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Frequently Asked Questions about Electronic Data Interchange

Upon execution of an agreement, the BNC will transmit bankruptcy notices to high-volume notice recipients in the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) format.

What is EDI?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is an electronic file format that supports the automated transmission and extraction of case data from notice files. Through the Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (EBN) Program, entities can receive notices via EDI, pursuant to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) X12 175 Court Notice Transaction Set. The BNC will transmit only the variable information in the notice (e.g., form identification codes, debtor names, 341 meeting locations), in lieu of the entire notice text. The EDI Mapping Guide describes how the transaction set "maps" to the variable notice information in the electronic data fields.

What about the cost to the EDI subscriber?

The EDI service provided by the bankruptcy courts through the BNC is free. Entities interested in receiving EDI notices must change their procedures to work from electronic EDI-formatted data rather than paper notices. Entities not already using EDI for other applications, such as invoicing, must provide application software to translate the EDI into a format that is compatible with their internal system file structure. Translation is straightforward and most entities that use EDI develop the EDI translation application in-house. The EDI Mapping Guide provides all the information necessary to develop an EDI translation application. EDI translation software is also available from commercial sources. The benefit to entities that receive thousands of bankruptcy notices is expected to be substantially greater than the costs to switch to EDI processing.

What types of notices can be sent via EDI?

The BNC can send the following types of notices via EDI: notice of meeting of creditors (341 notice), discharge notice, dismissal notice, and notice of assets generated by the courts' case management system (CM/ECF). The remaining court-generated notices and orders would be sent via email.

What are the benefits?

EDI subscribers receive notices days faster than by U.S. mail. Additionally, EDI subscribers are 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?

Many major banks, credit card issuers, retailers, debt purchasers and collectors, and government taxing authorities are currently using the EDI service.

What is the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Transaction Services?

The BNC transmits all EDI notices to the DLA, which provides VAN (Value-Added Network) services to route the notices via SFTP to the courts' EDI subscribers. EDI subscribers are required to install an S(ssh)FTP server, set up for public key authentication, to receive EDI files from the DLA. The DLA maintains all EDI accounts and performs all EDI file transmissions.

Why must an Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (EBN) Agreement be signed?

Bankruptcy Rule 9036, which authorizes electronic noticing, requires the recipient to make a written request for electronic noticing. The EBN agreement satisfies the rule requirements, and it describes the EDI noticing process.

Why must an entity provide its names and addresses to complete the EBN agreement?

The BNC software compares the entity's name and address included in the court's record with any names and addresses provided in the EBN agreement. If there is a match, the notice will be sent electronically. If there is no match, the BNC will send the notice via U.S. mail. Thus, in order to maximize the effectiveness of EBN, it is important for an entity to enter its name and address exactly as it appears on bankruptcy court notices, along with any name and address variations that appear on bankruptcy court notices.

Where can an entity obtain its names and addresses to complete the EBN agreement?

An entity registering for EDI noticing can obtain its name and address variations from the BNC, or it can provide its own name and address list. All names and addresses should be reviewed by the entity before submission.

How can an entity update its names and addresses?

If an entity needs to update its EBN name and address lists, the entity can use the Name and Address Change Form.

What about electronic noticing for entities that do not want to invest in an EDI application?

An entity may register to receive notices via email.

Who do I contact for more information?

Please call the BNC at 1-877-837-3424 to request more information regarding the EDI interface to the DLA, EDI agreements, EDI x12 Standards, sample EDI files, and DLA security requirements.