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Frequently Asked Questions about Electronic Data Interchange

Providing electronic bankruptcy noticing services is a requirement of the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) contract. Upon execution of a trading partner agreement, the BNC contractor (BAE Systems) will send bankruptcy notices to recipients (high volume creditors) that have requested Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) formatted data be sent to their designated EDI electronic mailbox.


What is EDI?
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) sponsors the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), to develop uniform standards for electronic interchange of business transactions. In 1995, the Administrative Office submitted for adoption Transaction Set 175 - Bankruptcy Notice. Using Transaction Set 175, the BNC will transmit only the variable information in the notice, e.g., form identification codes, debtor names, 341 meeting locations, rather than the entire notice text. EDI software companies support the instructions contained in the ASC approved transaction sets to "map" the variable notice information to electronic data fields.
What about the cost to the creditor?
Entities interested in receiving EDI notices must change their procedures to work from electronic EDI formatted data rather than paper notices. Not all notices can be sent to the participating entities in an EDI format so paper notices will not be eliminated, but the 341 First Meeting and Discharge notice can be converted to EDI. Entities not already using EDI for other applications, such as invoicing, must purchase and install EDI software and obtain an electronic mailbox account for EDI notice transmissions. The benefit to creditors that receive thousands of bankruptcy notices is expected to be substantially greater than the costs to switch to EDI processing. Entities that receive smaller quantities of notices are expected to find Fax and Internet email electronic noticing a more cost-effective method of electronic noticing.
Why can't all of the notices be sent EDI?
The BNC must be provided with case specific electronic information to "map" it to the EDI standard. Notices sent to the BNC on paper or in image files do not have the case specific variable information separate from the "boiler-plate" text of the notice; however, the BNC can map all 341 First Meeting of Creditors and Notice of Discharge generated by the courts' case management systems (BANCAP or NIBS). Courts using the BANCAP system can also send via EDI the Order Dismissing Case and Notice of Assets. Separate Chapter 13 plans can not be formatted into EDI.
What are the benefits?
The court is able to offer an enhanced public service at a reduced cost to the taxpayer/judiciary. The creditor will receive notices days faster than the postal service delivery times and will be able to reduce their bankruptcy notice processing expenses by replacing manual data entry processes with automated procedures.
What has been the EDI project experience to date?
An experiment was initiated in 1996 in five bankruptcy courts (FL-S, IA-S, IL-N, MO-E, NJ) with six creditors, e.g., the IRS. In late 1998 the service was approved for national implementation and, as of Jan 2003, over 83 courts have submitted Trading Partner Agreements for over 40 major recipients, including banks, credit card companies and retailers..
What is the DAASC?
The BNC transmits all EDI notices to the Defense Automatic Addressing System Center (DAASC) which then routes the messages to various networks housing creditor EDI mailboxes. The Defense Logistics Agency, of the Department of Defense, operates the DAASC which serves as the central collection point for transmission of EDI documents both within DOD and to private sector value-added networks (VANs). DAASC has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to provide free EDI electronic mailbox services for the judiciary's electronic noticing recipients. For more information about DAASC, visit the DAASC web page at: https://www.daas.dla.mil/daashome/edi-WhatIsEDI.asp.
Does the court systems staff need to learn EDI?
Absolutely not. Technical questions posed by creditors interested in, or already receiving, EDI notices will be answered by the BNC staff by calling the BNC help desk at 1-877-837-3424.
How does the court know the EDI notice was received?
As described in the Trading Partner Agreement, the BNC receives back an electronic confirmation receipt that the EDI notice information was placed in the recipient's electronic mailbox at DAASC or at the creditor's value added network. The DAASC or the creditor's value added network acts as the creditor's agent by issuing a confirmation message within two hours, otherwise the notice is printed and mailed. The BNC certificate of service sent to the court lists all notices served electronically separate from those served by first class mail.
Why must a Trading Partner Agreement be signed?
Bankruptcy Rule 9036, which authorizes electronic noticing, requires the recipient to request in writing electronic noticing services and an electronic confirmation of receipt be a part of the electronic noticing process. The Trading Partner Agreement satisfies the rule requirements and describes the EDI noticing process and roles of the parties so that there are no misunderstandings.
Where do I get the creditor's common names and addresses to complete Exhibit 2 of the Trading Partner Agreement?
National name and address lists, e.g., IRS, are available from the BNC and/or creditors may provide their own name/address lists. This list should be reviewed with the creditor who should add or delete names and addresses to ensure proper notice delivery. A copy of the completed Trading Partner Agreement and exhibits (Exhibit 1, forms and Exhibit 2, creditor names and address list) should be sent to the BNC for entry into the BNC electronic noticing system.
How are creditor names/addresses updated?
This in an example of the procedures that are covered in detail in the Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing Implementation Guide. The noticing agreement contains a clause requiring recipients to notify the court or the BNC (depending on the court's preference) whenever names and addresses need to be added or deleted from the name matching list. The Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing Implementation Guide is available for review or you may download it as a PDF file from the EBN web page.
With the current paper noticing process, creditors receive proof of claim forms for any asset case notices received. For asset case notices received via EDI, will Trading Partners receive proofs of claims in the EDI format?
For asset case notices received via EDI,proofs of claims are not transmitted to Trading Partners in the EDI format, nor are they sent separately by mail. Trading Partners must prepare and file their own proof of claim form for any asset case notices received via EDI. Some bankruptcy courts are planning next year to accept pleadings and proofs of claims as PDF files.
What about electronic noticing for creditors/parties that don't want to invest in EDI software?
You may also receive EBN notices via email and fax.
Where can creditors obtain more information about the required EDI software?
The BNC has posted on the EBN Web page a list of companies that sell and support EDI software that can be used for bankruptcy noticing. The cost of the EDI software varies greatly depending on the creditor's computer architecture. A mainframe EDI package can cost many thousands of dollars, while the cost of a stand-alone PC version might range from five thousand to fifteen or twenty thousand dollars. Some companies offer electronic commerce consulting and turn-key services.
Whom do I contact for more information?
Bankruptcy Noticing Center Help Line: 1-877-837-3424