other purpose (including hearings on relief from stay motions in Chapter 11 or 12 cases and relief from co-debtor stay motions in Chapter 12 cases), contact the calendar clerk for the judge assigned to the case.

      Judge Alley: (541) 431-4055

      Judge Brown: (503) 326-1567

      Judge Dunn: (503) 326-1527

      Judge Perris: (503) 326-1565

      Judge Renn: (541) 431-4050
  • 5.  What does it mean if a case is dismissed?  

      A Dismissal Order ends the case. Upon dismissal the “automatic stay” ends and creditors may start to collect debts unless a discharge is entered before the dismissal and the discharge is not revoked by the court. An Order of Dismissal does not free the debtor from any debt. Often, a case is dismissed when the debtor fails to do something he/she must do: show up for the creditors’ meeting, pay the filing fees, answer the trustee’s questions honestly, produce books and records the trustee requests, file required documents, or when the dismissal is in the best interest of the creditors. The clerk will close the case upon dismissal.

  • 6.  What is a redemption?  

      Redemption allows an individual debtor (not a partnership or a corporation) to keep tangible, personal property intended primarily for personal, family, or household use by paying the holder of a lien on the property the amount of the allowed secured claim on the property, which typically means the replacement value of the property (the price a retail merchant would charge for property of such kind, considering the age and condition of the property at the time the value is determined) without deduction for costs of sale or marketing. Otherwise, in order to retain the property, the debtor would have to pay the entire amount of the secured creditor’s debt, or enter into a reaffirmation agreement and become legally obligated on the debt again. The property redeemed must be claimed as exempt or abandoned by the trustee.

      With redemption, a debtor may be able to, depending on the replacement value of the property, get liens released on personal household possessions for much less than the underlying debt on those secured possessions.

      Redemption must be made in one lump sum payment to the creditor. If the debtor and the creditor agree to the redemption, a stipulated order of redemption is required. If the redemption is opposed, a motion for redemption must be filed using LBF #717.20 within 45 days following the first date set for the meeting of creditors.

      See LBF #717.10 for procedures.

  • 7.  What can I do if a creditor keeps trying to collect money after I have filed bankruptcy?  

      A creditor that continues to attempt to collect a debt after the bankruptcy is filed is in violation of the automatic stay. You should immediately notify the creditor in writing that you have filed bankruptcy, and provide them with either the case number and filing date or a copy of the petition that shows it was filed. If the creditor still continues to try to collect, the debtor may be entitled to take legal action against the creditor to obtain a specific order from the court prohibiting the creditor from taking further collection action and, if the creditor is willfully violating the automatic stay, the court can award the debtor actual damages (including costs and attorney fees) and, in appropriate circumstances, punitive damages. However, if the court finds that the creditor in good faith believed that the stay as to certain property terminated because the debtor (1) did not timely file the statement of intention required under 11 U.S.C. §521(a)(2), or (2) failed to timely take the action stated in the statement of intention, debtor’s remedy for a creditor’s violation of the stay will be limited to actual damages. Any such legal action brought against the creditor will be complex and will normally require representation by a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

      See also the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act 15 U.S.C. §1692c which applies to collection agencies, and the Oregon Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act ORS 646.639 which applies to original creditors.

  • 8.  What if I don’t agree with an Order entered in a case?  

      A Notice of Appeal may be filed after an Order or Judgment has been entered in a case. In a Notice of Appeal, the party filing the Appeal, the appellant, wishes to reverse the Order or Judgment granted in favor of the other party, the appellee. When an Appeal is filed in the District of Oregon, the matter is automatically referred to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) unless the parties timely elect to have the matter heard by the District Court.

      THERE ARE STRICT DEADLINES AND RULES TO FOLLOW WHEN FILING AN APPEAL. These Rules are found in the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Fed.R.Bankr.P.) Rules 8000 - 8020, District Court Local Rule (LR) 2200, Local Bankruptcy Rules (LBR) 8001-1. through 8006-1. and the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (F.R.App.P.). The filing fee for a Notice of Appeal is found on the Court Fees List (LBF #115).

  • 9.  How do I serve an adversary proceeding Summons and Complaint, motion or a Chapter 12 or 13 plan?   

      I. SERVICE OF SUMMONS IN ADVERSARY PROCEEDING

      Proof of Service must show that the summons and complaint were served within 14 days of issuance of the summons. The Proof of Service form to be used is attached to the summons issued by the Court. The method of service depends upon whom the defendant is and where located as set out below in Section IV.

