Latest Newsletter (Court News and Views) Available
(posted May 31, 2013) Volume 5 of the Alabama Middle Bankruptcy Court's newsletter, Court News and Views, is now available. Please give us feedback on how we can make these newsletters more useful to you. email@example.com
Notice Regarding Court Operations:
(Posted September 27, 2013) In the event of a federal government shutdown at midnight on September 30, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama will continue operations and remain open during regular business hours on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. The Judiciary receives non-appropriated funding outside of appropriated funding from Congress and can continue its normal operations for a short period of time. With these non-appropriated funds, we anticipate and estimate that the Judiciary can continue operations for two weeks without a final budget for fiscal year 2014 or a continuing resolution authorizing and providing funding for an interim period. Should this status change, we will update this notice.
In the event there is no federal government shutdown, we will likewise continue operations and remain open during regular business hours.
Please let us know if you have any questions by calling us at 334-954-3800.
Courtroom Renovation: (posted August 15, 2013) The Bankruptcy Court is pleased to announce the reopening of the G.W. Andrews Courthouse and Federal Building. Beginning Wednesday, August 21, 2013, all future bankruptcy hearings will be held in the renovated courtroom located on the first floor of the courthouse at 701 Avenue A in Opelika.
Southern Division Case Distribution
(posted August 6, 2013) In an effort to even out the total number cases assigned to each of our judges, the bankruptcy judges for the Middle District of Alabama have decided to change the case distribution for the Southern Division (Dothan). More specifically, on October 1, 2013, Judge William Sawyer will cover all Chapter 13 cases in the Southern Division while Judge Dwight Williams will cover all Chapter 7 cases in the Southern Division. No case distribution changes will take place in the Northern Division (Montgomery) or in the Eastern Division (Opelika).
ALMB Filings Remain Steady
(posted August 1, 2013) During the 12-month period ending June 30, 2013, bankruptcy filings in the Middle District of Alabama were up approximately 1% from the same period ending June 30, 2012. Meanwhile, according to a recent Administrative Office press release, national filings are down 13% at 1,137,978 total filings for the period. This is the lowest total for bankruptcy filings in any 12-month period since the one ending Dec. 31, 2008. To view the full press release, click here.
Reappointment of Bankruptcy Judges (FLM/GAN)
(posted June 05, 2013) Members of the bar and public are invited to submit written comments for consideration by the Court of Appeals regarding the reappointment of U. S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael G. Williamson for the Middle District of Florida and U. S. Bankruptcy Judge C. Ray Mullins for the Northern District of Georgia to a new 14-year term of office. Comments should be addressed to Mr. James P. Gerstenlauer, Circuit Executive, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 56 Forsyth Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 no later than 19 July, 2013.
Job Vacancy Announcement CLOSED
(Posted May 24, 2013) The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama is announcing a vacancy for a term law clerk for Judge Dwight Williams. If you are interested in applying, please click here for the job vacancy announcement. Also, the application form (Form AO 78) is linked here. For questions, please call our office and ask for the HR Manager or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Transfer of Claim Fee
(Posted April 29, 2013) Beginning May 1st, the new claims transfer fee of $25.00 will be implemented nationwide. The fee is due upon the filing of any claims transfer. In order to handle this change efficiently and to stay consistent with our electronic filing and payment system, we will require claims transfers to be filed and paid electronically.
Implementation of CM/ECF Lock Out Feature
(Posted April 29, 2013) To help ensure an efficient collection process for the new transfer of claim fee, beginning on May 1st, we (the Middle District of Alabama Bankruptcy Court) are going to implement the "lock out" feature in CM/ECF. What this means in a nutshell is if a CM/ECF filer does not timely pay a fee (i.e., settle all fees by midnight daily), that filer will automatically not be allowed to file anything further until all fees are paid. Because this lock out feature cannot be programmed for only certain types of fees, this feature will affect all fees not paid timely (not just claims transfer fees). Please make sure all fees are paid up before May 1st. Once the lock out feature is turned on, it will automatically lock any filer out who has an unpaid fee. Once unpaid fees are settled, the system will automatically unlock the account. If you have any further questions, please call Janet Clark or Linda Bodden at (334) 954-3800.
