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Bankruptcy & Housing: Into the Labyrinth

On Wednesday, an expert panel gave the audience an update on the latest rules and regulations in bankruptcy that impacted housing at a complimentary Legal League 100 webinar.

The panel consisting of Rose Marie Brook, Founding Partner, Fabrizio & Brook P.C., Dennis Joss, Senior Attorney Gross Polowy, and Leslie Mann, Partner, Mackie Wolf Zientz & Mann P.C. discussed current case law issues, new bankruptcy rules, and the implementation of a national Chapter 13 Plan through an in-depth study of specific court cases for the benefit of all working professionals in the mortgage servicing industry.

Among the topics discussed was Rule 3015.1, form 113, and opt-out options for local forms. topic navigated the variance in local plans, including what requirements were necessary if one planned to adopt a local form instead of the official form 113.

Giving an example of a case where this plan was used, Mann said, "In re Parkman, No. 18-50032, 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 2642 (Bankr. S.D. Miss. Aug. 13, 2018), the plan included 23 nonstandard provisions. When the trustee objected to the plan and joined the other trustees in another district who had a similar objection, the court denied the confirmation and required the plan to be amended."

The webinar also explored Section 363, specifically focusing on the dangers of sub-section 363(f) for the sale of real property. It also explored the protective steps that can be taken in case of a prospective 363(f) motion. These included availing section 363 (e) to seek adequate protection. "Typically, the debtor or the trustee makes a motion to sell under 363 of the Bankruptcy Code and notices said motion on all relevant parties," Joss said while introducing this section.

Through examples, the speakers explored whether direct pay claims were included in payments under the section §1328(a) plan.

Direct pay was not part of the plan, they said because the payment status is unknown; there are inconsistent rulings on this aspect; continuing claims are not discharged; there’s no harm to direct pay creditors, and an MFR option was available.

To conclude, Brook gave insights into issues pertaining to post-petition direct pay mortgage claims in Chapter 13 filings, including rule 3002.1— both its purpose and the requirements it entails.

"Trustee must file Notice of Final Cure within 30 days after debtor completes payments under the plan. So Does this create inconsistent treatment with similarly situated debtors?" Brooks asked before giving examples of various cases on this rule.

To view the webinar, click here.

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