Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN)
Note: Only the court is authorized to send notices to the debtor through this DeBN program. All other parties, such as trustees and creditors, will continue to serve the debtor via U.S. mail or in person as required by court rules.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia now offers debtors the opportunity to request receipt of court notices and orders via email, instead of U.S. mail, through a program called “Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing” or “DeBN.”
DeBN provides the following advantages:
- Faster — You’ll receive notices the same day they are filed by the court.
- Convenient — Access your notices anywhere you have internet access.
- No more lost paperwork — Storing notices on your computer means never losing a paper copy.
- Less paper clutter — Helps the environment and reduces paper clutter in your home.
- It is FREE!
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9036, a party may make a written request for delivery of notices via email, instead of U.S. mail. Through the DeBN program, only notices and orders that have been filed by the court can be emailed to the debtor. Debtors requesting participation in the DeBN program must complete and file a Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form at any divisional office (government-issued photo ID required). Or, your attorney can file it electronically for you. DeBN forms cannot be filed by mail at this time.
What is DeBN?
DEBTOR ELECTRONIC BANKRUPTCY NOTICING (DeBN) is a FREE and voluntary service that allows debtors to request delivery of court notices and orders from the bankruptcy court, through the BNC, via email instead of U.S. mail.
Who is the BNC?
The BANKRUPTCY NOTICING CENTER (BNC) provides services to the bankruptcy court by sending court notices and orders to the parties by either mail or email.
What are Court Notices and Orders?
Court notices and orders refer to the documents filed by the bankruptcy court, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Notice of Meeting of Creditors
- Notice Scheduling Objections (This notice provides a deadline for parties to file objections to motions)
- Notice Setting or Cancelling Hearing
- Notice of Requirement to Complete Course in Financial Management
- Notice re: Deficient Documents
- Order on Motion for Relief from Stay
- Order re: Chapter 13 Plan
- Order Discharging Debtor
Who Will Serve Me via Email?
By enrolling in DeBN, a debtor consents ONLY to service of court notices and orders filed by the bankruptcy court. The BNC, on the bankruptcy court’s behalf, will prepare and send the emails.
No other parties, such as creditors and trustees, are allowed to use the DeBN program to email debtors—all other parties will continue to serve documents upon the debtor via U.S. mail.
Length of Enrollment in DeBN:
Once the debtor’s DeBN account has been created, the account will continue to remain active, unless:
- Debtor’s account is automatically disabled due to an email transmission failure (email bounce-back); or
- Debtor files a request to deactivate the account. A debtor may file this request at any time.
As long as the debtor’s DeBN account is active, all court notices and orders will be emailed to the debtor by the BNC in any current or future bankruptcy or adversary case from any bankruptcy court district in which the debtor’s name and address in that case match the name and address in the debtor’s DeBN account, including cases where the debtor may be listed as a creditor.
How it Works:
Once the debtor files a DeBN request form and the clerk's office creates the DeBN account, all future court notices and orders will be emailed to the debtor.
When the court files a notice or order and sends it to the BNC for service upon the debtor, the BNC will email the notice to the debtor at the end of the day. The court notice or order will be emailed as a single PDF attachment, and a separate email will be sent for each court notice or order that has been filed.
There is no limit to the number of times the debtor may view the PDF attachment, and the debtor is free to print the attachment, save it to his or her computer, or simply retain the email for viewing at any time.
If the PDF attachment exceeds 8 MB, the notice will be sent to the debtor by U.S. mail instead of email.
How Do I Request DeBN?
- Complete and print the request form: Debtor's Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) Form
- File the completed form with the court.
- The court creates your account.
Activation of your account is now complete, and you will receive a confirmation email from the BNC. From this point forward, all future notices and orders filed by the court will be delivered to you via email, as long as your name and address in the bankruptcy case match your name and address in your DeBN account and there are no email transmission failures. You can file the completed form at any divisional office (government issued photo ID required). Or, your attorney can file it electronically for you. DeBN forms cannot be filed by mail at this time.
Keep the Court Advised by Filing an Updated Request Form if You:
- Change your email address;
- File a new case after enrolling in DeBN (so the court can make sure your name and address in your DeBN account match your new case); or
- Wish to deactivate or reactivate your account.