      II. SERVICE OF CHAPTER 13 PLAN

      Proper service of the Chapter 13 Plan requires both of the following:

      A. Completed Certificate of Service on Creditors listed in ¶2(b)(1), ¶2(b)(2), and ¶6. The Certificate of Service located on the bottom of the last page of the Plan showing service on all creditors listed in ¶2(b)(1), ¶2(b)(2), and ¶6 of the Plan must be completed as follows:

      1. Creditors in those paragraphs, other than an insured depository (see point II.A.2.) must be listed on the mailing matrix in care of a person or entity authorized to be served as set out below in Section IV. with that person’s position clearly indicated as appropriate (e.g., if corporation listed, service on registered agent or on an officer; if partnership or unincorporated assoc., on a managing or general agent).

      2. An insured depository institution (e.g., credit union, bank or savings and loan) listed in those paragraphs must be served by certified mail as set out below in Section IV.A.9.

      3. The date of service blank in point (b) of the Plan’s Certificate of Service is filled in only if there are any insured depository institutions listed.

      B. Separate List of ¶2(b)(1), ¶2 (b)(2), and ¶6 Creditors. A separate list, including the names and addresses of all such creditors served, must be attached to the Plan showing as to ¶2(b)(1), ¶2(b)(2), and ¶6 creditors: (a) those entities served via matrix listing (i.e., creditors other than an insured depository institution), and (b) those entities served via certified mail (i.e., an insured depository institution such as a credit union, bank or savings and loan).

      NOTE: Any time the IRS is listed as a creditor under ¶2(b)(1) or ¶2(b)(2) of the Plan, be sure all of the following 3 entities are served and listed on the matrix:

      (1) IRS (PO Box 7346, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7346);
      (2) U.S Attorney for District of Oregon; and
      (3) U.S. Attorney General, Washington D.C.

      III. SERVICE OF CHAPTER 12 PLAN

      Proper service of the Chapter 12 plan requires both of the following:

      A. Creditors Listed in ¶2(b)(1) and ¶2(b)(2). The Certificate of Service located on the bottom of the last page of the Plan showing service on all creditors listed in ¶2(b)(1) and ¶2(b)(2) of the Plan must be completed as follows:

      1. Creditors in those paragraphs, other than an insured depository (see point II.A.2.) must be listed on the mailing matrix in care of a person or entity authorized to be served as set out below in Section IV. with that person’s position clearly indicated as appropriate (e.g., if corporation listed, service on registered agent or on an officer; if partnership or unincorporated assoc., on a managing or general agent).

      2. An insured depository institution (e.g., credit union, bank or savings and loan) listed in those paragraphs must be served by certified mail as set out below in Section IV.A.9.

      3. The date of service blank in point (b) of the Plan’s Certificate of Service is filled in only if there are any insured depository institutions listed.

      B. Separate List of ¶2(b)(1) and ¶2(b)(2) Creditors. A separate list, including the names and addresses of all such creditors served, must be attached to the Plan showing as to ¶2(b)(1) and ¶2(b)(2) creditors: (a) those entities served via matrix listing (i.e., creditors other than an insured depository institution), and (b) those entities served via certified mail (i.e., an insured depository institution such as a credit union, bank or savings and loan).

      NOTE: If the I.R.S. is a creditor listed in ¶2(b)(1) or ¶2(b)(2) of the Plan, be sure all of the following three entities are served and listed on the matrix:


      (1) I.R.S. (PO Box 7346, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7346);
      (2) U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon; and
      (3) U.S. Attorney General, Washington, D.C.IV.

      IV. RULES GOVERNING SERVICE OF PROCESS

      Service of process in Bankruptcy Court is governed by the provisions of Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure Rule (FRBP) 7004 and the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure (ORCP) Rule 7. To adequately complete service of process, a dated and signed certificate stating that the documents were properly served is filed with the court. What is unique about the Bankruptcy Court service requirements is that instead of personal service, service by mail is authorized.

      A. Service by First Class Mail.

      FRBP 7004 authorizes service within the United States by first class mail, postage prepaid as follows:

      1. Individuals: Upon an individual (other than an infant or incompetent) by mailing to the individual’s dwelling or usual place of abode or to the place where the individual regularly conducts a business or profession. A PO Box is not acceptable unless the person being served is the debtor (see item 7. below).