Attorney Forums Scheduled
(Posted April 29, 2013) We continue to receive positive feedback regarding our annual attorney forums. These forums provide a great opportunity for the bar to provide the judges and our office feedback. We have scheduled our attorney forums for this year. As in years past, we will hold them in all three divisional offices and all of them will begin at 10:30 a.m. The Dothan forum will be held in the first floor hearing room on Wednesday, May 29. The Montgomery forum will be held in Courtroom 4C on Thursday, May 30. The Opelika forum will be held in the City Council hearing room on Thursday, June 13th. We hope to see you all there!
CM/ECF Upgrade to Release 5.1 Complete
(posted March 18, 2013) CM/ECF is upgraded to Release 5.1. Please report problems by email to IT@almb.uscourts.gov or by phone at (334) 954-3870. Read about the new features available here.
|ALMB Filings Increase Slightly for Calendar Year 2012|
(posted February 4, 2013) According to a recent Administrative Office press release, the Middle District of Alabama was one of only five judicial districts in which bankruptcy filings increased during the 12-month period ending December 2012. Filings were up 1.1% in the Middle District while overall national filings were down 13%. To view the full press release, click here. For total filings in a particular district, click the map on the right and hover your mouse over an area of interest.
New Courtroom Technology Equipment
(posted January 28, 2013) The Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama is pleased to announce it has recently installed new courtroom technology equipment in Courtrooms 4C (Judge Williams) and 4D (Judge Sawyer). In addition to new monitors and audio equipment, the evidence presentation capability has been completely upgraded with new touchscreen monitors and with a new document camera in each courtroom. The court will provide training on how to use the equipment at our upcoming Attorney Forums in the spring (exact dates to be determined). However, anyone interested in learning more about how to use the new equipment before the scheduled training in the spring, please call the Clerk's office at (334) 954-3800 and ask for Henrietta Foster.
ATTENTION: Pro Se and Unrepresented Parties
(posted December 21, 2012) During the course of a bankruptcy case or proceeding, bankruptcy court notices are mailed by the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) on behalf of the court. The BNC, which is operated by a private contractor, provides notice production and mailing services for the court, but the BNC is not the court. Please do not send documents to the BNC. Documents related to a bankruptcy case or proceeding should be sent directly to the court.. email@example.com
Latest Newsletter (Court News and Views) Available
(posted November 30, 2012) Volume 4 of the Alabama Middle Bankruptcy Court's newsletter, Court News and Views, is now available. Please give us feedback on how we can make these newsletters more useful to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
New Fee for Transfer of Claims
(posted October 10, 2012) The Judicial Conference has approved a $25 fee for the transfer of a claim in a bankruptcy case. The new fee will become effective on May 1, 2013.
Reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge Dwight H. Williams, Jr.
(posted January 18, 2013) The current 14-year term of office of The Honorable Dwight H. Williams, Jr., Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Alabama at Montgomery, is due to expire on October 17, 2013. Written comments for consideration by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals concerning this reappointment must be received no later than March 4, 2013. Read the full announcement.
Proposed Amendments Published for Public Comment
(posted August 17, 2012) The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal, and Evidence Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules and forms, and requested that the proposals be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment. The proposed amendments, Rules Committee reports, and other information are posted on the Judiciary’s website at
Electronic Notice of Returned BNC Mail
On October 15, 2012 the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) began accepting, processing and securely disposing of returned mail. For the bulk of returned mail, a unique barcode on each envelope will be scanned in order to identify the envelope contents, and generate an email notification of the returned mail to the debtor's attorney. This will be done without the need to open the envelope, nor will the actual envelope be returned to the debtor's attorney.
Filing Fee Increase
(posted October 10, 2012) The fee for filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case will increase for cases filed on or after November 21, 2012. The fee increase was included in the Temporary Bankruptcy Judgeships Extension Act of 2012 (Pub. L. No. 112-121), which was signed into law by the President on May 25, 2012.
