The 3,2,1 Rule to Bankruptcy Case Management
As if the Bankruptcy Courts and Trustees do not provide bankruptcy attorneys with enough rules to follow. Well here is a simple rule that I learned from New York Bankruptcy Trustee Michael J. Macco when I worked for him as a Bankruptcy Paralegal. It is pretty simple and allows you to stay on top of your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy files prior to a Confirmation Hearing.
The rule is called the “321 Rule,” and the concept is based upon a simple saying that Mr. Macco used to say. I wonder if he still says it in his ever so charming way.
“Don’t make your problems, my problems!”
If you know that you have a Confirmation Hearing coming up, why wait until the last week to review the file and then realize that you need more time to provide the Trustee with what he/she needs? One of the quickest ways an attorney can get on the Trustees last nerve is to wait until the final week to then ask the Trustee if the Chapter 13 bankruptcy case will be confirmed without reviewing the file or providing what is needed in advance.
(3) Three weeks before the hearing, review your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and contact your client to provide your office with whatever outstanding documents from the 341 Meeting of Creditors are still needed.
(2) Two weeks before the Confirmation Hearing , depending on the Trustees preferred method, fax or email the Trustee with your requests or concerns. Such as “I have provided all documentation requested at the 341 meeting of creditors, will our case be confirmed at this time?” or, “Please be advised that we will need an adjournment of the confirmation due to……” or whatever the issue.
(1) One week prior to the hearing call up the Trustees office, only if you have not yet heard from their office at this time, to discuss the case and hopefully wrap up any final details.
By the time you get to the final week you should be in basic clean up mode as the majority of the issues with your case should be resolved at this point.
What you have to understand is that the Trustees office and his/her staff is reviewing hundreds of cases way ahead of these hearing dates and is expecting the debtor’s attorney’s office to be doing the same. If the documents requested are provided in a timely manner and there are no other outstanding issues that need to be resolved, then there is a better chance of your case getting confirmed, and that you and your client will most likely not have to appear at the confirmation hearing. This is not a guarantee but it sure does increases your odds.
Outsourced Paralegal Services, LLC was created with the sole practicing attorney and boutique law firm in mind. Outsourced Paralegal Services, LLC has provided extensive legal support services to attorneys and has filed over 500 consumer bankruptcy petitions in states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Idaho and Georgia.