      2. Infant or Incompetent Person:Upon an infant or incompetent person, by serving the parent, guardian, conservator, or guardian ad litem at such person’s dwelling house or usual place of abode or to the place where the individual regularly conducts a business or profession.

      3. Corporation/Partnership/Unincorp orated Association: Upon a domestic or foreign corporation or partnership or other unincorporated association, by mailing to the registered agent or to the attention of an officer or a managing or general agent. A title without a name is not acceptable; and, unless a person certifies that “x” (name without a title) is an authorized agent of the corporation for the acceptance of service, a name without a title is not acceptable. [NOTE: also see Service On Attorney in item C. below]. Caveat: Be aware of additional requirements found in ORCP Rule 7 and ORS 60.121.

      NOTE: For corporations, partnerships, and unincorporated associations authorized to conduct business in Oregon, the name and address of the registered agent can usually be found on the Oregon Secretary of State’s web site.

      4. United States: Upon the United States, by mailing to the Civil Process Clerk at the office of the U.S. Attorney for the district in which the action is brought and by mailing to the Attorney General at Washington, DC. In any action attacking the validity of an order of an officer or an agency of the U.S. not made a party, by also mailing to such officer or agency (e.g., service on the IRS is accomplished by serving the U.S. Attorney General in Washington DC, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon and the office of the IRS [PO Box 7346, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7346]).

      5. Officer/Agency of U.S.: Upon an officer or agency of the U.S., by mailing to the U.S. Attorney for the district in which the action is brought and by mailing to the Attorney General at Washington, DC and also to the officer or agency. If the agency is a corporation the mailing must also follow paragraph 3 (e.g., the RTC or FDIC).

      6. State or Municipal Corporation or Other Governmental Organization: Upon a state or municipal corporation or other governmental organization, by mailing to the person or office upon whom process is prescribed to be served by the law of the state in which service is made.

      (a) For the State of Oregon, the Oregon Attorney General must be served. [FRBP 7004(b)(6); ORCP 7D(3)(c)]

      (b) For a County, City or other public corporation, service must be on an officer, director, managing agent or attorney (e.g., County Counsel, City Attorney, etc. by name).

      7. Debtor: Upon the debtor (until the case is dismissed or closed) by mailing to the address shown in the petition or to any other such address as the debtor may designate in a filed writing (e.g., the address shown in ECF/PACER) and if the debtor is represented by an attorney, to the attorney at the attorney’s mailing address. A PO Box for a debtor is acceptable if that is the address supplied to the court by the debtor.

      8. U.S. Trustee: Upon the U.S. Trustee, by mailing to an office of the U.S. Trustee or another place designated by the U.S. Trustee in the district where the case is pending

      9. Insured Depository Institution: Upon an insured depository institution, by mailing certified mail addressed to an officer of the institution unless the institution has appeared by its attorney, in which case the attorney may be served by first class mail, or the institution has waived in writing its entitlement to service by certified mail by designating an officer to receive service.

      B. Service by Publication.
      If a party cannot be served as previously noted, FRBP 7004(c) permits service by at least one publication, in a manner and form as the court may direct.

      C. Service On Attorney.
      Service on an attorney is permitted only in the following circumstances:
      1. If the attorney is the registered agent of the party being served;
      2. If the attorney has formally appeared in the matter;
      3. If the attorney has not formally appeared in the matter but agrees to accept service on behalf of his/her client.

      D. Service on Individuals in Foreign Country. [FRCP Rule 4(f) made applicable by FRBP 7004 (a)].

      1. Unless there is a waiver filed, service must be by any internationally agreed means reasonably calculated to give notice such as those means authorized by the Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents.

      2. If there is no internationally agreed means of service then service is by:

      a. Any manner prescribed by the law of the foreign country for service in any of its courts of general jurisdiction.

      b. As directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request.

      c. Unless prohibited by law of the foreign country:

      (1) by personal delivery, or

      (2) any form of mail requiring a signed receipt (note: to be mailed by the clerk of court to the party to be served).

      d. By other means not prohibited by international agreement as may be directed by the court.

      V. RULES GOVERNING SERVICE OF MOTIONS

      Service of motions in contested matters is governed by FRBP 9014(b), which provides that a “motion shall be served in the same manner provided for service of a summons and complaint by Rule 7004.” See Section IV above for rules regarding service of a summons and complaint.

  • 10.  What is the wording for a certificate of service?  

      The standard certificate of service states:

      I certify that on (insert date) copies of (insert name of documents you are serving) were mailed to: * (list names and addresses of parties on whom the documents are being served and be sure to include the trustee, and U.S. Trustee).

