September 4, 2015

CM/ECF Internet Credit Card Payment Guide


Overview
System Requirements
Processing Payment
Credit Card Security Code
Payment Methods
Alternative Payment Methods
Court’s Handling of Credit Cards
Adversary Proceeding Fees Not Applicable/Fees Exempt
Reports
Lockout
Restoring ECF After Lockout
Credit Card Transaction ID
Pop-Up Blocker
Events That May Require a Filing Fee
Filing a New Bankruptcy Case
Pay Now
Continue Filing
Installment Payments
Additional Filing Fee for Bifurcation and/or Conversion
Making Credit Card Payment (not made at the time of filing)
Invalid Card
Receipt Entry
Credit Card Payment History
Reconciling Credit Card Payments
Receiving Calls Regarding Internet Credit Card Payments
Frequently Asked Question
Court Contact Information


Overview
The Credit Card module is designed to allow you, the filer, to pay filing fees to the U.S. Treasury via the Internet as part of the electronic filing process. The module offers advantages that include the ability to:

  • Pay the filing fee over the Internet with a credit card at any time
  • Review the history of credit card transaction payments
  • Review outstanding payments due to the court
  • Request on-line payment of any unpaid balance

After submission of the credit card information, the filing fee is paid directly to the U.S. Treasury. A transaction receipt displays and is docketed to the case immediately.


System Requirements
In order to successfully use the Credit Card module, your browser must have 128-bit encryption. Follow the instructions below to determine if the browser supports 128-bit encryption

If you are not using the Internet Explorer browser, you may experience problems viewing this document. The latest updated information does not always appear when using other browsers; i.e., Mozilla Firefox.

NOTE: Effective August 28, 2005, and thereafter, for pleadings filed that require a filing fee, it will be necessary to exclusively use Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher.

1. Click on the “Help” tab on your menu bar at the top of the screen
2. Scroll down and select “About Internet Explorer”
3. A small window appears in the center of your screen indicating the version, as well as the encryption or cipher strength of your browser (either 40-bit, 56-bit, or 128-bit.). If the screen indicates that you have a 40-bit or 56-bit version, or if it does not indicate the encryption level, you will need to upgrade to a version with 128-bit encryption.


Processing Payment
Upon the successful submission of a document requiring a filing fee, you will be prompted either to pay the fee or continue filing. When choosing to “Pay Now” you will be prompted to enter your credit card information. Choosing “Continue Filing” allows you to exit the module or continue to file and make payment at a future time.

NOTE: DO NOT use the “back button” during the payment process.


Credit Card Security Code

Effective February 1, 2007, all district and bankruptcy court CM/ECF filers that pay fees on-line via a credit card are required to enter the security code field to complete the transaction. Credit card security codes, the 3-4 digits printed on the back of a credit card, are used to verify that the purchaser has the credit card in hand when making a purchase on the Internet in order to reduce fraud. Each brand of credit card uses a slightly different code and may call the code by a different name. The following is a list of the acronyms for the CSC (Card Security Code):

CVV2 (Credit Card Verification 2)

CVC (Credit Card Validation Code)

CID (Card Identification)

CIN (Card Identification Number)

The security code field has been on the data entry screen, but its use had been optional. On February 1, 2007 it  became a required field for the protection of the credit card holders.


Payment Methods
Valid credit cards include American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.  Debit Cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo may also be used.


Alternative Payment Methods
If you cannot access the Credit Card module over the Internet to make a filing fee payment, you should contact the appropriate division of the Clerk’s Office and speak with a deputy clerk who will advise you about how best to make the filing fee payment.

Non Electronic Filers may use a Credit Card for payment upon tendering of a “Credit Card One Time Authorization Form”. This form is available from the Court’s website: www.vaeb.uscourts.gov


Court Contact Information

Richmond
Delores Jones, 804-916-2435
Lisa Luckenbaugh, 804-916-2437

Alexandria
Rachel Swinton 703-258-1254
Terry C. Miller 703-258-1251

Norfolk/Newport News
Cynthia Gray, 757-222-7519
Angie Snyder, 757-222-7523


Court’s Handling of Credit Cards
The court no longer maintains credit card authorization forms.


