The Bankruptcy Forms Modernization Project is an initiative that will require filers to use new bankruptcy forms effective December 1, 2015. The new forms are part of a forms modernization project that was started by the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules in 2008. The petitions, schedules and other official forms will all be revised, reformatted and renumbered. The goal of the initiative is to improve the interface between technology and the forms to increase efficiency and reduce the need to produce the same information in multiple formats. Creditors will not recognize any material change in the notices of bankruptcy filings they receive by mail. The changes will affect the debtors far more than creditors with the exception of a new proof of claim form.
Individual v. Business Debtor
One of the biggest changes is the creation of separate, different schedules for an individual and a business debtor. This is because there are separate areas of inquiry that apply to each group. The forms for a business debtor does not include questions that only pertain to individuals and instead, use a more open-ended response format. Where possible, the business debtor forms parallel how businesses commonly keep financial records.
Proof of Claim Changes
Creditors will file their claims on new forms. Proof of Claim Form 410 (previously Official Form 10) has been renumbered and revised as part of the Forms Modernization Project making it easier to read and generating more complete and accurate responses. A new question has been added at line 10 that solicits information about claims based on leases.
Official Form 410A, Mortgage Proof of Claim Attachment, now requires the creditor to provide a loan history that reveals when the payments were received, how they were applied, when the fees and chargers were incurred and when escrow charges were satisfied. This new form allows lenders secured by mortgages on the debtor’s principal residence to comply with the technical rules of bankruptcy with much more efficiency and accuracy. Now, the form requires creditors to attach the loan history with a home mortgage proof of claim to provide transparency about the basis for the claimant’s calculation of the claim and arrearage amount. The loan history should begin with the first date on which the borrower failed to make a payment in accordance with the terms of the note and mortgage.
The only change to the Notice of Mortgage Payment Change and Notice of Postpetition Mortgage Fees, Expenses and Charges (Official Forms 410S1 and 410S2, respectively) are formatting changes throughout the forms.
The new forms are available here.