Filing and Uploading Documents to the E-Filing System

The electronic filing service (E-Filing) allows all insolvency documents relating to summary and ordinary administration bankruptcies and proposals made under Division I and Division II of Part III of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) to be filed electronically with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). Since June 2007, it has been mandatory that all new summary and ordinary administration bankruptcies and proposals made under Division I and Division II of Part III of the BIA be filed with the OSB using the E-Filing system. It was recognized when Directive No. 9R3, Electronic Filing and Other Methods, was issued four years ago that some trustees would require additional time to transition and upgrade their computer systems and scanners. To maintain an efficient and accurate public record, it is necessary that trustees use the E-Filing system and follow proper procedures for filing documents. Our analysis of the information submitted by trustees has revealed a number of serious deficiencies that hinder the usage of the public record.

1) E-Filing

Approximately 5 percent of trustee offices continue to send estate-related documents to the OSB by mail or by fax. Trustees must use the E-Filing system in all instances except in those cases where fax filing is permitted.

2) Prescribed forms

All prescribed forms are to be submitted to E-FilingFootnote 1 in a data format (XML) and are not to be recorded as softcopy documents. Consequently, trustees are not to submit prescribed forms as softcopy documents.

Exceptions

Please note that "workarounds" have been created to bypass certain recognized problems in the E-Filing system and are, for the most part, a temporary fix or solution. Most workarounds resolve issues relating to software incapability and exist simply to provide instructions on how to proceed with various electronic forms or processes. The OSB will accept a softcopy upload of these prescribed forms.

Also, the OSB help desk must, at times, resort to the filing in softcopy of prescribed forms for technical reasons. The OSB will therefore issue an authorisation with a unique reference number.

3) Uploading documents to the E-Filing system

Softcopy documents are documents that are not prescribed formsFootnote 2 under the BIA, which include court orders and correspondence. Instead of submitting softcopy documents via the E-Filing system, some trustee offices send softcopy documents to the OSB by paper or by fax.

With the proper software and scanners, trustees can upload softcopy documents directly to E-Filing.Footnote 3 It is the responsibility of trustees to upload all softcopy documents to E-Filing. OSB staff will no longer upload softcopy documents for trustees.

4) Drop-down list for softcopy documents not being used appropriately

The E-Filing system has a drop-down menu of approximately 65 separate softcopy documents (e.g., Absolute Order of Discharge). A recent review indicates that trustees are not always using the drop-down list to identify softcopy documents correctly. Instead, they are opting to file the documents under "softcopy other." 

The trustee user manual provides the following instruction in relation to softcopy documents: "To upload a softcopy document, select a document title from the first drop-down list. If the title is not on the list, select "Other".

The E-Filing system has recently been modified to prompt the user to select the document title from the drop-down list when the category "Other" has been selected.

5) Filing documents by facsimile machine

In cases where filing documents by fax is permitted, the OSB requests that trustees use one fax cover sheet per estate filing. If trustees submit more than one filing at a time (i.e., during one fax transmission), they must separate each estate filing with its own fax cover sheet.

Attaching a coversheet to each estate file will allow the coversheet to be uploaded in the system and will permit the back ups to be deleted in a shorter time frame. The estate coversheet will help to categorize information about the estate file for entry into the database. Having this information in the database allows the OSB to better organize and manage information about estate filings.

Conclusion

In keeping with the principle that the insolvency system should function efficiently, trustees must:

  • Use the OSB's mandatory E-Filing system to file assignments and proposals.
  • Use the E-Filing system to submit all prescribed forms. Softcopy documents of prescribed forms are not permitted, except for the "workarounds" created to bypass certain recognized problems in the E-Filing system.
  • Upload softcopy documents directly to the E-Filing system. OSB staff will no longer upload softcopy documents for trustees.
  • Use the drop-down menu to correctly identify softcopy documents that are submitted to E-Filing.
  • Use one fax cover sheet per estate filing where filing documents by fax is permitted. If trustees submit more than one filing at a time (i.e., during one fax transmission), they must separate each estate filing with its own fax cover sheet.

Trustees must follow proper procedures for filing and uploading documents. The OSB staff will be sending a "Notice to Resubmit Document(s)" to all non-compliant trustees. Trustees will then be given (2) two business days to resubmit their documents to the OSB.

Notice to Resubmit Document(s)

To:
From:
Estate No. :
Re:
Date:

The OSB has received your (document title(s)) on (date). Please be advised that this (or these) document(s) may not be processed for the following reason(s):

  • You have sent estate-related documents to the OSB by mail or by fax. It is mandatory that all summary and ordinary administration bankruptcies and proposals made under Division I and Division II of Part III of the BIA be filed with the OSB using the E-Filing system.
  • You have submitted prescribed forms as softcopy documents. All prescribed forms are to be submitted to E-Filing in a data format (XML) and are not to be recorded as softcopy documents.
  • You have sent softcopy documents to the OSB by paper or by fax. It is the responsibility of trustees to upload all softcopy documents to E-Filing.
  • You have not used one fax cover sheet per estate filing. In cases where filing documents by fax is permitted, trustees must use one fax cover sheet per estate filing. If trustees submit more than one filing at a time they must separate each estate filing with its own fax cover sheet.
  • Other: space to insert other types of documents

Please follow proper procedures for filing documents and resubmit the document(s) within (2) two business days.

Thank you for your prompt attention.

space to insert name of OSB representative 
(Name and title of OSB representative)

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