Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Winter 2016 - Page 4

COMMENTS OF THE NACBA Regarding the Proposed Amendments to FRBP 3015 and New Rule 3015.1 October 3, 2016 N ACBA appreciates the opportunity to comment on the new “compromise” proposal regarding form chapter 13 plans that was first advanced by a group of creditor attorneys and bankruptcy judges and that has now been proposed, with modifications, by the Advisory Committee. These comments follow up and expand on the testimony offered to the Committee on September 27, 2016, by Jenny Doling, Norma Hammes, and James “Ike” Shulman. From our perspective, the proposal is not a compromise, but rather embodies a concept that is radically different from the original proposal. To the extent some NACBA members supported the original proposal for a national form plan, it was because they believed that many unofficial local form chapter 13 plans had provisions that infringed on the rights of debtors and that a national plan would eliminate that problem. The “compromise” goes in exactly the opposite direction, and would have the effect of giving an official imprimatur to those local plans, which they have never had before. Indeed, because almost all bankruptcy courts have adopted local chapter 13 plans, that is almost the only thing that the proposal will do with respect to plans. It does not even require the uniformity of format that was one of the principal objectives of the proposal for a national plan. There is simply no reason why the rules should legitimize plans that in some cases do not even comply with the law. As is evident from our earlier comments and the testimony of our witnesses, we a