As we have announced during recent dockets, we are phasing in a change to the setting of Chapter 13 confirmation hearings. Going forward, Chapter 13 plans will be set for hearing on confirmation after the bar date for filing non-governmental proofs of claim. In other words, Chapter 13 confirmation hearings now will be set no earlier than the 71st day after the bankruptcy filing date. While this change was not implemented with respect to plans set for confirmation over the past couple of weeks, we are sua sponte continuing confirmation hearings in all other pending cases in which confirmation currently is set prior to the non-governmental claims bar date. Moreover, our courtroom deputies now are setting each new Chapter 13 case for confirmation on a date that follows the non-governmental claims bar date.
While we understand this may cause some short-term disruption, we believe this change will be highly beneficial to all parties to the process. It will reduce the workload of debtor’s counsel, as they will have pre-confirmation certainty as to the amounts of claims. This will prevent the need for a second review of feasibility issues post-confirmation. Similarly, it will promote efficiency in the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office, as the financial data in each debtor’s case will be more complete at the time of confirmation. Finally, it will allow creditors to align their proof of claim and plan review processes more closely. We are hopeful that this will promote efficiency and certainty by obviating the need for objections to confirmation based on estimated claims.
We appreciate your flexibility as we implement this change, which we believe will result in a smoother and more efficient Chapter 13 confirmation process.