Adversary Proceeding Fees Not Applicable/Fees Exempt or Deferred
Use of the “Notice of Removal” or “Complaint” event codes requires that you pay the filing fee on-line. “Prompts” exist within the “Open an AP Case” that asks if the plaintiff is exempt from payment of the fee or if the fee is to be deferred. If you select “y” to either question, the Internet payment window is not presented. Also, an answer of “y” to the “deferred” question or the “exempt” question will require you to key the word “defer” or the word “exempt” (as appropriate) into the receipt window so that the listing will appear as deferred or exempt in the “Pleadings Requiring Fees” report.


Reports
The reports noted below are available to you from the Reports menu in ECF:

Credit Card Payment Due used for payment of outstanding fees and to verify that a fee (if applicable) has been removed from your account.

Credit Card Payment History used to review history of credit card payments


Lockout
If you bypass the Pay Now prompt and continue filing, you will accrue an unpaid balance. If payment is not made before midnight on the day of filing, an e-mail will be forwarded the following day to remind you that you have outstanding fees and the consequences for non-payment of these fees. A Notice to Cure Filing Fee Deficiency also will be completed and forwarded to you regarding the fee(s) not paid. If payment is not made within the time limitation, as set by the Notice, the pleading will be struck, or the case filed will be dismissed. If payment is not made before midnight on the fourth day after filing, ECF will automatically lock your account. A blank screen will display and you will be prevented from further e-filing until full payment is made to the account.


Restoring ECF After Lockout
When an account has been locked, menu options are disabled and a blank screen displays after you log in.

NOTE: The account is restored after payment, but menu options will not display until the computer is refreshed. You should proceed as follows to refresh the computer and unlock your account:

Log into ECF using your CM/ECF attorney login and password

A blank screen is displayed. No menu options will display
In Internet Explorer or Mozilla select “Refresh” from the browser toobar
All menu options should display

NOTE: When sharing a computer with someone whose account was locked the last time that user logged on, the current user will be required to “Refresh”after logging in.


Credit Card Transaction ID
When making a payment for multiple credit card transactions, the payment will be given a single transaction ID number and will display on your credit card statement as such.


Pop-Up Blocker
Pop-up blocker software will prevent the Electronic Payment window from displaying and must be turned off. Instructions for Turning Off Pop-Up Blocker are available on the CM/ECF Users’ Guides page of the Court’s website: http://vaeb.uscourts.gov/ecfguides/ecfotm.htm


Events That May Require a Filing Fee
You will receive the Electronic Payment window when docketing any pleadings that require payment of a fee. Pleadings that require a fee include, but are not limited to, the following:

Voluntary and Involuntary petitions – all chapters
Adversary proceedings (complaints and notices of removal)
Counterclaims
Motions for Relief from Stay
Motion to Compel Abandonment
Motions for Withdrawal of Reference
Motions to Reopen Case
Motions to Convert Case to 7 (fee)
Notices of Voluntary Conversion from Chapter 12 or 13 to 7
Notices of Appeal, direct appeal and cross-appeal
Amendments – adding/deleting creditors or changing amount of debt or classification

For a complete list of all filing fees, please go to the court’s website at http://www.vaeb.uscourts.gov/ and click Fee Schedule.

When the fee is not applicable, but you are presented with a payment window, call the court immediately. (Refer to comments under Adversary Proceeding Fees not Applicable/Fees Exempt or Deferred.)


Filing a New Bankruptcy Case
Once the process of opening a new case has been completed, the Electronic Payment window will display. You may select the “Pay Now” or “Continue Filing” option.

The “Pay Now” option allows you to make immediate payment of fee(s)

  • Click Pay Now
  • At “Card Type”, select the type of credit card being used
  • Enter the credit card number
  • Enter the Expiration Date
  • Click Continue with Plastic Card Payment

The next screen is “Payment Summary and Authorization.”

  • Check the box after the statement “I authorize a charge to my card account for the above amount in accordance with my card issuer agreement”(or the account will not be charged)
  • Click Submit Payment

The final screen is a transaction receipt – click Close window

IMPORTANT: Do NOT double-click the “Submit Payment” button. Double clicking may result in duplicate charges to your credit card.

The “Continue Filing” option allows you to continue filing documents prior to payment or to exit the module.

  • Click Continue Filing when filing multiple documents

To exit the Credit Card module, click Continue Filing

NOTE: Do NOT use the “back button” during the payment process.


Installment Payments
Case Upload, including the opening of a case using 3rd party bankruptcy software, is not compatible with payment of filing fees in installments. If you wish to file in installments you must use Open a Bk Case. When you select “installment” on the statistical screen, the system will offer the first installment amount appropriate to that chapter for payment over the Internet. Subsequent fees will be tracked via deadlines set by order. You must pay subsequent fees through the event Payment of Installment Fee, which is located under the Bankruptcy> Miscellaneous menu.


