Procedures for Filing Bankruptcy Claims Changed Today! Read. Learn. Be Prepared.

Details matter.  After years of procedural wrangling, significant changes to the federal procedural rules take effect today.  While the changes are focused principally on streamlining procedures in consumer cases, they include provisions – such as a requirement that secured creditors file proofs of claim – that impact all cases.  Here’s a run through of some key points.  You can find the full text of the amendments here.

Proofs of Claims: Secured Creditors Beware!

  • Secured creditors must now file proofs of claim to have their claims allowed. Although in accordance with Section 506(d), if they don’t, their liens will not be rendered void for only that reason. FRBP 3002(a).

Claim Objections: Who to Serve, Whether to Have a Hearing, Where to Object

  • To object to a claim, you must serve the affected creditor by 1st class mail directed to the name and address on its filed claim form.
  • The Court no longer needs to schedule or hold a hearing on every claim objection.
  • Any party-in-interest may seek a determination of the amount and priority of any claim. Plan proponents in Chapter 12 and 13 may now include these objections in the body of a Plan.  FRBP 3007 & 3012.

Objecting to Liens or Transfers? File a Motion or Put It in a Chapter 13 Plan

  • Parties may now seek to avoid a lien or other transfer of the debtor’s exempt property by motion or in the debtor’s Chapter 13 Plan. FRBP 3012 & 4003(d).

Claim Bar Dates: Time It Right in Chapter 7, 12, and 13

  • Filing a claim in a voluntary Chapter 7 (liquidation), 12 (family farmer), or 13 (individual debt readjustment) case?  You must now file your claim within 70 days after the bankruptcy petition filing date.  For involuntary Chapter 7 cases, you have until 90-days after the order for relief is entered. FRBP 3002.
  • If a case converts to Chapter 7 or 13, the new, 70-day period will run from the date of the order converting the case. If it converts to Chapter 7, a new claims filing deadline starts running.  FRBP 3002.
  • The Court may extend these deadlines if the debtor has not filed a complete list of creditors. FRBP 3002(c)(6).
  • And a new 2-stage deadline is created for filing mortgage claims secured by an interest in the debtor’s principal residence. FRBP 3002(c)(7).

Chapter 13 Plans & Confirmation: Use the Form, Know Your Deadlines

  • An “official,” standardized Chapter 13 plan is created… unless your jurisdiction has adopted its own (consistent) local form.  FRBP 3015(c).
  • A debtor must provide creditors with at least 21 days’ notice of the deadline for objecting to Chapter 13 Plans and 28 days’ notice of the confirmation hearing in Chapter 13 cases. FRBP 2002(a)(9) and (b)(3).

Mette K.

Rule Changes for the Central District of CA: New Signature Requirements

Effective tomorrow, the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California has implemented a significant change in its signature requirements for documents filed through CM/ECF.

Documents requiring the signature of a debtor or any other party (with the exception of registered CM/ECF filers) must bear a holographic signature.  And the familiar Electronic Filing Declaration will no longer be accepted.  

Legal nerds and insomniacs can click on the following links to view the changes:

A complete list of new, revised, and retired local rules and forms for the Central District of California, effective as of December 1, 2017, can be found here.  Local forms are available here.  The changes include the following:

  • LBR 1002-1(f)): deleted and superseded by new LBR 9011-1.
  • LBR 1017-2(f): amended to specify that the Court retains jurisdiction in dismissed cases to enforce issues listed in LBR 1017-2(f).
  • LBR 3015-1: the national rules addressing chapter 13 were updated, effective 12/1/17, which necessitated a comprehensive update to this LBR.  Amendments also encourage uniformity and clarity in chapter 13 practice.
  • LBR 3020-1: amended to clarify the requirement for certain language to be included in a Chapter 13 plan confirmation order and specify the effect of conversion from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.
  • LBR 7055-1(b): amended to reflect a change in the renumbering of 50 U.S.C. Chapter 50.
  • LBR 7064-1: amended to specify that bankruptcy evictions are handled by the U.S. Marshals Service and the exact language to be included in an eviction order.
  • LBR 7067-1: amended to reflect changes in the national registry fund fee structure and add a requirement to use a local form order.
  • LBR 9011-1: new LBR specifies signature requirements for electronically filed documents.

Mette K.

Epic Food Adventures: Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia

During our move, our broker eagerly rattled off Delaware’s virtues.  “The best thing,” she effused, “is it’s only 30 minutes from Philadelphia, 90 minutes from New York, and 2 hours from DC!”  We hear this a lot.  (So…. the best thing about Delaware is it’s easy to leave?)  But now that we’ve started to settle in, it is time to explore!

Earlier this month, my husband and I took my youngest – a high school sophomore playing for the St. Mark’s football team – to Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia for a food adventure. On an empty stomach.

