Update Will Change Statewide e-Filing Portal Payment System
The following was published in The Florida Bar News on October 29, 2021.
Credit card information will have to be re-entered
A new payment processor being installed on the Florida court system’s statewide e-filing Portal will require lawyers who pay filing fees and other costs using a credit card to re-enter and save that credit card information after a November 20 Portal update.
Attorneys who use the Automated Clearing House to transfer funds from their accounts to pay those costs will not have to re-enter their ACH information, which will be automatically be transferred to the new system.
The changes in how payments are made and settled will be part of the Portal’s next upgrade, which will be made on November 20. The alterations are being made to comply with security and payment card industry standards.
The update will not save existing credit card information from Portal users. Filers must re-enter their credit card information and also save it if they want to reuse that card for future fee and filing-related payments.
Lawyers who use ACH, however, will have their information automatically switched to the new system and they will not have to update that information.
Attorneys who use debit block services to protect their bank accounts from unauthorized electronic transfers must provide their financial institutions with a new company ID number. That will prevent a payment for a legitimate Portal transaction from being blocked by the bank, which could result in return fees. That ID number is: “1900626822 EPORTAL FILING”.
There are several other changes to the payment process, including:
- For filings that require paying a filing fee or other assessment, settlement will be made at the time the filing is submitted. That will be a change from the current system where settlement is made after the filing is reviewed and accepted by the clerk of court.
- Authorization holds will no longer be placed on credit card transactions.
- If a filing is sent to a clerk’s correction queue, any payment made will automatically be refunded to the filer. A new payment will be assessed and settled when the corrected filing is submitted.
- If a filer seeks a refund after a filing has been accepted, the request should be directed to the clerk of court who accepted the filing.
- The new system will create a financial identification number that will show on the filer’s bank and credit card statements. Something like “ePtl” and then the financial ID number and memo information will appear on bank and credit card statements, in email notifications from the Portal, and on the My Submissions and My Fees pages of registered Portal users.
Information about the change is also posted on the Portal’s News and Information page.