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Major update to bankruptcy forms effective December 1, 2015

Brian Hockett November 20, 2015

On December 1, 2015, the Official Forms for use in bankruptcy courts will be updated. The changes were made as part of a forms modernization effort. Almost all of the Official Forms are being updated, including the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and statement of financial affairs, as well as the proof of claim form (formerly Form B 10) used to assert a creditor’s claim in a bankruptcy case.

The new proof of claim form (Form 410) is particularly worth noting. Although Form 410 requires essentially the same information as its predecessor, it is substantially reformatted. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3001(a) requires that a proof of claim “conform substantially to the appropriate Official Form.” Claims filed using the Official Form are more likely to contain the information required for asserting a claim and are less likely to face an objection from the debtor or the bankruptcy trustee. Accordingly, use of the new form beginning December 1, 2015 is recommended as a best practice.

Note also that claims against an individual that are secured by the debtor’s primary residence must also include a Mortgage Proof of Claim Attachment (Form 410A). This new Official Form substantially changes reporting requirements for mortgage lenders and servicers collecting claims (including loans made for business purposes) secured by a primary residence. The prior form (Form B 10A) required an itemized reporting on missed payments and accrued and past due obligations. Form 410A requires a complete loan history (provided by way of a detailed spreadsheet) running from the first date of the current default, including a description of all payments made and their application, and all accrued and past due obligations. Consequences for failing to file the Mortgage Proof of Claim Attachment when required include prohibiting the creditor from presenting the information later in the bankruptcy proceeding.