Absent Congressional action (which is unlikely), there are two important Rules updates to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. These changes will take effect on December 1, 2013. First up is the change for the personal financial management course. Rule 1007(b)(7) will be amended to state that a debtor will not have to file a certificate of completion of the personal financial management course (the post-filing portion of the credit counseling requirement) if the financial management course provider (such as CFEFA, Hummingbird, etc.) notifies the court that the debtor has completed the course. This will help streamline the post-filing process and will hopefully eliminate some of the cases which are ultimately closed without a discharge because the certificate had not been filed with the Court (as is sometimes the case when the debtor cannot make it to the attorney’s office to sign the form that must be filed with the certificate).
While the first change affects debtors directly and the administration of the case, the second change affects pleadings that are filed within and during the bankruptcy. Rule 9006(d) currently only speaks to the service of affidavits. The changes to this rule alter this in that the drafters have now made it clear that Rule 9006(d) would apply to motions and responses to the motions, not just affidavits. The Rule, as amended, now requires service of most motions (except ex parte motions) to be served no later than 7 days before the time specified for a hearing on that motion. Any affidavit that supports the motion shall be served with that motion. Any written response to that motion must be served no later than 1 day before the hearing, unless otherwise provided for under Rule 9023. Of course, this Rule may be subject to local rules which may permit a longer or shorter period of time. However, the goal of the Rule is to make the local practices of the various bankruptcy districts more uniform. Rules 9013 and 9014 have been amended to reflect the updated 9006(d) as well.
The proposal and rules changes can be viewed by clicking the link.