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  • What is the fee for filing a motion to lift stay, or in the alternative, a motion to convert the case to a chapter 7?

    The fees for both motions are required - the fee for the stay motion and the fee for the conversion.

    The Fee Schedule can be located on the website under Court Info ==> Court Fees.

  • An application for leave to appeal was filed, and the clerk's office collected a fee of $298. The motion is denied, can the fee be refunded?

    The $5 fee is for filing the notice of appeal and cannot be refunded. The $293 fee is for docketing a proceeding on appeal. Since the appellate court must grant leave to appeal from an interlocutory order, the $293 fee is due only when and if the application for leave to appeal is granted. Therefore, the $293 fee should be refunded.

  • What is the proper fee for an adversary proceeding instituted by removal from another court?

    The proper fee to be charged is the adversary fee set forth in the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule .

    The adversary proceeding free can be found on the court's website under Court Info ==> Court Fees.

  • 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 is not revoked. An order of dismissal itself will not free the debtor from any debt. Often, a case is dismissed when the debtor fails to do something he/she must do (such as attend the creditors; meeting, answer the trustee questions honestly, produce books and records the trustee requests), or if it is in the best interests of the creditors. Unless the debtor appeals the order or seeks reconsideration of the order within ten (14) days after entry of the order, the clerk will automatically close the case.

  • How do I know if a debt is secured, unsecured, priority or administrative so I can fill out my schedules correctly?

    A. Secured Debt: A secured debt is a debt that is backed by property. A creditor whose debt is secured has a right to take property to satisfy a secured debt. For example, most homes are burdened by a secured debt; This means that the lender has the right to take the home if the borrower fails to make payments on the loan. Most people who buy new cars give the lender a security interest; in the car. This means that the debt is a secured debt; and that the lender can take the car if the borrower fails to make payments on the car loan. 

    B. Unsecured Debt: A debt is unsecured if you have simply promised to pay someone a sum of money at a particular time, and you have not pledged any real or personal property to collateralize that debt. 

    C. Priority Debt:  A priority debt is a debt entitled to priority in payment, ahead of most other debts, in a bankruptcy case. A listing of priority debts is given, in general terms, in 11 U.S.C. 507 of the Bankruptcy Code. Examples of priority debts are some taxes, wage claims of employees, debts related to goods and services provided to a debtor estate during the pendency of a bankruptcy case, and alimony, maintenance or support of a spouse, former spouse, or child. If you have questions deciding which of your debts are entitled to priority status, you should consult an attorney. 

    D. Administrative Debt:   An administrative debt is also a priority debt and is one created when someone provides goods or services to your bankruptcy estate. The best example of an administrative debt is the fees generated by attorneys and other authorized professionals in representing the bankruptcy estate.

  • Can the Clerk's Office give legal advice?

    A bankruptcy case is a legal proceeding affecting the rights of debtors, creditors and other parties in interest.

    Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 955, clerk office staff are prohibited from giving information which may be characterized as legal advice.

    Canon 2f and 3 of the Judiciary Code of Conduct also prohibits the providing of legal advice by the clerks office and further instructs the staff to remain impartial.  While there is no precise definition of legal advice, it includes at a minimum

    (1) acting on a person behalf in presenting a claim or defense to a court, and

    (2) advising a person on the merits of a claim or defense and the state of the law applicable to it. Clerk office staff, therefore, will not provide information relating to:

    a) the application of laws and rules to individual claims or defenses;
    b) whether jurisdiction is proper in a particular court;
    c) whether a complaint properly presents a claim; 
    d) what the best procedures are to accomplish a particular objective; or
    e) the interpretation of case law.  Clerk’s office staff will not offer any opinion as to the probable disposition of any matter by the court.

    The information provided by clerk’s office staff is limited to explaining the filing requirements of the court and reading, without comment, the actual text of a bankruptcy rule, local rule or statute.'

  • The company for which I worked filed for bankruptcy. How do I get my W-2 forms for filing my income tax return?

    Frequently the clerk office is contacted by employees of debtors requesting assistance in obtaining their Form W-2. The Internal Revenue Service has advised as follows:  If an employee is unable to obtain the Form W-2 from his or her employer or from the trustee in bankruptcy, he or she should call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040 after February 15 and request IRS Form 4852, Substitute W-2 Form. The Internal Revenue Service will send the form together with a package of instructions.  When the employee telephones the IRS, he or she should request Form 4852 and advise the assister that the call is in connection with non-receipt of W-2 Form from his or her employer who has filed for bankruptcy. He or she should advise the IRS that the trustee did not have adequate information to complete the W-2. He or she should advise the assister of the name of the employer. He or she should also give the IRS his or her own name, social security number and the address to which the forms should be sent.  According to the IRS, the IRS Form 4852 should be prepared by the employee and filed with his or her income tax return. To the best of his or her ability, the employee should try to reconstruct the payroll information (gross wages paid, federal and state taxes withheld and social security tax withheld, etc.) from pay vouchers or pay envelopes. If the information is not available, the employee should use a reasonable estimate as to the amounts paid to him or her for wages and the amounts withheld for tax purposes. Unreasonable estimates are subject to investigation by the IRS.')

  • Is my debt dischargeable?

    The Clerk Office is prohibited by federal statute from providing legal advice. Please contact your legal advisor.

  • How do I get admitted to practice in the Bankruptcy Court?

     Attorneys must be admitted to the bar of, or permitted to practice before, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Contact the District Court at 919-645-1700 for further information, or visit the website at

  • Where can I obtain petition forms?

    If hiring an attorney is not possible, debtors can obtain bankruptcy petition forms from the court's website under the Forms tab.  Forms are also available in self-serve bins in the clerk's office.