      _______________________________ Signature of person doing the mailing

      *Note: in this space you may state: “the parties whose names and addresses are listed on the attached.” and attach a copy of the mailing matrix you used.

      Mailing matrix: A mailing matrix which shows the names and addresses of all creditors and interested parties in the case is available from the clerk’s office upon request. It is formatted so that it can be copied onto labels.

  • 11.  How do I get a copy of all or part of the record of a court proceeding or get a written transcript of it?  

      The court uses digital recording equipment to electronically create a record of a court proceeding in the Portland and Eugene locations. For hearings outside of these locations, for example Bend, Medford, Klamath Falls, and Pendleton, a contract court reporter is employed to create a verbatim record of proceedings.

      1. Digitally recorded proceedings:

      a. Transcript of Hearing - complete local form LBF #335, Hearings Transcript Order Form. The transcriptionist will contact you to give you an estimate of the cost and to arrange for payment.

      b. Copy of Hearing on CD - Complete local form LBF #335.5, Hearing CD Order Form, and submit the form, along with a check for the required deposit made payable to the “Clerk, US Bankruptcy Court” and a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the CD (which holds approximately 45-60 minutes of hearing time) to the appropriate Clerk’s office. The court will make a duplicate CD and send it to you in the envelope provided.

      2. Court reporter recorded proceedings:

      a. For any Eugene hearings prior to 1/1/09, call the Deputy in Charge at 541-431-4000 to obtain court reporter contact information.

      b. For Medford and Klamath Falls hearings, contact Eileen Leddy at 541-479-7277.

      c. For Bend and Pendleton hearings, call the courtroom deputy at 503-326-1500 to obtain court reporter contact information.

  • 12.  What documents do I need to provide to the trustee administering my case?  

      You are required to provide certain documents to the trustee assigned to your case. Click here to access the Chapter 7 Panel Trustees' Document Production Requirements to find out which documents you will need to provide to the trustee, when to submit them, and mailing instructions.
  • 13.  What does the case number tell me?  

      The first two digits of the seven digit bankruptcy case number indicate the year of filing. The first digit after the dash is the location code (“3", “4", or “5" for Portland, and “6", “7", or “8" for Eugene), and the next four digits are the designation given to that case. The letters following the second dash are the initials of the judge assigned to the case, and the final digit(s) indicate the chapter number under which the case is being administered.

      In an adversary proceeding, the first two digits of the six digit case number indicate the year of filing. The first digit after the dash is the location code (“3" or “4" for Portland, and “6" or “7" for Eugene), and the next four digits are the designation given to that case. The letters following the second dash are the initials of the judge assigned to the case.

      Examples:

      99-32054-rld12 would be a case filed in Portland in 1999, which is assigned to Judge Dunn. It is a chapter 12.

      00-61254-aer7 would be a case filed in Eugene in 2000, which is assigned to Judge Radcliffe. It is a chapter 7.

      99-6012-fra would be an adversary proceeding filed in Eugene in 1999, which is assigned to Judge Alley.

      00-3345-elp would be an adversary proceeding filed in Portland in 2000, which is assigned to Judge Perris.

  • 14.  What is a §341(a) meeting or meeting of creditors? What can I expect will happen there?  

      The “341(a) meeting” is sometimes called the “meeting of creditors” and gets its name from the Section of Title 11 of the United States Code where the requirements for the first meeting of creditors and equity security holders are found. Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires every debtor to personally attend a meeting of creditors and to submit to an examination under oath. The meeting is held outside the presence of the judge. In Chapter 7, 12 and 13 cases, the trustee assigned by the United States Trustee conducts the hearing. In chapter 11 cases where the debtor remains in possession of all the assets and no trustee is immediately assigned, a representative of the Office of the U.S. Trustee conducts the hearing.

      The case may be dismissed if the debtor fails to appear at, and complete, this meeting. It is usually scheduled between 21 and 40 days after the new petition is filed and is usually held at the Office of the U.S. Trustee which is located at 620 SW Main #213 in Portland and at 405 E 8th Ave #1100 in Eugene, but may be scheduled at other locations throughout the state to accommodate debtors from outside these metropolitan areas.

