Bankruptcy Rules And Forms Change

Neon_sign,_-CHANGE-wikipediaThe only thing constant is change, we’re told.

So, here are the important changes to the rules of bankruptcy procedure and the official forms effective December 1.

Bankruptcy rules

Rule 1007  now permits the provider of the personal financial management course to notify the court of the debtor’s completion thereof.  The debtor is relieved of filing the declaration if the provider files it.  If not, the debtor can file as currently done.

Rule 4004   adds to the list of circumstances where the court doesn’t enter the discharge to include the pendency of a hearing on a reaffirmation.

Bankruptcy forms

Three form changes are significant in a consumer practice.

Schedules I and J in cases involving individuals have been revised and “modernized” to be more easily used by pro pers.  I wonder if the rules committee will find themselves muttering “be careful what you wish for.”

Schedule I has gone from one page to two.  It specifically asks for inclusion of non cash public benefits and for family support payments received by a dependent.

There are official instructions and committee notes. that cover I and J.

Schedule J grows to three pages.  It calls for more detailed information on dependents, including any relationship they have to the debtor and whether they live with the debtor.

There is now a separate line entry for junior mortgage expenses on the debtor’s home and separate lines for the expenses of other real estate.

The reaffirmation cover sheet is  not one sheet, but two.  It attempts to summarize the debtor’s current financial situation and the terms of the proposed reafffirmation.  The committee notes  appear unchanged from 2009.

See the full list of form changes.

More change proposed

Before you feel too complacent (these changes weren’t too challenging, you say), more is afoot.  The comment period for another swath of changes is now open.

Comments are being solicited for changes to  Bankruptcy Rules 2002, 3002, 3007, 3012, 3015, 4003, 5005, 5009, 7001, 9006, and 9009, and Official Forms 17A, 17B, 17C, 22A-1, 22A-1Supp, 22A-2, 22B, 22C-1, 22C-2, 101, 101A, 101B, 104, 105, 106Sum, 106A/B, 106C, 106D, 106E/F, 106G, 106H, 106Dec, 107, 112, 113, 119, 121, 318, 423, and 427.

Comments are being solicited until February 15, 2014 here.  Incredibly, only 27 comments have been received.

Are we really encountering lawyers without opinions?

Like the traditional wedding service says, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia and Felix Burton.

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