Each year amendments are made to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, which govern how bankruptcy cases are managed. The amendments address issues identified by an Advisory Committee made up of federal judges, bankruptcy attorneys, and others. The rule amendments are ultimately adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court and technically subject to Congressional disapproval.

Just A Handful Of Rule Amendments This Year. This year there are only four bankruptcy rule amendments expected to take effect on December 1, 2021. They are all relatively minor technical or administrative revisions. That means you don’t have to worry about major bankruptcy rule changes this year — good to know.

Here are the amendments:

  • Rule 2005, addressing release conditions for a debtor taken into custody, was amended to refer to the correct section of Title 18.
  • Rule 3007, governing service of claim objections, was amended to make clear that an insured depository institution, now identified only as one “defined in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act,” also has to be served pursuant to Rule 7004(h) and its more rigorous service requirements (including certified mail in some situations). Although a minor change, it’s a good reminder of the special service rules that apply to FDIC insured depository institutions. The Committee Note clarifies that this provision does not apply to credit unions because they’re covered by National Credit Union Administration insurance instead of FDIC insurance.
  • Rule 7007.1, involving corporate ownership disclosures, was amended to align with similar disclosure rules in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It has been revised to apply only to nongovernmental corporations, although including when such corporations intervene in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings.
  • Rule 9036, governing notice and service, was amended to address high-volume paper-notice recipients and to specify procedures for such recipients related to the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC).
  • Although not a Bankruptcy Rule, Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 6, which governs bankruptcy appeals, was also revised slightly but only to change the reference to a form given amendments made to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 3 (which, in turn, split former Form 1 into Form 1A and Form 1B).

I Need A Redline. No question — the best way to see the changes (and how minor they are this year) is to review a redline. Follow the link in this sentence for the complete set of rule changes, including redlines showing the revisions made, as well as the Advisory Committee’s explanations for each amendment. In addition to the amendments discussed above to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (the redline changes start at page 61), the linked document includes the amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

December Is Almost Here. These rule amendments are slated to take effect on December 1, 2021, which will be here before you know it (and so will 2022).


Image Courtesy of Flickr by Robert Lyle Bolton