      The hearing permits the trustee or representative of the U.S. Trustee’s Office to review the debtor’s petition and schedules with the debtor face-to-face. The debtor is required to answer questions under penalty of perjury concerning the debtor’s acts, conduct, property, liabilities, financial condition and any matter that may affect administration of the estate or the debtor’s right to discharge. This information enables the trustee or representative of the U.S. Trustee’s Office to understand the debtor’s circumstances and facilitates efficient administration of the case. Additionally, the trustee or representative of the U.S. Trustee’s Office will ask questions to ensure that the debtor understands the positive and negative aspects of filing for bankruptcy.

      The hearing is referred to as the “meeting of creditors” because creditors are notified that they may attend and question the debtor about the location and disposition of assets and any other matter relevant to the administration of the case. However, creditors rarely attend these hearings and are not considered to have waived any of their rights by failing to appear. The hearing usually lasts only a few minutes and may be continued if the trustee or representative of the U.S. Trustee’s Office is not satisfied with the information provided by the debtor. If the debtor fails to appear and provide the information requested at the hearing, the trustee or representative of the U.S. Trustee’s Office may request that the bankruptcy case be dismissed or that the debtor be ordered by the court to cooperate or be held in contempt of court for willful failure to cooperate.

  • 15.  I received two notices for the meeting of creditors. Do I have to attend both meetings?  

      For various reasons a meeting of creditors may occasionally be rescheduled. If so, it may be rescheduled in the hearing room with notice only to those present, or another notice may go out to some or all the creditors notifying them of the new date. The notice will usually say the meeting is being reset or rescheduled. Creditors may, but do not need to, attend the meeting. Debtors must attend a meeting of creditors and under oath respond to the questions put to them by the trustee or creditors. The debtor must attend any reset or rescheduled meeting unless the trustee clearly states that the debtor’s presence is no longer needed.

  • 16.  What is an adversary proceeding and how do I file a complaint?  

      Filing An Adversary Proceeding Complaint

      If it is determined from the information below that an adversary proceeding is appropriate, complaints are filed in the clerk’s office. Unless the complaint is electronically filed, each complaint must be submitted with a fully filled out Adversary Proceeding Coversheet local form APCS-B104 (which is identical to Official Form B104). Detailed instructions for filing an adversary proceeding complaint are found in local forms ADV and ADV-2.

      What is an Adversary Proceeding?

      An adversary proceeding is the bankruptcy court’s version of a civil complaint. It is governed by Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure (FRBP) Rule 7001 and is a proceeding to:

      (1) Recover money or property. [Except for a proceeding (a) to compel the debtor to deliver property to the trustee; (b) to recover or reclaim property in the hands of a DIP or trustee under 11 USC §554 (abandonment) or §725 (disposition of property); (c) under FRBP 2017 (examination of debtor's transactions with debtor's attorney); and (d) under FRBP 6002 (accounting by prior custodian of property of the estate)].

      (2) Determine the validity, priority, or extent of a lien or other interest in property. [Except for a proceeding under FRBP 4003 [liens impairing debtor's exemptions] which is also covered by Local Bankruptcy Rule (LBR) 4003-2 and requires the filing of Local Bankruptcy Form (LBF) #717, Notice of Motion for Avoidance of Lien Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §522(f) in a Chapter Case, and LBF #717.15, Instructions].

      (3) Obtain approval pursuant to 11 USC §363 for the sale of both the interest of the estate and of a co-owner (i.e., non-debtor) in property.

      (4) Object to or revoke a discharge, except for motions objecting to discharge pursuant to 11 USC §§727(a)(8), 727(a)(9), or 1328(f) (See FRBP 4004(a) and 7001(4)).

      (5) Revoke an order of confirmation of a chapter 11, chapter 12, or chapter 13 plan.

      (6) Determine the dischargeability of a debt.

      (7) Obtain an injunction or other equitable relief [NOTE: Also see LBR 7065].

      (8) Subordinate any allowed claim or interest.[Except for when subordination is provided in a chapter 9, 11, 12, or 13 plan].

      (9) Obtain a declaratory judgment relating to any of the foregoing in points 1 through 8.

      (10) Determine a claim or cause of action removed pursuant to 28 USC §1452 [removal of claims related to bankruptcy cases].

