Quick Start Guide

The noticing process can be completed in a few easy steps. This section provides an overview of how to get started. More detailed information is available using the hyperlinks from each section.

  1. Create an account. Use the"create new account" on the home login page. Complete each of the five tabs of information See Edit Profile.
  2. Go to the "My Account" page from the main menu bar or Login. You will be presented with:
    1. A menu for Account Management
    2. A tabbed section for notices, Pending, In Process and Mailed. See Case History
    3. The next scheduled mail date.
      Case History help
  3. Select "Upload" from the menu. Enter the requested information which includes a PDF copy of the notice (without service list) and an address list file.

    Upload notice files help
  4. Review your address list and designate the debtor. Add NEF Recipients if necessary.

    Review Address List help

    When all your notices have been uploaded, return to the Case History Pending tab.

  5. Check the box for each notice you wish to send. Click the Purchase button and confirm upload by submitting payment
  6. After the mail date, retrieve your Certificate of Service from the "mailed" tab on the Case History Page.

Help Videos

Use the settings function (the gear icon) in your video player and select 720p HD for better viewing.

The following video demonstrates the upload process.

The following video demonstrates converting a CM/ECF address file to the Noticing Center format for use when you have more than 500 recipients in a list.

Menu Functions

The Account Management Menu has the following items:

  • Case History - Lists of Pending, In Process and Mailed notices. Use these tables to review the status of notices and retrieve the Certificate of Service
  • Price Calculator - Provides a validation of the address list and computes a cost when you indicate the number of pages in the PDF file.
  • Upload - Transfer notice files from your computer to The Noticing Center
  • Account charges - Lists previous transactions and allows you to add funds to your prepaid balance.
  • Edit Profile - Update contact information and usage preferences

Case History

The Case history is your guide to the notices you are currently working on, the notices that The Noticing Center is in the process of sending and those that have been mailed in each of the three tabs provided, Pending, In Process, and Mailed. The state of the notice changes from Pending to In Process when you confirm payment, and from In Process to Mailed when the USPS has accepted the notices.

  • Pending Tab - The notices that have been uploaded from your computer (see Upload Notices) are shown here. The Noticing Center computes the number of sheets that will be mailed. While that computation is being done, the status of that notice will show as "Validating." When validation is complete, the transaction ID, Case Number, Form ID, Notice and Address will appear. The notice and address are links that you can verify the document was uploaded correctly and view the processing The Noticing Center did with the address list. Pending documents can be deleted by clicking the red circle with the white X in it. Click the pencil on the green square to edit the addresses.
  • In Process - This is simply a list of notices where payment has been confirmed, but the notice has not yet been delivered to the USPS.
  • Mailed - This tab contains a list of notices sent to the USPS. In addition to the information on the other tabs, this tab contains a link to the Certificate of Service. In most instances, you will want to file the Certificate of Service with the court through CM/ECF.

Each of the tabs can have the data sorted by clicking on the column header name.

Account charges

The account charges shows the amount that you have in your prepaid account, allows you to add to your account balance, and provides a history of recent transactions.

To add funds to your prepaid account, place a dollar amount in the space provided and click the "Add Money" button. You are then provided a credit card transaction page to complete the payment.

You may also view past transactions and list the notices that were associated with that transaction. Sort the list of transactions using the button provided. Click on the transaction ID number to see the list of notices.

Edit Profile

There are six tabs to edit your account profile.

  • Account - Login, email address and password.
  • Certificates - If you need a district specific certificate of service, you can view and choose your default here.
  • Company Address - Enter your company name and address. This is supplied for contractual and contact purposes and will not appear on notices or envelopes.
  • Contact Information - Enter the name and phone number of the person responsible for noticing.
  • Return Address - This is the return address that will be used on mailing envelopes. Your company name will be automatically added as the first line of the return address. Enter the two or three lines as you want them to appear. The address must be compliant with USPS standards. The system will verify the address format and indicate if there are any errors. A general format is:

    Company Name - wihch the system will insert automatically
    Street Address
    City, State and Zip Code.
  • Settings - Select each bankruptcy court in which you practice. These courts will appear in your "Upload Notices" menu item. Hold the Control (CTRL) key to select multiple courts. The default is "ALL" courts if you don't specify one.

