The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (the “Bankruptcy Rules”) govern procedure in cases arising under title 11 of the United States Code. Over time, the Bankruptcy Rules have been amended, and were most recently amended in 2020. The 2020 amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules took effect on December 1, 2020, and govern all proceedings commenced thereafter and (as is just and practicable) all proceedings pending prior to the effective date.
The amendments impact six different Bankruptcy Rules: Rule 2002, 2004, 8012, 8013, 8015, and 8021.
- Rule 2002:
- This Rule governs notices to creditors and others. Subsection (f) extends the requirement that the clerk of court give notice of the entry of an order confirming a plan for cases arising under chapters 12 and 13 (in addition to chapters 9 and 11) to the debtor, all creditors, and indenture trustees. Subsection (h) adds cases under chapters 12 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code and makes changes to conform the time periods in this subdivision to the respective deadlines for filing proofs of claim under Rule 3002(c). Subsection (k) is amended to add a reference to subdivision (a)(9) of Rule 2002 to respond to the relocation of the deadline to object to the confirmation of a chapter 13 plan from subdivision (b) to subdivision (a)(9).
- Rule 2004
- In an effort to acknowledge the form information commonly exists in today’s ever evolving technical society, subdivision (c) is amended to explicitly refer to the production of electronically stored information, in addition to the production of documents. Additionally, subdivision (c) is amended to conform to the current version of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 (which is made applicable to bankruptcy cases by Bankruptcy Rule 9016). It is now proper that a subpoena for a Rule 2004 examination is issued from the court where the bankruptcy case is pending by an attorney authorized to practice in that court, even if the examination is set to occur in a different district.
- Rule 8012
- This Rule now conforms to recent amendments to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 26.1. Subdivision (a) is amended to include nongovernmental corporations, rather than only corporate parties. Subdivision (b) is a new section, which requires the disclosure of the name of all debtors in the bankruptcy case (even if the name is not listed in the caption), and applies the subdivision (a) disclosure requirements to corporate debtors. Subdivision (c), which was previously subdivision (b), now clarifies that all disclosure requirements in Rule 8012 must be supplemented when information changes.
- Rules 8013, 8015, and 8021
- These three rules are amended to make technical changes by removing or qualifying references to “proof of service,” in order to respond to previous changes to Rule 8011(d) which eliminated the proof of service requirement when filing and service are completed using a court’s electronic-filing system. Rule 8015 is also amended to adjust to the change described above in Rule 8012.
Many of the changes to these rules were not overly substantive, but rather technical and designed to conform to existing changes to achieve consistency. However, after taking effect on December 1, 2020, these 2020 amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules are of immediate relevance to all practicing bankruptcy lawyers.
Stephanie Slater is a Law Clerk, based in the firm’s Wilmington, DE office.