      EXAMPLES OF ACTIONS REQUIRING AN ADVERSARY PROCEEDING:

      a. Proceedings brought to avoid transfers by the debtor under 11 USC §544 [trustee's power to avoid obligations incurred by the debtor], §545 [trustee's power to avoid the fixing of a statutory lien on property of the debtor], §547 [trustee's power to avoid preferential transfers], §548 [trustee's power to avoid fraudulent transfers and obligations], and §549 [trustee's power to avoid postpetition transaction].

      b. FRBP Rules 5008 & 9025 proceedings on bonds.

      c. FRBP 4004 denial of discharge based on §727 or §1328, except for motions objecting to discharge pursuant to 11 USC §§727(a)(8), 727(a)(9), or 1328(f) (See FRBP 4004(a) and 7001(4)).

      d. 11 USC §§727, 1228 or 1328 revoke discharge.

      e. 11 USC §523 dischargeability of particular debt.

      f. 11 USC §§1144, 1230 and 1330 revoke an order of confirmation of a plan in chapters 11, 12 or 13.

      g. 11 USC §510 to subordinate a claim or interest other than as part of a plan.

      h. 11 USC §363 to sell interest of both debtor and of co-owner.

      Adversary Proceedings are not any action relating to the exceptions listed above including (but not limited to) motions/requests/stipulations for relief from automatic stay per 11 USC §362 and FRBP 4001, objections to claims unless joined with a demand for relief of a kind covered by FRBP 7001. A debtor's motion to avoid a lien impairing exemptions pursuant to 11 USC §522 is not an adversary proceeding but a motion/stipulation for lien avoidance by anyone other than the debtor is an adversary proceeding per point (2) above.

      While the information presented above is as accurate as possible as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It is highly recommended that legal advice be obtained from a bankruptcy attorney or legal association. For filing requirements, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (Title 11, United States Code), and the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon.
  • 17.  How do I find out who the trustee is in a case? (REV 7/3/13)  

      The trustee's name and address is printed on the first notice the court sends out, the Notice of the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. That information is also available from the following sources:

      1. VCIS (Voice Case Information Service) - an automated information service available 24 hours a day from any touch-tone telephone by calling 866-222-8029. You can obtain case information following the instructions given by speaking or by using the numbers on the keypad of your telephone. You may either say "Oregon" or you may press pound [#], then "27" for Oregon.

      2. PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) - Access to a mirror image of the court's database from your personal computer which is available 24 hours a day via the internet at https://ecf.orb.uscourts.gov. You must sign up for this service and there is a small fee. For more information call the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856 or visit their web site at www.pacer.gov.

      3. Computer Terminals in the lobby of each office of the Clerk.

      4. By calling the court and speaking to the operator during the court's office hours. For the Portland office call (503) 326-1500, and for the Eugene office call (541) 431-4000, and then press "O" for the operator.

  • 18.  What is a reaffirmation agreement?  

      A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement by which a bankruptcy debtor becomes legally obligated to pay all or a portion of an otherwise dischargeable debt. All reaffirmation agreements must be filed using Official Form #B240A (preferred by the court) or Official Form #B240A/B Alt and in either case attach Official Form #B27 as a cover sheet. To be timely, such an agreement must be filed by the debtor within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. See LBR 4008-1.

      Reaffirmation agreements are strictly voluntary. They are not required by the Bankruptcy Code or other state or federal law. A debtor can voluntarily repay any debt instead of signing a reaffirmation agreement, but there may be valid reasons for wanting to reaffirm a particular debt.

      If the debtor is represented by an attorney, and the reaffirmation agreement and cover sheet indicate a presumption of undue hardship, a hearing will be scheduled, even if the attorney signs the certificate indicating that in his or her opinion the debtor can make the payments called for under the reaffirmation agreement. The debtor and debtor's attorney must attend this hearing and offer evidence to rebut the presumption of undue hardship.

      If the debtor is not represented by an attorney, and a reaffirmation agreement is filed, the court must also schedule a hearing. The debtor is required to attend this hearing. To be effective, the reaffirmation agreement must be approved by the judge as consistent with the debtor's best interests, unless the debt to be reaffirmed is for a consumer debt secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, security deed, or other lien on real property. Since a reaffirmation agreement takes away some of the effectiveness of the debtor's discharge, it is advisable to seek legal counsel before agreeing to a reaffirmation. Even if the debtor signs a reaffirmation agreement, the debtor has 60 days after the agreement is filed with the court (or the date of entry of discharge, whichever is later) to change his/her mind and rescind the agreement. In either event, to rescind a reaffirmation agreement, the debtor must notify the creditor that the reaffirmation agreement is being rescinded. If the debtor reaffirms a debt, does not rescind the agreement, and fails to make the payments as agreed, the creditor can take action against the debtor to recover any property that was given as security for the debt, and the debtor may remain personally liable for any remaining debt after the collateral is sold.