Noticing requires two steps by the account holder: uploading notices and completing the payment process.

Upload

Notices must be uploaded by 9:00 PM EST on the day before the mail date. The upload page will show the date by which files must be loaded to meet the next mail date.

There are five pieces of required data to upload notices. In addition, there are a couple of optional pieces of data depending upon your court requirements for a district specific certificate of service.

Required Data

  1. Court - The court is chosen from the drop down list. Only courts that you have saved as your preferences will be displayed in the list. If you wish to limit or change the courts appearing in the “Upload Notices” screen, edit your account profile.
  2. Case Number - Enter the two digit year, followed by a dash followed by the five digit case number; for example: 12-12345. Do not use additional letters or numbers (such as judges initials or chapter) provided by the court for the “complete” case number. This number must also appear on each line of the address list.
  3. Form ID - Create a name to describe the notice type. If you do multiple notices on a given day for the same case, it is helpful for future reference that you have different form names so that you can later find a particular notice. Form ID’s may be up to 15 characters long with no spaces.
  4. Notice PDF - Create a PDF file for the notice you wish to submit. This notice file does not need to contain the service list. File names should be alphanumeric, with no spaces and up to 20 characters not including the path name. When creating PDF files, a PDF/A file is best, but not required The “A” stands for archive and it enables the Noticing Center to most reliably recreate your notice. If you can’t create a PDF/A file, embed all fonts. For more tips on creating PDF files, see our "Tips on Creating PDF Files" section. The notice file size is limited to 12 MB.
  5. Address List - This file determines where your notices are sent and will be reflected on the Certificate of Service. File names should be alphanumeric, up to 20 characters not including the path name. Lists may be automatically retrieved from PACER ($.50 charge for this service) or there are several file format options for address lists which are covered below. To automatically retrieve from PACER, select the appropriate radio button.

Optional Data

  1. NEF Date - Notice of Electronic Filing date. If your notice was sent electronically by CM/ECF, the date it was sent will be
    different from when your notice is mailed. Enter the date used by CM/ECF. You will be able to indicate to whom the notices were sent in a later step.
  2. District Specific Certificate of Service Fields - Many districts have requirements for the format of a Certificate of Service. NoticingCenter.com accommodates this by setting up a template upon request. This template may includes like a document name or a document control number. At the time of upload, you will be prompted to enter the data required by a custom Certificate of Service. Custom Certificate of Service template setup is described below.

Address List Formats

Address lists can be in two formats:

  1. CM/ECF File format - this is the vertical bar (also known as pipe - | ) delimited text file that one would download from PACER. It has the format of case number | and up to 6 address lines separated by vertical bars. The following is an image of a CM/ECF file format:CM/ECF File Before editing
  2. CSV format - CSV stands for Comma Separated Value. Most spreadsheet applications can save a file as a CSV. A sample is shown in the following figure:
    Address sample in csv format.
    You can create the CSV file by importing a CM/ECF address file into the spreadsheet program (change the delimiting character to a vertical bar "|") , inserting a column A and adding the recipient designations in each row of column A. Then save your file as a CSV.

The file format most typically used will be the one straight from CM/ECF. However, if you have more than 500 recipients, you will need to add the recipient designation to the upload file. This can be done either in a CSV format or by editting a pipe delimited text file.

The record structure of both formats is the same and has the following format:

  • Recipient designation - This column is OPTIONAL for address lists under 500 recipients. You MAY insert it for any address list size, but for most address lists, it is easiest to omit. If you insert the designator, use one of the following abbreviated designations:
    • db - Debtor
    • jdb - Joint Debtor
    • aty - Debtor's Attorney
    • tr - Trustee
    • cr or up to 8 digit number - Creditor or Creditor reference number
  • Case Number (place the same case number on each line. The case number here may have additional characters such as judge's initials after the core case number.
  • Recipient name and address are in the next 6 columns. The name and address must be contained within six fields. If foreign mail, place the country name spelled in full on the last line by itself.