A provision in the law increases the statutory filing fee for all new Chapter 11 cases to $1,167. The total fee for filing a Chapter 11 case will increase to $1,213 (statutory fee of $1,167 under 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a)(3) plus the administrative fee of $46 under Item 8 of the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule). The fee table included on the court's website will be updated on November 21, 2012.
Please contact the Clerk's Office for additional information or assistance.
Fiscal Year ALMB Filings Slightly Up
According to a recent Administrative Office press release, national bankruptcy filings were down 14% for the 12 month period ending September 30, 2012 while total filings in the Middle District of Alabama were up just over 1% for the same period. In fact, ALMB was one of only three districts in which total filings increased, the other two being Guam and the Virgin Islands. To read the full press release, please click here.
Rule Amendments Effective December 1, 2012
(posted September 7, 2012) On April 23, 2012, the Supreme Court approved amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The amendments have since been transmitted to Congress and will take effect on December 1, 2012, unless Congress enacts legislation to the contrary. Detailed information regarding the amended bankruptcy rules is available in a either a Powerpoint presentation or a PDF summary report. Both versions are available on the courts Attorney Resources page. If you do not have Powerpoint 2010, you may download a free Powerpoint viewer at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13.
Reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge William R. Sawyer
(posted September 19, 2012) The current 14-year term of office of The Honorable William R. Sawyer, United States Bankruptyc Judge for the Middle District of Alabama at Montgomery, is due to expire on May 23, 2013. Written comments for consideration by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals concerning this reappointment must be received no later than October 8, 2012. Read the full announcement.
Four Bankruptcy Court Employees Retire
(posted September 27, 2012) The Middle District of Alabama bids farewell to Donna Wilcox, Claudia Osborne, Janice Vance, and Joyce Thorn as they retire from the Judiciary effective September 28, 2012. We greatly appreciate their many years of dedicated service to the mission of our bankruptcy court. We will miss them and we wish them well.
Newsletter Edition Volume 3 Available
(posted May 25, 2012) The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama is pleased to provide the Volume 3 of our newsletter, Court News and Views. We strive to enhance information sharing with our distinguished customers and welcome your feedback on ways to improve our newsletter and other communication efforts. Thank you for your time and input.
Bankruptcy Filings Continue Downward Trajectory
(Posted March 9, 2012) According to a recent press release from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, national bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2012, fell 13% compared to the previous year ending March 31, 2011. By comparison, filings in the Middle District of Alabama are down a modest 3.6%. For further details, please visit the ALMB statistics page or click here.
Change in Filing Reaffirmation Agreements
(Posted January 23, 2012) The Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama now requires that all Reaffirmation Agreements (Form B-240A) be filed along with the cover sheet (Form B-27) as a single document. The combined form is available in our forms section at http://www.almb.uscourts.gov/forms/. The ECF event allowing for filing of the B-27 form separately has also been removed. Please direct any questions to the Bankruptcy Clerk's Office at (334) 954-3800.
PACER Fee Increase Effective April 1, 2012
(posted October 7, 2011) In September 2011, the Judicial Conference authorized an increase in the Judiciary's electronic public access fee in response to increasing costs for maintaining and enhancing the electronic public access system. The fee increase from $0.08 to $0.10 per page will take effect on April 1, 2012. For more information, visit http://www.pacer.gov.
Bankruptcy Filings Slide in Calendar Year 2011
(Posted February 10, 2012) Bankruptcy filings in the federal courts fell 11.5 percent in calendar year 2011, according to data recently released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Filings in the Middle District of Alabama were down only 4% for the same period. To view the full press release, click here. For a detailed breakdown of filings in the Middle District, please visit the Clerk's Office Statistics page or click here.
Newsletter Volume 2 Available Now
(posted November 22, 2011) The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama is pleased to provide the Volume 2 of our newsletter, Court News and Views. We strive to enhance information sharing with our distinguished customers and welcome your feedback on ways to improve our newsletter and other communication efforts. Thank you for your time and input.
