I. Preparing the Plan Form
A. Availability of the Plan Form
The plan form (as revised ) is available through most petition preparation software, as well as in pdf fillable and Word formats on the court's website under Local Forms.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE WORD VERSION OF THE PLAN FORM: Because of the tables and other formatting in the plan form, the Word version may not display properly on some devices. Attorneys are STRONGLY encouraged to use the pdf fillable form.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE PDF PLAN FORM: The pdf plan form is a 'fillable' form.
Applicability of the plan form
The 1/1/2022 amendment to Local Form 3015-1 will apply to ALL PLANS filed on and after January 1, 2022.
C. The "check box" dilemma, part 1
If a plan lists anything in Part 8, the "included" box in Part 1.1 of the new plan form should be checked. If the plan contemplates lien stripping on a debtor's residence/filing of a motion to value in Part 16, the "included" box in Part 1.1 of the new plan should be checked.
2. Lien avoidance
If the plan contains a request for lien avoidance in Part 16, the "included" box in Part 1.2 of the new plan form should be checked.
D. Signatures on the plan form
Attorney certification (last page of the plan form): an electronic signature (i.e., /e/ Attorney Name) is sufficient if the plan is filed using the attorney’s CM/ECF login and password; the attorney’s “wet signature” is not required on the plan form.
Debtors’ signatures (last page of the plan form): debtors’ signatures on the Signature Declaration form submitted with the plan are sufficient; the debtors’ “wet signatures” are not required on the plan form.
E. Saving the pdf version of the plan form
When all information has been entered into the pdf form (available on the court’s website), print the plan form to Adobe PDF to flatten and reduce the size of the electronic file.
II. Serving the Plan Form
A. Mailing and serving the plan form
If the chapter 13 plan is filed with the petition, or before the 341 meeting notice is docketed, the clerk’s office will arrange for mailing or electronic notice through the bankruptcy noticing center of the plan and 341 meeting notice to all parties listed on the matrix. The 341 notice will include the deadline for filing objections to confirmation of the plan.
If the plan is filed after the 341 meeting notice is sent, the debtor must serve the plan on the trustee and all creditors per FRBP 3015(d).
B. Special service requirements
FRBP 3012(b): If the plan includes a request to determine the amount of a secured claim, ”the plan shall be served on the holder of the claim and any other entity the court designates in the manner provided for service of a summons and complaint by Rule 7004.”
FRBP 4003(d): If the plan includes a request to avoid a lien or other transfer of exempt property, the plan must be served “on the affected creditors in the manner provided by Rule 7004 for service of a summons and complaint.”
Plans containing one or both of these requests should be accompanied by proof of service showing compliance with the above noted federal rules.
III. Filing the plan
A. Filing the plan using case upload through petition preparation software
Attorneys using third party petition preparation software to file bankruptcy cases should make sure they have the latest upgrade from their software vendors. The 12/1/17 rule and form changes impact the manner in which chapter 13 plans are uploaded when filed at the same time as the petition. Petition preparation software must be updated to the vendor's latest version to allow filers to identify which "requests" (e.g., valuation, lien avoidance, surrender of collateral and assumption or rejection of leases or contracts) are included in the plan (see additional information below). If the software used to produce the upload file is not up-to-date, the screen prompting the filer to identify the “requests” will not display and the chapter 13 plan will not be docketed correctly. Upgrading to the software vendor's most recent version should resolve this issue
B. Identifying "embedded requests": the check box dilemma, part 2
There is some confusion among attorneys and legal assistants about what boxes to check in Part 1 of the plan form, and which boxes to check when filing the plan, so that the docket entry reflects the correct "requests" included in the plan. Correctly identifying the requests in the plan allows the court to gather statistics on these requests for submission to Congress.
1. Valuation of security
If a plan lists anything in Part 8, the "included" box in Part 1.1 of the new plan form should be checked AND the "Request for valuation of security" box should be checked when filing the plan in CM/ECF. An example of the "requests" screen that is part of the filing of the chapter 13 plan in CM/ECF is below.
If the plan contemplates lien stripping on a debtor's residence/filing of a motion to value in Part 16, the "included" box in Part 1.1 of the new plan should be checked AND the "Request for valuation of security" box should be checked when filing the plan in CM/ECF.
2. Lien avoidance
If the plan contains a request for lien avoidance in Part 16, the "included" box in Part 1.2 of the new plan form should be checked AND the "Request for lien avoidance" box should be checked when filing the plan in CM/ECF.
3. Assumption or rejection of contract/lease
If the plan lists anything in Part 4, the "Request for assumption of executory contracts and/or leases" box should be checked when filing the plan in CM/ECF.
4. Surrender of collateral
If the plan lists anything in Part 15, the "Request to surrender collateral" box should be checked when filing the plan in CM/ECF.