Additional Filing Fee for Bifurcation and/or Conversion
The following order will set forth an additional filing fee to bifurcation and/or conversion.

  • Order Converting Case From Chapter 13 to Chapter 11
  • Order Converting Case From Chapter 7 to Chapter 11
  • Order Of Conversion of Joint Debtor From Chapter 7 to Chapter 13
  • Order Upon Conversion of Joint Debtor From Chapter 13 to Chapter 7
  • Order of Conversion of Joint Debtor From Chapter 7 to Chapter 11
  • Order of Conversion of Joint Debtor From Chapter 11 to Chapter 7
  • Order Dividing Case

In order to pay the fee indicated in the order, you must docket a payment event. In a bifurcated case, the fee is due in the new case.  The additional fee(s) for bifurcation and/or conversion must be docketed as two separate events. Proceed as follows to pay fees.

  • Click on Bankruptcy
  • Click on Miscellaneous
    • Select appropriate payment event
    • Payment of Bifurcation Filing Fee
  • Payment of Conversion Filing
  • Continue through payment screens following instructions above (under Filing a New Bankruptcy Case)

Making Credit Card Payment (not made at the time of filing)
Proceed as follows to submit credit card payment of filing fees not made at the time of filing:

  • Click Reports on the ECF menu bar
  • Click Credit Card Payments Due
  • From the Electronic Payment window, click Pay Now
  • Select the appropriate Card Type (Visa, MC, Discover, AMEX, or Diner’s Club) from the drop-down menu
  • Enter the card number
  • Enter Expiration Date
  • Click Continue with Plastic Card Payment

The next screen is “Payment Summary and Authorization.”

  • Check the box after the statement “I authorize a charge to my card account for the above amount in accordance with my card issuer agreement” (or the account will not be charged)
  • Click Submit Payment

A screen will display with the following message: “Your transaction is being processed. Please wait while your credit card is authorized.”

Once the card has been authorized, a screen will display with the following message:

  • Click Close Window button

Invalid Card
If you enter an invalid credit card number or card type, the following message will display: “The credit card you have entered is invalid. Please check the card number and type and try again.”

  • Verify the card type and number and try again
  • After three consecutive errors in data entry, the following message will display: “We are unable to complete your transaction. Please contact your local court for assistance.”

DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT. We are unable to resolve this issue. Contact your credit card company directly.

Click Close Window

Continue filing or use a different credit card to make the payment via Reports/Credit Card Payments Due


Receipt Entry
When on-line payment of fees is made, the receipt entry is automatically docketed to the case(s). The entry will include the filing fee and receipt number.


Credit Card Payment History
The Credit Card Payment History Report allows you to review completed credit card payments made over any specified period of time.

  • Click Reports on the ECF menu bar
  • Click Credit Card Payment History
  • Enter a date range in “From” “to” date range (defaults to a month prior to current date)
  • Click Run Report
  • The report will display

Reconciling Credit Card Payments (saving the report to Excel)

  • Ctrl+A to select all text in the Credit Card Payment History report
  • Ctrl+C to capture the text

Open Notepad. (Other word processing applications can not be used)

  • Ctrl+V to paste the data into Notepad
  • Delete the header information from Notepad
  • Name and save the text document. Example: name.txt

Open Excel

  • Click File on the menu bar and select Open
  • Change the “Files of type” to “All Files” in the Open dialog box that displays
  • Select the raw data text file and click Open
  • Select “Delimited” in the Text Import Wizard and click Next
  • In Step 2 of the wizard uncheck the Tab delimiter
  • Click Finish
  • The text displays in Excel and can be sorted as necessary.

Receiving Calls Regarding Internet Credit Card Payments

There have been instances where a filer has filed a case in CM/ECF, paid the payment by internet credit card, and received a message that there may be an error with the transaction and to contact the court. The payment is not reflected in CM/ECF on the Internet Payments Made Report; however, the payment is reflected on the Internet Payments Due Report (in error).

If you receive this error message, do not attempt to make another payment before contacting the court as you may make a duplicate payment that will not be reflected in CM/ECF.  The court will need to research the payment in Pay.gov to determine if the Payment was successful.


Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Why am I getting the following error message: “The credit card you have entered is invalid. Please check the card number and type and try again?”

