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Notice of Request for Public Comments on Proposed Rules and Forms

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas requests comments on proposed changes to its local rules, forms and procedures.  The proposed changes primarily address mortgage issues in consumer bankruptcy cases.

The Court previously solicited public comment on proposed mortgage loan history forms to be used by home mortgage lenders in chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.  Following receipt of comments, substantial revisions to the proposed forms were made.  Because the revisions are so significant, the Court now solicits additional comments. 

Form for Attachment to Proofs of Claim.  The first form is a Loan History Form that is proposed to be a required attachment to proofs of claim.  This form must contain not less than three years of loan history ending on the petition date.  If the use of this form is adopted, the Court proposes adding Bankruptcy Local Rule 3001, to read as follows:

 

Local Rule 3001.  Proof of Claim.

A proof of claim in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case that asserts a claim secured by a lien on a home owned by a chapter 13 debtor must contain a Loan History Form, in the form published on the Court’s web site.

If adopted, it is anticipated that the use of the Loan History Form would be mandatory effective on April 1, 2010.

Form for Change in Monthly Mortgage Payments.  The second form is a Notice of Change in Monthly Mortgage Amount.  It is proposed that this form be required to be filed when a lender asserts that the amount of a debtor’s monthly mortgage payment should change.  The filing of a notice is currently required by the Court’s Chapter 13 Trustee Procedures for Administration of Home Mortgage Payments posted on the Court’s web site.  The Court proposes that paragraph 4 of the Chapter 13 Trustee Procedures for Administration of Home Mortgage Payments be amended by adding the following:

 

The notice must be in the form attached as “Exhibit “A.”

Changes to Motions for Relief from Stay on Home Mortgages.  The Court solicits comments on a proposed change to all Bankruptcy Local Forms with respect to motions for relief from the automatic stay that require attachment of a complete loan history on home mortgage loans.  Those forms will each be amended to require that (1) in cases in which the chapter 13 trustee is making mortgage payments, the trustee’s payment history would be the required attachment; and (2) in all other cases, the Loan History Form would be required, with data current through the date of the filing of the motion.  These changes will apply in chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. 

Comments should be sent to bankruptcy_comments@txs.uscourts.gov.  The deadline for comments is September 4, 2009.