News & Announcements
The Executive Office of the United States Trustee has directed Chapter 13 trustees to take the statutorily allowed percentage fee at the time of receipt of the plan payment rather than at the time of disbursement. Locally, this change will be effective March 6, 2015. Click here for more information.
In calendar year 2014, there was a 12.6 percent drop in cases filed across the country. During the 12-month period ending December 31, 2014, 936,795 cases were filed, down from the 1,071,932 cases filed in calendar year 2013. In the Eastern District of Washington, there was a 9.7 percent drop in cases filed. During the 12-month period ending December 31, 2014, 4,566 cases were filed, down from 5,057 filed in calendar year 2013. From 2013 to 2014, Chapter 7 cases decreased 9 percent, Chapter 13 cases decreased 11.6 percent, and Chapter 11 cases decreased 44 percent.
Debtors can now request to receive orders and court generated notices in their case by email rather than by U.S. mail. This new free program is called Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN). Click here for additional information.
In cases opened February 1, 2015, and beyond, all excerpts of record must be filed electronically. In cases opened prior to February 1, 2015, electronic filing of the excerpts is optional. Please see Rule 3 of the Administrative Order Regarding Electronic Filing in BAP Cases, available on the BAP website at www.ca9.uscourts.gov/bap/ > Electronic Case Files (ECF) > Administrative Order.
Several amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure took effect on December 1, 2014. Rule 1014, governing the procedure for determining where cases will proceed if petitions are filed in multiple districts, was amended to clarify and narrow the scope of the stay provisions. The former rule provided that all of the later-filed cases were stayed while the first court made a venue determination. The amended rule limits the stay to situations in which the first court finds that the rule in fact applies and that a stay is needed. Rule 7004(e) was amended to reduce the time period for serving the summons from 14 days to 7 days. The change was made in response to a concern that the longer period unduly limited the defendant's time to answer, which is calculated under Rule 7012 from the date the summons is issued and not (as is the case under the Civil Rules) the date it is served. Rules 7008(b) and 7054 were amended to clarify and to promote uniformity in the procedures for seeking an award of attorney's fees. Rule 7008(b) was deleted and Rule 7054 amended to include much of the substance of Civil Rule 54(d)(2). By bringing the Bankruptcy Rules into closer alignment with the Civil Rules, the amendments eliminated a potential trap for an attorney, particularly one familiar with the Civil Rules, who might overlook the requirement in Rule 7008(b) to plead a request for attorney's fees as a claim in the complaint, answer, or other pleading. Now, the procedure for seeking an award of attorney's fees will be governed exclusively by Rule 7054, unless the governing substantive law requires the fees to be proven at trial as an element of damages. Rules 9023 and 9024 were amended to include a cross-reference to new Rule 8008 which governs indicative rulings. Click here to view redlined copies of the rules.
The rules governing bankruptcy appeals, Rules 8001-8028, have been revised to bring the rules into closer alignment with the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure; to incorporate a presumption favoring the electronic transmission, filing, and service of court documents; and to adopt a clearer style. The existing rules were reorganized and renumbered, some rules were combined, and provisions of other rules were moved to new locations. Much of the language was restyled. Rules 8001-8028, effective December 1, 2014, can be viewed by clicking here.