Cite as: Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 36.27, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).
Prior to the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system, though not required by the Code or Bankruptcy Rules, local rule or practice usually required a matrix of creditor names and addresses suitable for photographic or computer reproduction onto envelopes or mailing labels. This matrix was required as a separate document without regard to whether the debtor filed a list of creditors1 or completed the schedules to Official Bankruptcy Form 6.2 The matrix was used by the clerk’s office and/or Chapter 13 trustee to prepare notices.
With the advent of ECF, the software used by debtors’ counsel typically generates an electronic matrix of creditors that is compatible with the local ECF system.3 Vendors of bankruptcy filing software can tell you whether their software is adequate to this task in your district.
Some courts are very persnickety about the form and content of the creditor matrix. Failure to file the right matrix, with the correct number of columns, with creditors in the proper order, including zip codes, and using the right abbreviations can delay processing of the case and put everybody in a bad mood. The best defense is to consult with the clerk’s office or the trustee to be sure that your filing software generates the right matrix.
Courts allowing (or mandating) ECF may have even more rigorous requirements with respect to the format of the mailing matrix. For example, in some districts all documents in a Chapter 13 case filed electronically must be submitted in PDF format except for the mailing matrix. The names and addresses of creditors4 typically must be in “data” or word processing format that can be manipulated to produce notices during the Chapter 13 case. Counsel has to know local rules and practice to have a chance at filing the mailing matrix correctly.
1 See § 34.3 [ List of Creditors and Addresses ] § 36.4 List of Creditors and Addresses.
3 See Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9036.
4 See § 34.3 [ List of Creditors and Addresses ] § 36.4 List of Creditors and Addresses.