Reading Terminal: A Historic Landmark

Being a mom, I began with a history and cultural lesson.  Established in 1892, Reading Terminal is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market. Today, the market offers a colorful selection of local produce, fresh eggs, milk, meats, poultry, seafood, handmade crafts, jewelry, and clothing from more than 80 merchants. With 100,000 Philadelphians and tourists passing through every week, it is LA’s Grand Central and Farmer’s Market all rolled into one spectacular foodie mecca.




None of this impressed my teenager. Then we arrived, let him loose, and ran amuck until, like Templeton at the fair, we collapsed into a food coma.

Appetizers: Fried Mac & Cheese Balls.

To stave off hunger pangs before jumping into the serious food, we started with the fried mac & cheese balls at Beck’s Cajun Cafe.  I was expecting something more akin to a risotto ball, dried and bland.  But these scrumptious balls of mac & cheese are gooey, melt-in-your month deliciousness. The are ginormous, and served with a spicy creole tomato sauce for dipping. Yum!

Adult Beverages: Evil Genius on Draft

As we scanned the cacophony of food surrounding us, it was obvious that my husband and I were going to need more fortification for the adventure.  So off to Molly Malloy’s for one of two dozen local brews on tap — how can you say no to the Evil Genius on draft?  As a bonus, Molly’s will conveniently provide your beer in a to-go cup so you can continue to wander the market.

A Brief Detour:  Whoopie Pies

While searching for sandwiches, we discovered that Spencer had never had a whoopee pie before.  Clearly that needed to corrected, so we detoured by the Flying Monkey for  two classic whoopee pies.  The pumpple –  a cake that combines chocolate cake, vanilla cake, pumpkin pie, and apple pie into a single mega-dessert – was tempting.  But it was important not to loose focus here.

Doughnuts… So Close, Yet So Far!

After jumping back into the fray, we found ourselves at Beiler’s on a quest for their famous, maple bacon, yeast-risen doughnuts.  Sadly, they were closed. We left empty handed.

Lunch! An Italian Roast Pork Sandwich


By now, we had really worked up an appetite. So what better place to stop than DiNic’s for the roast pork Italiano, voted “Best Sandwich in America” by the Travel Channel?  Thinly sliced, juicy roast pork, a long roll with sliced sharp provolone, and bright green chopped broccoli rabe to top it all off.  We had two.  Heaven!

Dessert: Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli

After a quick recap of the Godfather for Spencer (more cultural history!), it was time for dessert.  Because how could we possibly leave without getting some of the best cannoli in Philly?  That required a stop by Termini Bros for fresh made cannoli — the shells stuffed individually as they fill each order ensuring a perfect, crunchy exterior, and the interior packed with creamy, sweet, chocolate chip ricotta filling.  Perfection.

A Snack for the Road: Peking Duck & Roasted Pork Noodle Platter


At this point, a lesser family would have given up.  But, undeterred, we pressed on and picked up a light snack for the trip back home.  The roast duck and roasted pork noodle platter (because, really, who can choose between the gorgeously burnished Peking duck and the deeply flavored roasted pork hanging on display?) at Sang Kee Peking Duck House.  Although Jeff kept holding out for the Muffaletta back at Beck’s Cajun Cafe, it was here that we finally tapped out.

Stay tuned for my review of the Hockessin Athletic Club, where we will be spending the rest of the month recovering…!

Mette K.



ABI Winter Leadership: Mamma’s Home!

Can’t wait to get to the ABI Winter Leadership Conference in sunny Palm Springs next week to catch up with all my bankruptcy peeps…. and to thaw out!

After decades in California learning how to cook a Thanksgiving meal with Santa Ana winds blowing like an oven fan, I’m learning to re-acclimate to traditional Thanksgiving weather. Yesterday’s high in New Jersey: 44 degrees!  (I keep repeating to myself: “Not cold, seasonally appropriate!”) The high in Palms Springs?  94 degrees!

Of course, with nine joint ABI committee sessions provided by ABI’s committees, along with ABI’s newest trend, ABI Talks, and 13 topical sessions, the conference also offers plenty of learning opportunities. Check out the program here.

Looking forward to seeing all of you in Palm Springs!  If you have time to catch up, let me know.


Mette K.

It’s Black Friday, and FTI’s 2017 U.S. Holiday Retail Forecast Is Here

One of the perks of working in the restructuring space is the wealth of industry information and forecasting available from the many talented financial advisors who I work with.  FTI Consulting’s Retail & Consumer Products Practice, for one, is heavily involved with the issues and challenges facing retailers today, and I look forward to receiving a copy of their retail report at the end of each year.

The mood this year?  Guarded optimism.  But equally significant, one of this year’s take aways, according to FTI’s 2017 retail forecast, is that now, more than ever, how specific large retailers fare during the holiday season may be mostly or entirely divorced from the broader performance of the season.  You can download the full report here.

Mette K.