Rule Amendments Effective December 1, 2011
(posted September 14, 2011) On April 26, 2011, the Supreme Court approved several amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy, Appellate, and Criminal Procedure. The amendments have since been transmitted to Congress and will take effect on December 1, 2011, unless Congress enacts legislation to the contrary. For detailed information regarding the amended bankruptcy rules and forms, please visit the court’s Attorney Resources page or click here.
E-Orders Now Required Procedure for All Proposed Orders
(posted September 14, 2011) The Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama has updated our procedure for submitting proposed orders. We no longer allow proposed orders to be submitted using e-mail. All proposed orders must now be submitted using E-Orders.
Please see this user guide for more details on how to use E-Orders. Thank you for your cooperation. We are confident this new procedure will be a more efficient and effective method for submitting proposed orders.
If you have further questions or concerns, please call the Clerk's Office at (334) 954-3800.
Miscellaneous Fee Schedule Increases Effective November 1, 2011
(posted October 12, 2011) The Judicial Conference, at its September 2011 session, approved recommended changes to the miscellaneous fee schedules. To view a full list of fees that will become effective November 1, 2011, please click here.
Bankruptcy Filings Down from 2010 Levels
(posted August 8, 2011) According to statistics released last week by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, bankruptcy petitions filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011 totaled 1,529,560 down 2.7 percent from the 1,572,597 bankruptcy petitions filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010. For the same period, filings in the Middle District of Alabama were down 5.5 percent. For further details regarding the Administrative Office press release, click here. To view charts reflecting the latest Middle District statistics, click here.
E-Orders available August 1, 2011
(posted July 18, 2011) E-Orders is a new ECF feature that allows proposed orders to be uploaded into ECF and tracked electronically. Proposed orders will be accepted under the current e-mail method until September 1, 2011, after which all proposed orders must be submitted via E-Orders. Filers of proposed orders are encouraged to begin using E-Orders as soon as it is activated. A User Guide was created to demonstrate the upload method. Please contact the court for assistance as needed. Please read this personal message from Clerk of Court, J.C. Guerrero regarding E-Orders.
Notice of Ineligibility for Discharge in Ch. 13 Cases
(posted June 22, 2011) In order to forgo unnecessary filings and deadlines in Ch. 13 cases in which the debtor is not eligible for discharge, and thus expedite the closing of such cases following the trustee’s notice of Completion of Plan Payments, a new ECF event has been created, Notice of Ineligibility for Discharge. The new event is located under the Bankruptcy>Notices menu and may only be filed by the debtor or attorney for debtor in Ch. 13 cases. Because the event is a text-only entry, it is not necessary to prepare a PDF document before filing. For more detailed information regarding the new procedure, see page 2 of the latest edition of Court News and Views. To view a flowchart of the procedure, click here.
Elimination of BNC Notice of Meeting of Creditors to Debtors' Attorneys
(posted May 25, 2011) Beginning June 6, 2011, the attorney for the debtor in cases filed in the Middle District of Alabama will no longer receive a paper copy of the Notice of §341 Meeting of Creditors (Form B9) . The Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) will send only one summary email per day containing hyperlinks to one or more notices. For further details, click here.
Bankruptcy Filings Up Slightly in March
(posted May 20, 2011) U.S. bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2011, rose 2.6 percent when compared to bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2010, according to statistics released recently by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Filings in the Middle District of Alabama closely matched national trends over the same period. For further details regarding the Administrative Office press release, click here. For the latest Middle District statistics, click here.
