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Electronic Self-Representation (eSR) Bankruptcy Petition Preparation System for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

The Bankruptcy Court is not permitted to provide legal advice.

Information about bankruptcy can be found on the Understanding Bankruptcy page and on the What Do I Need to Know page. Individuals filing for bankruptcy without an attorney are still responsible for knowing and following all of the filing requirements. Low or no cost legal resources are available here.


eSR at a Glance

What is eSR?

  • eSR is an online tool to help individuals complete a bankruptcy petition when they have decided to file bankruptcy without an attorney.

Who can use eSR?

  • This online tool is for individual debtors filing chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases only.
  • Important Note: eSR is not available to attorneys or bankruptcy petition preparers.
  • eSR is not designed for filings by corporations or other non-individuals.

Why use eSR?

  • There is no cost to use eSR.  Pay only the bankruptcy filing fee.
  • eSR has a guided, step-by-step process that allows you up to 45 days to complete.
  • Your personal information is only accessible to you using a unique login and password assigned to you.
  • eSR is accessible 24 hours a day from any Internet-enabled computer.
  • There is no software to download or purchase.

How do I use eSR?

  • Obtain credit counseling from a court-approved credit counseling agency.  The law requires credit counseling before filing bankruptcy.
  • Collect all of your financial documents before you begin.
  • Create a user profile, unique login, and password.
  • Answer questions about your property, income and debts.
  • Complete and sign the eSR Declaration form.
  • Deliver or mail the Declaration form and the filing fee to the bankruptcy court.

Note: A bankruptcy petition is NOT considered “filed” (and does not receive a case number) until both the Declaration Form and the bankruptcy filing fee are received and processed by the court.
Note: An automatic stay (injunction) is NOT in effect until a bankruptcy case number is issued by the bankruptcy court.

eSR Computer Requirements

  • Internet connection
  • Adobe Reader (version 8 or higher)
  • Pop-up blocker must be disabled
  • Printer
  • Browser requirements - It is recommended that you use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Safari.

eSR Help

  • For technical and procedural assistance on eSR, please contact the Help Desk at 202-354-3281.

Notice to those using eSR regarding certain items of income connected to a member of the uniformed services

STOP:  If you have not completed an approved credit counseling course within the 180 day period preceding the filing of your petition and you do not meet the requirements for an extension to complete the counseling after filing, your case will be dismissed and you will not receive a discharge of your debts.