New Chapter 13 Plan, Part 1: General Form Changes

This is a multi-part series on the New Chapter 13 Plan that went into effect on May 1, 2012 for the Eastern District of California. The Plan is a required form for all cases filed on or after May 1, 2012. The prior Chapter 13 Plan can be found here. The purposes of these articles is to examine what has changed and what remains the same about the form Chapter 13 Plan for the Eastern District of California.

The first thing you notice is that all of the informational numbers at the beginning of the Plan have been eliminated. Those numbers were sometimes helpful to see at a glance whether there might be feasibility, disposable income or liquidation issues. However, one could never really rely on those numbers, so it is probably better to eliminate them and to rely on the other schedules that contain the same information.

The new Plan eliminates the language regarding the commitment period. This is a good thing because the term commitment period was rather confusing when used by Congress and has become more confusing as the courts have attempted to interpret it. And at the end of the day, there was no reason the commitment period had to be identified in the Plan. All the plan has to say is how long the term of the plan is, and that is what the new Plan does.

The language regarding payment of administrative expenses that used to be close to the end of the Plan has been moved earlier in the Plan, closer to the estimate for Debtors’ attorney fees. That makes a great deal of sense because previously one had to look at section 3.08 and then flip back to Section 5.02 and 5.03.

Next time, we will look at changes to Class 1.