Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure

Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure

Last week, the Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, Criminal, and Evidence Rules proposed amendments to their respective rules and made them available for public comment.

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Though it frequently makes for less-than-scintillating reading, the proposed amendments are always worth a look-through.  This is especially the case in an environment such as Bankruptcy Court, where procedure can drive courtroom tactics.

Proposed revisions to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (FRBP) and Official Bankruptcy Forms include:

• FRBP 1007 — relieves individual debtors of the obligation to file Official Form 23 if the provider of a personal financial management course notifies the court that the debtor has completed the course.

• FRBP 3007 — allows the use of a negative-notice procedure for claim objections and clarifies the manner for serving them.

• FRBP 5009 — reflects the amendment to FRBP 1007 by providing that the Clerk of Court is not required to send notice to a debtor if a course provider has already provided notice that the debtor completed a personal financial management course.

• FRBP 9006 — makes various changes to draw attention to the fact that the rule prescribes default deadlines for serving motions and written responses; and applies deadlines to any written response to a motion.

• FRBPs 9013 and 9014 — conform to the amendments to FRBP 9006.

• Official Form 6C — reflects the Supreme Court’s decision in Schwab v. Reilly by permitting the debtor to state the value of the claimed exemption as the “full fair market value of the exempted property.”

• Official Form 7 — makes the definition of “insider” consistent with the definition in the Bankruptcy Code.

• Official Forms 22A and 22C — align the allowable deduction for telecommunication expenses with the IRS list of Other Necessary Expenses; also amends Form 22C to conform to the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamilton v. Lanning, by directing an above-median-income chapter 13 debtor to list any changes in the reported income and expenses that have already occurred or are virtually certain to occur during the 12 months following the filing of the petition.

 The draft amendments, along with the Committee’s comments, are available here.

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