Upon receipt of notice of bankruptcy proceedings, immediately determine (via. MBR,
ROAR, and SSR queries) the nature of the debt (title II, title XVI) and whether more
than one overpayment exists.
Effective December 1, 2003, bankruptcy courts implemented a new procedure whereby
initial bankruptcy notices sent to creditors bear the debtor’s full SSN. Any subsequent bankruptcy documents (discharges,
motions, etc) will only have the last 4 digits of the SSN. If the material received
does not have the full SSN, check the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER); see GN 03930.091A.2. If the full SSN is not there, attempt to obtain it by using any or all of the following
The interim trustee, attorney of record or the person filing the bankruptcy petition
If the full SSN is obtained but the MBR/ROAR/SSR queries result in a “NIF,” query
the Master Representative Payee File (MRPF) to determine if the debtor may be a payee
for an individual with an existing overpayment. You can obtain the SSN on which an
overpayment may exist.
If a Chapter 7 notice is received from the court, assume that SSA has been listed
as a creditor. If aware of a Chapter 7 filing by other than a notice from the court,
verify the filing via PACER and obtain a copy of the notice of bankruptcy proceedings. Since the automatic stay
in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy prohibits the collection of any debt that arose before the
filing of the petition, stop recovery of all overpayments received by the debtor before
the date the bankruptcy petition was filed (GN 02215.185C.1.b.). Stop recovery efforts in accordance with GN 02215.185B.2..
If a Chapter 13 (or 12) notice is received, stop recovery for any debt(s) that arose
before the filing of the bankruptcy petition in accordance with GN 02215.185B.2., and
If a copy of the wage earner or farmer plan is not included with the petition, use PACER to ascertain the length of the plan (i.e., 3 or 5 years) and
If multiple debts, check PACER to see which debt(s) is listed on the bankruptcy petition.
If aware of a Chapter 13 (or 12) bankruptcy filing by other than a notice from the
court, contact the interim trustee (if known) or court to ascertain whether or not
SSA is listed as a creditor and the specific SSA debt involved. Request a copy of
the notice of bankruptcy proceedings including a copy of the wage earner plan.