RDM’s Roundup

Starting December 1, we all have to use the new national forms. Although you can hypothetically e-file a case using the old forms and get a case number (and automatic stay…) you will immediately be hit with a case deficiency notice requiring the uploading of the correct/missing forms within seventy-two hours or the case will be dismissed.

The general vibe I get is that attorneys are not that worried about the new forms as the BK software “we” (all!?) use will just spit them out organized correctly, after “we” have input the info the way we always have.

I have a feeling our staffs might be a little more concerned with how long it will actually take (note my use of quotes around the word “we” above) to complete the Schedules – the forms are way longer and require way more detail. To that end, the Court if offering a forms overview on November 24, 2015, at the Los Angeles Division. Representatives from the Clerk’s Office will be present to answer any questions you may have.  If you plan to attend, RSVP to ECF_Support@cacb.uscourts.gov with the number of attendees in your party. You will receive a confirmation email with the time and room number where the overview will take place.

Filings are down (Court Clerk Kathy Campbell mentioned yesterday that we are likely going to close out the year with approximately 46,000 case filings) so we are not getting as many “the sale is tomorrow morning” calls from prospective clients. Traditionally, when we have filed an “emergency petition” only a little bit of information was (or is, at least for another ten days) required, the most important being the petition, correct Social Security number, credit counseling certificate, and as accurate of a creditor list as possible. The petition we use now is three pages and requires very little information. The new petition is eight pages long and requires a ton of info – check out the Chapter 7 individual (as in a human – there is a different petition for businesses) petition!

The only reprieve from the mandatory use of the new national forms is for those using the Court’s Electronic Self-Representation (“eSR”) Bankruptcy Petition Preparation System for Chapter 7 (more info here). eSR is an online tool to help individuals complete a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition when they have decided to file bankruptcy without an attorney.  The eSR system does not yet jive with the new forms so those who use it to file their Chapter 7 case for the next two years will be permitted to file the old forms. I see this as being a great benefit to pro se debtors and maybe a little bit of a nightmare for Chapter 7 trustees.


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