NEW RULE ON ROUTINE COMMUNICATIONS WITH DEBTOR
Borrowers and lenders sometimes find themselves being held hostage to the bankruptcy code. Consider the following example:
Borrower is current on a car loan and files bankruptcy for other reasons. Borrower wants to keep the car and work something out with the bank. However, the bank is advised by counsel not to send monthly statements anymore as such communication violates the automatic stay. The account then falls into default, a relief from stay motion is filed, and the car is picked up. Neither party wanted this result.
The Colorado Bankruptcy Court passed a new rule effective March 13, 2008. It is called General Procedure Order 2008-1. GPO 2008-1 now allows lenders (and servicers) to communicate post petition with debtors concerning secured consumer debt. Here’s how it works:
However, the communication must indicate it is provided for information purposes and does not constitute a demand for payment.
Permissible communications include email, facsimile, USPS, commercial communications carrier or other mutually acceptable means.
Click the link below for a full text of GPO 2008-1:
The free flow of information concerning routine consumer secured debt is advantageous to both lenders and borrowers. You should proactively develop a written policy concerning post petition contacts with debtors in order to take advantage of GPO 2008-1 while protecting the institution from unauthorized communications. Please contact my office if I can help.