Answer: An error may have been made when entering the credit card information. Enter the information again or use an alternate card.

Question 2: I’ve just filed a document and now realize that my card is over its limit. What do I do?

Answer: We suggest that a second credit card or a debit card be available in the event the main card fails. If a second card is not available, click Continue Filing to close the Electronic Payment window. Call a court contact in the appropriate division of the Clerk’s Office for further direction if you are unable to pay on-line. See the Court Contact Information section above. If payment is not made before midnight on the day of filing, an e-mail will be generated to remind you that you have outstanding fees due and the consequences for non-payment of these fees, a “Notice to Cure Filing Fee Deficiency” will also be sent to you regarding fees that have not been paid. If payment is not made within the time limitation set forth by the “Notice to Cure Filing Fee Deficiency”, the pleading will be struck or the petition will be dismissed. Further, if payment is not made before midnight on the fourth day after the filing, ECF will automatically lock your account and you will not be able to file documents via the Internet. To unlock your account, go to Reports > Credit Card Payments Due and make the payment.

Question 3: I’ve logged into ECF but don’t see any filing menu options. I can’t file anything, HELP.

Answer: If you have outstanding fees that were not paid before midnight on the fourth day after the filing, ECF will automatically lock your account and you will not be able to file. Review “Credit Card Payments Due” under the Reports option to make certain you do not have outstanding fees. If you have fees outstanding, you must make payment before your account is restored. If your account was locked, and you have subsequently made payment, you will need to refresh your computer after you log in. See the section on Restoring ECF after Lockout. If there are no outstanding fees and you have tried refreshing without success, call a court contact in the appropriate division of the Clerk’s Office for further direction. See the Court Contact Information section above.

Question 4: I’ve filed my document, I’m sure that a fee is due but I don’t get the Electronic payment window? Why?

Answer: A pop-up blocker installed on your computer will prevent the module from displaying after filing. You should check to see if one is installed on your computer. If so, disable or uninstall it. You can then go into “Credit Card Payments Due” under “Reports” to make the payment.

Question 5: I’ve just filed a document on-line and was prompted to pay a fee. I don’t believe I owe a fee for the filing. Should I ignore the prompt?

Answer: No, you should not ignore the prompt. If the payment module displays, the fee is applied to your account. Ignoring the prompt will cause your account to become locked if payment is not made before midnight on the fourth day after the filing for which the fee was incurred. Select “Continue Filing” and call the court immediately using the process outlined in the Adversary Proceeding Fees Not Applicable/Fees Exempt .

Question 6: I’m filing several new cases, one is an installment case, the others I want to pay at filing. Can I file all cases and select “Pay Now” at the end or am I required to file the installment case separately?

Answer: Yes, you can file all cases and select “Pay Now” at the end. You cannot use Case Upload to file an installment. If you wish to file by way of installments, you must use Open a BK Case and then follow the process outlined in the Installment Payments section of this manual.

Question 7: I have a blanket Credit Card Authorization form on file with the court. Will you use it to charge payment if payment is not made electronically?

Answer: No. Blanket credit card authorization forms Are no longere maintained by the court. Those previously on file with the court have been terminated. If you believe that you may have neglected to make a payment, check for outstanding fees using “Credit Card Payments Due” under the “Reports” option of ECF. If a fee is not due, you will be prompted “There are currently no outstanding CM/ECF credit card charges.”

Question 8: I’ve just filed an adversary and at the question, “Is the plaintiff the United States, Debtor, Child Support Creditor or its Representative”, I’m not sure what I should have answered?

Answer: If the plaintiff is the United States, Debtor, Child Support Creditor or its Representative, the answer is “y”, otherwise “n”. When answering “y” the Electronic Payment prompt will not display and you will not be assessed charges. If you have made an error the court will contact you. For detailed information on opening an adversary, refer to the CM/ECF Users’s Guide located on the court’s website at http://www.vaeb.uscourts.gov/ecfguides/ecfotm.htm.

Question 9: I made an internet credit card payment and I received a message that there may be an error and I need to contact the court.  Should I check to see if the payment is due in CM/ECF and make another payment?

Answer:  No.  When this error occurs, CM/ECF will not reflect that the payment was made and will still show that the payment is due (in error).  If you attempt to make another payment, you may actually make a duplicate payment.  Contact the court so that the court may check to see if your payment was successful in Pay.gov and the court will instruct you how to proceed.


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