Pathfinder Electronic Filing Project
The Pathfinder Electronic Filing Project is a software module that allows self-represented debtors to electronically prepare and submit their own Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy petitions. The module is being developed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) and is initially being tested by three bankruptcy courts: the Central District of California, New Jersey, and New Mexico. The projected release of the test module is scheduled for late spring 2012.
The Pathfinder Electronic Filing Project seeks to:
- Provide an online option for self-represented parties to file bankruptcy.
- Increase the number of resources available to self-represented parties (e.g., literature, website, onsite computer terminal support, etc.) and ensure that the public is made aware of the resources.
- Broaden customer service to assist and complement pro bono organizations and their self-represented debtor clinics.
- Reduce fraud by BPPs.
- Provide outreach to educate self-represented parties, while reassuring attorneys that their client base is not being targeted.
In addition to participation on regular conference calls of the national Pathfinder implementation group, the Central District has also conducted meetings with local agencies such as CDCBAA, Public Counsel, and bar associations, in order to educate them on the project and to ensure that their perspective is considered.
Table of Contents (Download Report)
- What Do We Know About Self-Represented Parties in our Court?
- How Many Self-Represented Parties Are There?
- Measuring Success
- Language Barriers
- Bankruptcy Petition Preparers
- Income Levels
- Literacy Issues
- Self-Represented Creditors
- Court Resources and the Impact of Large Numbers of Self-Represented Litigants
- Debtor ID Program
- Current Programs and Services for the Self-Represented
- The Court’s Website
- Personal Assistance from Court Staff
- Easy to Understand Forms and Instructions
- Assistance from Volunteers and Nonprofit Organizations
- Honor Roll
- Recruitment and Training of Volunteers
- Funding Sources for Non-Court Services
- Current Projects “Under Construction”
- Pathfinder Electronic Filing Project
- Proof of Service
- Video Instruction
- Future Surveys
- Call Center/Internet Live Chat