Electronic Filing for Self Represented Debtors (eSR)

Can I file electronically (eSR) in California Eastern District Bankruptcy Court? Am I Required To?

Can you file online? In some courts, yes, most no. But there are other options that can allow you to file electronically if your case is simple.

Last Reviewed: Tue, Apr 27, 2021

Electronic Filing for Self-Represented Debtors (eSR)

Not so long ago, self represented debtors had no way to file online. Now, thanks to about a dozen pioneering  bankruptcy  courts, eSR or "Electronic Self Representation " for debtors is now available. 

CM/ECF for Attorneys

Many court web sites have prominent references to "mandatory" electronic filing or "mandatory ECF." Do not be alarmed. You are not required to file electronically, unless you are an attorney.

It is true that, in most courts, attorneys must now file all documents and forms electronically, and they must take training on how to file electronically with the court. However, by law, that rule does not apply to individuals filing without the help of an attorney. If a court clerk tells you otherwise, they are incorrect. Ask to talk to their supervisor to clear up the matter.

In most cases filing electronically is not all that technologically challenging. In many districts, it simply means filing the documents in PDF format.

Electronic filing for self-represented debtors.

Some courts are now offering do it yourself electronic filing for self represented debtors but only in a few districts. The new service called "eSR" or "electronic Self Representation" of debtors. More districts are adding this option all the time. So check the California Eastern District Bankruptcy Court website often to see if they offer it.

If you have no real estate and have income that is low enough, you may be able to use a service like upsolve.org to file online.



Jurisdictional relevance: There are versions of this article for each State.
Selected State: California