We push the envelope. . .
Frequently Asked Questions
(1) What is Certificate of Service.com?
Certificate of Service.com is the premiere mailing service for Bankruptcy Attorneys, Chapter 7 Panel Trustees, and Chapter 13 Trustees. We have developed an interface that allows you to upload your mailing projects in just a few seconds to our servers where we process your documents, create a mailing list from the Master Mailing List for your case on ECF, print, stuff, and mail your documents, as well as return to you a 'Ready to File' .pdf certificate/proof of service. Certificate of Service was created by a bankruptcy attorney in the Western District of Washington who was having problems managing the mailings for his Chapter 13 cases. When no one else could handle the small mailing style jobs that were required for bankruptcy work, the attorney created www.certificateofservice.com.
(2) What is the turn around time for mailing?
We will deposit your mail into the US mailstream the next business day after receipt of the upload. If you upload at 8 a.m. on Monday the 5th of May, your mailing project will be in the mailstream by Tuesday, the 6th of May.
(3) When is the cutoff for job submission?
We accept uploads 24/7. You can set jobs for mailing at any time during the day or night. We process the jobs received from 6 a.m. PST to 4 p.m. PST each day. Jobs that are received through the NACBA Member Benefit Portal will be dropped into the USPS Mailstream one business day after receipt in our offices.
(4) What is a confirmation email?
After you have submitted your mailing project for upload, you will be sent an email confirming the details of your upload, a link to the .pdf file you uploaded, as well as date and time. Most importantly, your job is assigned a tracking number in this confirmation email. The email is sent more or less contemporaneously when you submit your job for upload. If you have not received a confirmation email authenticating your job upload, we did not receive your mailing project.
(5) Is there a way to check on jobs submitted and invoices online?
To verify that the job has been submitted, you should check your inbox for the confirmation email (discussed above). You may also call us at (509) 412-1356 to find out about a job being processed. We are developing an online interface that will let you check jobs in real time. Release for this system is expected in 2015.
(6) Can I upload the .pdf fillable form that the Court provides?
You Can! But before you just fill in the form and then upload it to us, remember to save the document as a new pdf file. If you don't save the form input in a new file that you have printed to .pdf, then the fields that you filled out will be empty. The form fields must be filled in properly and the document must be reprinted under a new .pdf filename and then uploaded.
(7) What kind of documents can I submit for mailing?
We only accept .pdf documents, which is fortunate, because that is the only file format the ECF Court system accepts.
(8) Why is an accurate case number and debtor name so important?
Upon receiving your upload, we will access the PACER system for your court district. With the case number and the debtor name, we will access the Master Mailing Matrix for the case that you are asking us to mail your documents to. If you do not put in the correct case number, we will not be able to access the correct case. We don't actually look at the documents you are uploading. We don't do any kind of review of your documents to make sure you are sending the right pleadings. We need the case number off the form so we can properly get the correct matrix and verify the debtor name. This way we ensure that your legal pleadings are mailed accurately and properly to the intended recipients.
(9) What happens if I make an error inadvertantly?
Once you have clicked on the submit button, there is no turning back on the NACBA member benefit web portal. Clicking on submit puts the mailing job into play and we will print and mail the documents that were submitted. This is why it is so important to double check to make sure you have input all of the correct information.
(10) Why do my files with apostrophes in them keep getting rejected?
Our system treats apostorphes as 'unescaped' html code and rejects the apostrophe. This causes the file to be rejected and your upload to not go through. You can fix this by renaming the file on your hard drive without an apostrophe. You can simply right click on the filename on your hard drive and scroll down to the 'Rename' option. Remove the apostrophe from the file name and you are good to upload the file when you return to the NACBA Members Benefit upload page.
(11) What happens if I don't receive the certificate in my email inbox?
You can call us to get a duplicate certificate sent to you, but before you take that step, look in your 'Junk' or 'Spam' folder. We send out hundreds of emails everyday and it is not uncommon, especially if you have uploaded multiple mailing projects in one day, for your server to label our emails as spam and block our emails from your inbox. If the problem persists, we can have you make some changes to your account to ensure that email from our IP address is permitted to always be allowed.
(12) How many pages of text can I fit on one sheet of paper?
Because we print what you upload through the NACBA Member Benefit upload page, you can reduce it as much or as little as you want. We can print the paper as one page per side of each piece of paper or you can reduce it so we print 2 pages per side of each piece of paper. You may wish to reduce it even further to save on costs, but be forewarned. Service is only effective if a legible copy can be delivered to the intended recipient. If you reduce your sheet so 16 pages print on side of a piece of paper, no one is going to be able to read what those 16 pages say. The Court will reject your service and you will be left with having to reserve the job at twice the expense. We do not recommend reductions beyond 2 pages per side of a sheet of paper.
(13) What is the cost of the service?
The cost is current 13.4 cents per uploaded page times the number of pages times the number of creditors in your case. So, if you have a one page notice of continued 341 meeting that is going out to 30 creditors, the cost of your mailing project would be .134 x 1 page x 30 creditors = $4.02. Then you have to add the postage cost in. We will give you a 2 cent discount from the normal first class one ounce mailing rate, so in the above example, postage would be calculated as .47 per stamp x 30 creditors = $14.10. The total cost of the mailing project would thus be $18.12. There is a minimum of a $5.00 charge for any mailing project.
(14) What is the postal discount and how do I qualify?
The postal discount is granted because we mail over ten thousand pieces of mail each day. We have a work-share agreement with the USPS that has us do a certain amount of sorting and processing before we take it to the postal facility. In exchange for this, we receive a discount on the postage price. We have passed this savings on to you, the client. So, where you would normally pay forty nine cents for a one ounce first class stamp, you need only pay forty seven cents. That is a significant discount and it adds up quickly. You don't need to do anything to get the postal discount. Everytime you submit a job for mailing through the NACBA Member Benefits site, you authorize us to mail the documents for you under the USPS system. The postal discount is automatic.
(15) What is an Approved Third Party Notice Provider to the Bankruptcy Court?
www.certificateofservice.com, a subsidiary of BK Attorney Services, LLC is an approved third party notice provider. This means that the bankruptcy court has authorized us to do mailings for the court and to provide notices to parties in bankruptcy cases. This approval is held by only a handful of firms through the United States. It means that if a creditor questions the validity of the service of your documents, they will be hard pressed to prove that the mail wasn't delivered or that service was deficient. Being a third party notice provider cures a lot of those objections. You can also look at it this way, when the DOJ - UST program uses us for mailing, over 600 panel trustee's and dozens of Chapter 13 trustee's use us for their own mailing, drawing an objection for having us serve your documents is pretty unlikely.
(16) How do I get paid for using www.certificateofservice.com?
You can't charge your normal hourly rate for stuffing envelopes. At best, you could charge maybe $10.00 per hour and you didn't go to law school to earn $10.00 per hour. However, if you use our service in a Chapter 11, 12, or 13, you can include our service as an expense of the estate in your fee application. Simply include it in the expenses section. Some practitioners attach a copy of our invoice as the exhibit. The way to get paid is to fee app the cost of the service as an expense of the estate. In Chapter 7's and situations where you will not be able to get reimbursed by the estate, you can either bill your client, or eat the expense and claim it as a legitimate business deduction, the same as a telephone or utility bill for your business. Either way, you should be getting reimbursed for using the mailing service.
(17) How do I get a duplicate certificate?
If you lose your certificate or need to get another one, don't worry, we save a copy of it on our server. Just give us a call or email, along with the tracking number information, and we'll email you another certificate for your records at no charge.