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 Texas 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 with the court where their case is filed.
Click here for an overview of the DeBN program.
Overview of DeBN
Click here to download a printable version of the DeBN brochure.
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 Setting or Cancelling Hearing
- Notice of Requirement to Complete Course in Financial Management
- Notice of Transfer/Assignment of Claim
- Order Confirming Chapter 13 Plan
- Order Discharging Debtor(s)
- Order on Motion for Relief from Stay
- Order Regarding Motion to Avoid Lien
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:
A DeBN account remains 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 or 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?
Signing up for DeBN is easy:
- Complete and print the request form: Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN)
- 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.
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.
Requirements of the DeBN program include:
Reliable Internet Access
Please be aware that the email address you use for your DeBN account will become a part of the official court record. A DeBN account will not be created if the clerk's office determines that the debtor's email address is inappropriate or offensive.
Court notices and orders will be sent as PDF documents. It is recommended that you use the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader software for viewing these PDF documents. If you do not have this software, you can download it free of charge here.
If you are using a mobile device, please visit your mobile device’s app store for a free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request Form
Debtors requesting email delivery of court notices and orders through the DeBN program must complete and file a Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form with the court where their case is filed. Debtors can file a DeBN request form through their attorney electronically, or on their own by mail or over the counter at the Clerk’s Office.
How Email Works
The BNC will transmit emails in the evening on the same day a notice or order is filed.
The notice or order will be attached to the email as a single PDF file. It is recommended that you use the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader software for viewing these PDF documents. If you do not have this software, you can download it free of charge here. If you are using a mobile device, please visit your mobile device’s app store for a free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Not all notices you receive in a case are processed through the BNC.
BNC Email Addresses
The BNC will send you confirmation emails and court notices using these addresses:
Please add these email addresses to your contacts/safe-sender list to ensure delivery of court notices/orders to your email inbox.
Note: Please do not reply or send emails to the above email addresses. Those email accounts are used for the sole purpose of sending emails, and the inboxes are not monitored. Please contact the Clerk’s Office if you have any questions about the DeBN program.
Each email containing a court notice or order will be formatted as follows:
- A subject header containing the BNC email serial number and your DeBN account number. The serial number increases each time you are sent an email notice in order to help you determine that you have received all of your emails.
- Text that describes the number of notices and total notice pages.
- Text that shows the name and address of the recipient, case number, court form code, originating court and title of document filed for each notice.
- Contain a PDF attachment of the notice or order that was filed in your case.
Name and Address Matching
Your DeBN account is created using your name and address exactly as it appears in your bankruptcy case. As long as your name and address in your bankruptcy case exactly matches your name and address in your DeBN account, all notices and orders that the court files and sends to the BNC for service upon you will be delivered to you via email.
If your name and address in your DeBN account does not match the bankruptcy case, then the BNC will send court notices and orders to you via U.S. mail.
If you or your attorney files a notice of change of address with the court, then the clerk’s office will make the necessary changes to both your bankruptcy case and your DeBN account. You will then receive an email from the BNC advising you that your DeBN account has been updated.
Email Bounce-Back (Undeliverable Email)
The first time the BNC receives an email bounce-back (undeliverable email), your DeBN account will automatically be disabled, and the notice or order will be resent to you via U.S. mail (as long as the bounce-back occurred within 10 days). Any future court notices and orders will be delivered to you via U.S. mail, and you must file an updated request form if you wish to reactivate your DeBN account.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When can I enroll in DeBN?
A debtor can enroll in DeBN at any time during the pendency of his case. A debtor may also request deactivation of his account at any time.
When are emails sent?
Emails will be sent by the BNC in the evening on the same day a notice or order is filed by the court in your case.
Will I receive all documents via email?
No; only notices and orders filed by the court and sent to the BNC for service upon you will be delivered via email. All other parties, such as the trustee and creditors, will continue to serve documents upon you either via U.S. mail or in person pursuant to court rules.
Can I request receipt of notices both via email and U.S. mail?
No; a party only has the option to receive notices either by email or U.S. mail.
Can others see my email address?
Your email address will not be shown on the caption of the case docket, and your DeBN request form will not be visible to the public for viewing. However, the BNC Certificate of Mailing that is filed in the case will reflect your email address if the notice or order was emailed to you. A Certificate of Mailing must include the party’s name and the address where they were served.
I accidentally deleted an email. Can the notice be resent to me?
Neither the court nor the BNC can resend notices. If you accidentally deleted a notice, you should contact your attorney, or you may contact the court for further directions on how to obtain another copy of the notice.
I filed jointly with my spouse. Do we both have to request DeBN?
No; only one joint debtor can request DeBN. The joint debtor enrolled in DeBN will receive notices from the court via email, and the other debtor not enrolled in DeBN will continue to receive notices via U.S. mail.
I filed jointly with my spouse. Can we both use the same email address?
Yes; a husband and wife can use the same email address. Each of you will have your own DeBN account, and separate emails will be sent to each of you at whatever email address was used to register for DeBN.
What should I do if I change my email address?
You should immediately file with the court, either on your own or through your attorney, an updated Debtor’s Electronic Noticing Request form. Once the court has processed your request, you will receive an email from the BNC at both your old and new email addresses advising you that your DeBN account has been updated.
What should I do if I move?
You or your attorney should file a notice of change of address with the court. The clerk’s office will make the necessary changes to both your bankruptcy case and your DeBN account. You will then receive an email from the BNC advising you that your DeBN account has been updated.
What should I do if I want to reactivate my DeBN account?
You must complete, sign and file an updated DeBN request form, check-marking the section to request reactivation of your account. Once the clerk’s office processes your request, you will receive an automated email from the BNC advising you that your DeBN account has been activated.
Why did I stop receiving my notices via email?
There are several reasons why this may have occurred, including:
1. If your name and address in the case do not match your DeBN account, then the notice or order will be delivered to you via U.S. mail. If you recently filed a change of address with the court and did not receive an email from the BNC advising you that your DeBN account was updated, please contact the Clerk’s Office for assistance.
2. Your DeBN account may have been disabled due to an email bounce-back (undeliverable email). If this occurred, you must file an updated request form if you wish to reactivate your DeBN account.
Please contact the Clerk’s Office with any questions about the status of your DeBN account.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions about DeBN?
Please contact the Clerk’s Office if you have any questions about the DeBN program. Do not contact the BNC, or reply to emails you receive from the BNC. Those BNC email accounts are used for the sole purpose of sending emails, and the inboxes are not monitored.