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Pacer Charges

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  • Pacer Charges

    Hello all,

    Several of the posts on this site suggest to check Pacer often for information on our bankruptcy cases. When I went to create an individual account on Pacer, there were MANY warnings that made it look like every time I click on a new page on the web site I was going to get charged for it. Since I'm in a Chapter 13 and already on a really tight budget, I'm afraid of going on the site and racking up charges while trying to read the status of my case.

    Do I have the wrong type of account or does it really cost money to look up your own case on Pacer? How much have you been charged?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    You are right to be concerned. In the past, BK forum members have gone crazy on PACER and ended up with large bills. At least one did it researching other local cases before filing and ended up with PACER debt being discharged in their BK!

    Using PACER is not essential unless you filed without an attorney. I bet most bankruptcy filers never know that PACER exists. Your attorney should keep you informed about what is going on in your case.

    That said, you can use PACER without incurring huge fees. For one thing, Pacer will only bill you if you incur over $15 in charges in a quarter. Just don't be obsessive. Nothing happens quickly in BK and once your plan is confirmed, in most cases very little will happen until the plan is complete. But, you could check your case every day without exceeding that $15 if you don't download any documents and you use it as I describe below.

    The first time you log in, do a query for your case using your social security number so you find only your case. Click on "Docket Report" to get a list of everything that has been filed in your case within whatever dates you choose, except for creditors claims. I just did this for the entire length of my closed case and there were 4 pages resulting in a 40 cent charge. Print the Docket Report so you can refer to it in the future. The Docket Report has links for every document filed and shows how many pages are in each document. If you click a link, you will be charged 10 cents a page. If you have an attorney and don't have copy of a document, you could ask your attorney to send you a copy instead of downloading it. If you download a document from PACER, save it on your computer (or the cloud if that's where you save documents) so that you don't have to pay for it again.

    Do the same thing for the Claims Register if you want to see creditor's claims. I have 13 claims and the report was one page. The Claims Register includes claims, amendments to claims, assignments of claims to creditors who buy your debts and things like notices from secured creditors regarding changes in payment amounts (my mortgage has an adjustable rate, so there is one of those every year).

    If you search today, you will see everything filed in your case through August 19th. Write that date down. The next time you log in and query your case, look at the case information at the top of the page for the date of last filing. If there has been nothing since August 19th, don't go further. If there has been something new filed, click on Docket Report and Claims Register and narrow the searches to cover Aug 19 through the current date.

    After every search, the bottom of the screen shows you how much you were charged. Keep track of that to make sure you don't exceed $15 in a quarter and you will never pay a penny. There is probably some where on the site to check your pending charges, but I haven't looked for that.
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello...it sounds like you have the right account. There are a lot of people who say not to watch Pacer, that's what your attorney is for but I personally liked to keep track of things (so it's an individual choice). You are allowed $10.00 of charges per quarter without being charged so be aware of that. When you log on and get on to the page that shows the detail of your case, you will see Date of last filing. Always look at the date, that is the last time something posted to your case. If there is no new date, just log off and you wont be charged. Also, if you're at the start of the journey make it a point of looking once or week or so as opposed to every day. Are you aware of how to check how much your current charges are for the period? (so you can track when you're getting close to he $10.00 mark.?. Whoops.II see Lady and I just posted a the same time. Go by what she says, only one difference, LadyInTheRed - the quarterly allowance is only
      $10.00, not $15. Good luck with your case!

      P.S. - to check incurred charges, when you log on and are on the main Pacer screen with your case info, choose Utilities from the blue bar at the to go to the next screen. Next select view Billing History. Where it asks for the date range, click o the line that says click this quarter then select sort (choose summary) this you give you the bottom line of how much your total is for the quarter. Just make sure you sow down if you're getting to the $10 limit.
      Last edited by sophieanne; 08-20-2016, 06:40 PM.
      Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
      Discharged 8/2/16

      Comment


      • #4
        LadyInTheRed And BrokeIn....My sincere apologies. I was of the understanding Pacer was $10/quarter but I was wrong, it is $15. Did it recently change??

        I'm so sorry for the contradiction and wrong information.
        Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
        Discharged 8/2/16

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sophieanne View Post
          LadyInTheRed And BrokeIn....My sincere apologies. I was of the understanding Pacer was $10/quarter but I was wrong, it is $15. Did it recently change??

          I'm so sorry for the contradiction and wrong information.
          That's okay. I couldn't remember the amount and originally typed $10 or $20, but also thought I remembered it increasing. So, I checked, which is the only reason I got it right. Besides, saying it was $10 when it is really $15 would be better than the other way around.

          I like to use these situations to remind people: Most of us who post here are just people who filed BK helping other people get through the process. We speak from our personal experiences and sometimes a little research and don't always get it right. So, be sure to independently confirm whatever any of us tell you, whether that be by reading the PACER terms of service or consulting with an attorney.
          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a self imposed ban on Pacer. My charges were getting up there and I was checking it way too frequently. I am going to limit myself once every week now. It can get out of hand pretty quick if you are nervous like I am and checking it constantly.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sophieanne View Post

              P.S. - to check incurred charges, when you log on and are on the main Pacer screen with your case info, choose Utilities from the blue bar at the to go to the next screen. Next select view Billing History. Where it asks for the date range, click o the line that says click this quarter then select sort (choose summary) this you give you the bottom line of how much your total is for the quarter. Just make sure you sow down if you're getting to the $10 limit.

              Guess I'd better back of I'm up to $34.00.
              Final Payment 7/2016

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by out4good3 View Post


                Guess I'd better back of I'm up to $34.00.
                out4good3 ...that would be a yes . This is a good example where you need to look at screens ONLY when thee is a new filing (see my previous note above). I know you're patiently waiting for an update but don't go in debt over it.
                Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
                Discharged 8/2/16

                Comment

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