Where Do The Bankruptcy Notices Come From?

24 Nov Where Do The Bankruptcy Notices Come From?

In June 2008, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts awarded a bankruptcy noticing contract to BAE Systems information Technology for a one-year period with nine option years, according to Susan M. Thurston, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in her October 2008 article in ABI Journal. Ms. Thurston discusses the beginning of the efforts to decrease paper notices back in 1994 with the creation of a centralized noticing system known as the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC).

Ms. Thurston points out nine benefits of the BAE contract: (in bold is my interpretation of who is benefiting)

1. Improved address matching (this is so that multiple mailings can be made to one creditor so that the burden of opening, sorting and routing mail within the creditor’s office is lessened)

2. Single mailings to joint debtors (reduces mail clutter for debtors)

3. Complete online electronic/preferred address registration for creditors (this makes it easy for creditors to register but there is absolutely no system in place for debtors’ counsel to verify, find, check creditor’s addresses. The site should have a search feature and allow debtor’s counsel to access the site).

4. Desktop notice management system (notice recipients may use this system to retrieve and store EBN notices, primarily seems to benefit creditors, will be in place by January 2010).

5. Online notice recipient surveys (since only creditors may participate, only creditor feedback will be received).

6. National change of address (will be linked to the USPS National Change of Address database; will lessen returned mail, which the author notes is a big benefit for debtor’s counsel. see notes after #3, which would be a bigger benefit–debtor’s counsel being able to access the site).

7. Alert and Web Page for correcting/maintaining addresses (will alert notice recipients that their address was uploaded incorrectly….a benefit to creditors but not to debtors unless the debtor’s counsel is advised of the incorrect address. Again, see notes to #3).

8. Bypass list to Debtor’s attorney via email (again, redundant if debtor’s counsel has access to the database).

9. Certificate of Notice to include notice of e-filing recipient information (this does benefit debtor’s counsel, who can then prove notice to a creditor even if the physical address is wrong by examining the certificate of service. However, without examining the certificate of service, debtor’s counsel would be unaware of the incorrect mailing address unless mail is returned).

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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