I hope you are all doing well. We have three important things to let you know about:
1. Reaffirmation Agreements - we have recently had a few questions come up regarding filing extensions of time to file reaffirmation agreements in chapter 7 cases.
a. As you all know, in chapter 7 cases, reaffirmation agreements must be filed no later than 60 days after the meeting of creditors. FRBP 4008(a). This is also both the last day to object to discharge and the date the discharge order will enter automatically. FRBP 4004(a).
b. When a motion to extend time to file a reaffirmation agreement is pending, the case cannot be discharged. FRBP 4004(c)(1)(J). If the order is granted, the time for reaffirmation agreements is extended, but the discharge date does not automatically change. So, unless you file a motion under FRBP 4004(c)(2) to extend the discharge deadline, the case may discharge before the reaffirmation agreement is approved.
c. To keep the case from discharging, you need to file both a motion to extend time to file a reaffirmation agreement and a motion to extend the discharge date. You may file them as separate motions or you may file them as a single motion without negative notice language.
2. New 11 U.S.C. 1328(i) Discharges - the consolidated appropriations act recently signed into law added a new discharge provision, 11 U.S.C. 1328(i). It provides a means to discharge a case where mortgage payments have been missed but are rolled back into the mortgage. We added a new local form for this discharge motion on our website and have created a new ECF event for it: Chapter 13 Discharge Under 11 U.S.C. 1328(i). Because a hearing on the motion must be held, it is not a 9007 motion.
3. CM/ECF NextGen is Coming to ALBM on March 8, 2021 - we will transition to CM/ECF NextGen on March 8, 2021. We will shut down our CM/ECF system on Friday, March 5, at 5:00 pm and go live with NextGen on Monday, March 8. Our website has information on steps you will need to take before March to update your existing PACER account to an advanced account. As a reminder, every ECF filer will need an individual PACER account. We have instructions on how to link your PACER and existing ECF accounts once we go live on March 8, and we will have staff available to assist you should you run into difficulties.
Thank you. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns — (334) 954-3800.