Upload (continued)

You may upload multiple notices at any time. The upload page indicates the next mail date based on the time of your upload. The next step is a review of the data you uploaded and to designate the debtor, joint debtor and optionally the debtor's attorney and trustee. The debtor and joint debtor designations will be placed on the Certificate of Service in the In Re header.

Add NEF recipients if needed. Name in the first column, email address goes in the second. You may correct the NEF Date if incorrect or omitted from the previous step.

Press the "Save and Validate" button at the bottom of the page.

Purchasing Notices

Once all the notices are uploaded, submit the notices for processing by selecting the check boxes for the notices you want done and clicking on the "Process/Purchase" button.

Confirmation and Payment

When you submit the notices for processing, the system will analyze your notices to determine:

  1. The number of sheets that are left to be printed (number of mail recipients less the number of duplicate addresses, times the number of sheets in the document. Notices are printed duplex – two pages to a sheet.)
  2. The postage cost. Postage is based on the first class mail rates in effect on the date of mailing.

You can review what was uploaded by clicking on the link for notice or address list to see the contents. If you don’t like the results, you can delete notices that return a result different than you expected. Make your corrections and then upload the document again.

BE SURE YOUR NOTICES ARE CORRECT. Once the Purchase button is pressed, notices will be mailed and can not be canceled, even before the mail date.

Choose either the Use Balance or Use Credit Card buttons. If you use your balance to pay, the amount of the transaction will be deducted from your balance. You may add additional funds by going to the Account charges menu item if the balance is insufficient to complete the current transaction. For credit cards, enter payment information and hit “Confirm Payment.” The Noticing Center does not store your credit card information.

You will be presented with a receipt screen. You should save it for your records. The notices that you just uploaded will move to the “In Process” stage. In this stage, there is nothing for you to do. The Noticing Center will send your notices electronically, print and mail the remaining notices and produce a certificate of service. The day after the mail date, you can retrieve your certificate of service from the “Mailed” tab of your case history.

Custom Certificates of Service

NoticingCenter.com provides a standard certificate of service which consists of a copy of the notice and a service list which will include NEF recipients if designated. However your district may have specific requirements such as:

  • Specific title page with specific fields such as the name of the document and/or a document control number. This may also include the attorney or trustee address information.
  • The court may not want a copy of the notice included.

To address these needs, NoticingCenter.com offers the ability to have multiple custom templates for each court and purpose. In order to create a custom template, send a support request to Support@noticingcenter.com. We have starting templates for many districts, but you may also supply an MS Word version if available. Our customer service representatives will work with you to design a template that meets your needs. This includes specifying the variable data fields.

When your customer service representative tells you, you may view your template under your user profile. When you tell us that the template is acceptable, we will mark it as approved and you may select it for use on the upload page. If you most frequently use one template over another, you may mark that as your default in your account profile.

Tips on Creating PDF Files

PDF files were meant to be portable: that is, they will appear exactly the same on all computers. That is mostly true, but a few simple rules will help make that happen.

  1. Use common ordinary fonts such as Times Roman, Arial, Courier and Century Schoolbook.
  2. Save the file as a PDF/A file if your software supports this standard.
  3. Embed the fonts in the file.
  4. Avoid scanning a file. While this is supported, the documents tend to be larger file sizes. Limit a scanned file to 300 x 300 dpi to keep the file size to a minimum.

Troubleshooting

If you have an error status on your uploaded notice, click on the word error to view a dialog box that shows the reason.

Problem Solution
My file won't upload. Check to make sure you have the correct file type. Address lists can be .txt or .csv files, notices can only be .pdf files. Also, check to make sure your PDF file is under 2 MB.
The error on the Pending page says my address file is not correct. Check that you have the correct number of fields for each recipient and that you have properly identified the parties. Also, check the address (click on the address list in the Pending tab) list to be sure that you have one valid address.
The error on the Pending page says my PDF file is not correct. See the suggestions in the Tips on Creating PDF Files section.

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