For the past couple of years, the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules has been working on amending a variety of bankruptcy rules. Two such instances are changes to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3001 and the implementation of Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002.1. What started in 2009 as a preliminary draft has made its way through publication and comment, approval by the Standing Committee, Judicial Conference and the Supreme Court. Unless Congress blocks its passage, these rule changes will take effect on December 1, 2011.
Effective September 1, 2011, the Northern District of Indiana implemented a loss mitigation program for all Chapter 13 cases assigned to Chief Judge Robert E. Grant. This program only applies to real property that is the debtor's principal residence. The debtor, the creditor or the Court itself can request loss mitigation at any time during the pendency of the bankruptcy case, but parties are encouraged to seek it early in the process. There need not be a pending contested matter (i.e. motion for relief from stay or objection to confirmation of plan) for the debtor to request loss mitigation. Once the motion for loss mitigation is filed by either the debtor or the creditor, in the absence of a pending contested matter, the non‐filing party must respond within 14 days. If there is a pending contested matter, the party filing the motion for loss mitigation must do so no later than 7 days prior to the initial hearing on the underlying matter. The contested matter may be stayed while the loss mitigation is pending. If an objection to the motion for loss mitigation is filed, the Court may hold a hearing before ruling on the motion.