Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Winter 2016 - Page 6

COMMENTS OF THE NACBA bar for any committee that is formed to advise the court in the development of a Local Form. Note also, that including representation from the consumer bar on a committee is just the first step in assuring that debtors’ rights are protected in the drafting of a local model plan. See paragraph 7 below, Development of Local Model Plans, addressing the results of NACBA’s recent survey. seven months (assuming the Supreme Court can promulgate the rules by May 1, 2017). NACBA is also concerned that the Review of Content of Existing Local Model Plans NACBA suggests that districts that have decided to opt out and indicate that additional time is needed should be given an additional six months, until June 1, 2018, in which they would have the option to continue using any existing local model chapter 13 plan. posted on bankruptcy court websites or the authorized trustees’ sites, 90 of them are mandatory in all chapter 13 cases filed. Five jurisdictions have no model plans, and four have recommended – but not actually mandated – model plans. The model plans make up 643 pages, which are attached hereto as pdfs in three parts. Several bankruptcy courts are now in the process of updating their existing model plans or adopting model plans for the first time, so these numbers are in transition. 1. Length of model plans The model plans ranged in length from a single page to more than 16 pages (much of which is single-spaced text). Plans with font size approximating 10 points were the easiest to read: larger fonts diminished the data density too much, and some of the plans used fonts that were so small they were very difficult to read. It is important to note that the longer the text in the plan, the less likely it is that the debtor or the creditor will have the patience or attention to read more than the first page or two. Therefore, all the good intentions to intensively explain the consequences of the plan are likely in vain. Debtors in those districts should not be required to make a Rule 3012(b) or Rule 4003(d) request as a nonstandard plan provision. It is nonsensical that an unambiguous procedural right that is permitted under the Bankruptcy Rules should be treated as “nonstanda