Bankruptcy Court Attorney Forums
(posted March 15, 2011): Mark your calendars for the upcoming Middle District of Alabama Bankruptcy Court attorney forums in Montgomery, Dothan, and Opelika. The purpose of these forums is to provide you (our customers) a way to give us feedback, ask us questions, etc. In order to help better prepare, we request attorneys send questions or discussion topics in advance by emailing JC_Guerrero @ almb.uscourts.gov. Scheduled forums will be held:
Friday, May 6, 2011, 2:00 PM at the U.S. Courthouse in Dothan, AL
Impact of Federal Government Shut Down on the Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Alabama
(posted April 8, 2011): For approximately the first two weeks of a general government shut down, we do not anticipate any significant impact on court services in the Middle District due to the judiciary's ability to temporarily fund operations from fee accounts and no year funds. Bottom line: even if the general government shut down starts after today, there will be no change in our court hours and services until further notice.
Growth in Bankruptcy Filings Slows In Calendar Year 2010
(posted February 22, 2011): While total national filings remain at a five year high, the overall rate of growth in 2010 bankruptcy filings was down according to statistics recently released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. To view the full press release, click here. For a detailed look at annual filings in the Middle District of Alabama, visit the Clerk's Office Statistics page or click here.
Transition to PDF/A for Electronic Case Filings
(posted January 18, 2011): PDF/A is a subset of the PDF standard which excludes features that gives rise to security concerns. CM/ECF currently accepts filings in the PDF/A format. Judiciary policy makers are discussing enforcement of PDF/A format for future electronic filings in the federal courts. You can learn more on PDF/A regarding CM/ECF documents here.
Change in Compensation for Legal Services in Chapter 13 Cases
(posted December 21, 2010): Chief Judge Williams and Judge Sawyer signed an order (effective January 1, 2011) increasing the maximum compensation for legal services for Chapter 13 cases filed in the Middle District of Alabama by an attorney for the debtor from $2500.00 to $2750.00. You can view the order by clicking on the Administrative Orders tab under Quick Links on the left side of this web page.
November 15, 2010
CMECF Upgrade to Release 4.0 is COMPLETE and all services are up. Thank you to all our customers for your patience. Reminder - you will be prompted to change your password to comply with new security requirements. For technical support, please call Scooter at 334-954-3848.
November 9, 2010
The US Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama will upgrade the Case Management /Electronic Case Filing system (https://ecf.almb.uscourts.gov) to software release 4.0 this weekend.
The system will be UNAVAILABLE for electronic filing from Friday 5:00 p.m. to Monday 8:00 a.m.
A list of features is available here. Please note that all Electronic Filers will be required to change the password during the first login to Release 4.0.
August 17, 2010
According to statistics released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010. While total filings rose only 2.6% for the same period in the Middle District of Alabama, the state of Alabama ranks 1st in Ch. 13 filings per thousand population and 5th in total filings per thousand. Click here for further details.
August 2, 2010
Administrative Office Seeks Input for Next Generation of CM/ECF Systems.
Click Here for Details
July 6, 2010 (updated July 16, 2010)
CM/ECF computer hardware will be upgraded this weekend July 17-18. Electronic filing will not be available on those dates. If you have questions, please call Scooter at 334-954-3848.
June 30, 2010
Effective July 12, 2010, the Bankruptcy Noticing Center will not mail notices to a Creditor if address is invalid. Read more about it.
June 10, 2010
US Marshals Service expedites screening process for attorneys at the Montgomery Federal Courthouse. Read their memo issued June 8, 2010.
May 14, 2010
Bankruptcy Filings Highest Since 2006
January 14, 2010 HOLIDAY CLOSING
The courthouse will be closed Monday, January 18, 2010 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's Birthday. The CM/ECF system will be available and electronic documents may be filed or accessed during that time. Additional case information is available by calling the Voice Case Information system at (866)222-8029, press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, then press 8 for the Middle District of Alabama and follow instructions provided.
November 23, 2009
Important Notice Regarding Time Period Changes Effective December 1, 2009, Including 14-Day Deadlines for Filing Schedules, Statements, Chapter 13 Plans, and Bankruptcy Appellate Briefs
September 11, 2009
Overview of Amendments to Bankruptcy Rules (Effective Dec.1, 2009)
February 25, 2009
Overview of Bankruptcy and Related Filing Procedures
November 19, 2008
Notice Regarding Temporary Exclusion from Means Testing