(a) Noticing, Balloting, and Claims in Chapter 11 Cases with More than 300 Creditors
Unless excused by order of the Court, if the number of scheduled creditors in any Chapter 11 case exceeds 300, the Debtor or trustee in a Chapter 11 case shall propose the retention pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §156(c) of an entity to handle noticing (the “Noticing Agent”), an entity to receive and process claims (the “Claims Agent”), and an entity to process plan ballots (the “Balloting Agent”). One entity may serve in all three capacities (the “Agent”). Prior to employment, the proposed Agent shall meet with the Clerk or the Clerk’s designee and agree on terms establishing the interactions between the Agent and the Clerk, which shall be incorporated in the order authorizing the employment of the Agent (“the Employment Order”) or in a written agreement between the Clerk and the Agent (“the Agreement”) that shall be made part of the record.
The motion(s) to retain noticing, claims, and balloting agent(s), or a motion to be excused from compliance with this rule, or a motion for extension of time, shall be filed within twenty-eight (28) days after the filing of any document or creditor list that causes the number of creditors on the case to exceed 300.
(3) Contact with Clerk
Prior to employment, the proposed Agent shall meet with the Clerk or the Clerk's designee and agree on terms establishing the interactions between the Agent and the Clerk, which shall be incorporated in the order authorizing the employment of the Agent ("the Employment Order") or in a written agreement between the Clerk and the Agent ("the Agreement") that shall be made part of the record.
(b) Noticing Agent
A Noticing Agent shall distribute notices as directed by the Court and provide proof of service information to the Debtor. That information shall be filed as established by the Agreement or the Employment Order.
(c) Claims Agent
If a Claims Agent is to be employed, then the Agreement or Employment Order shall address each of the following areas:
(1) Delivery of Claims Received by the Court
The Agreement or the Employment Order should establish procedures for handling of claims filed with the Clerk prior to and after the employment of the Claims Agent.
(2) Mailing of Proof of Claim Forms and Notice of Bar Date
Proofs of Claim with a notice of bar date should be mailed by the Claims Agent and should reflect the scheduled amount of the creditor’s claim. Unless alterations are approved by the Court, after notice to any committee and the UST, the forms shall comply substantially with Official Forms 410, 410A, 410S1, and 410S2. The forms will instruct claimants to send claims to the Claims Agent and not the Court.
(3) Handling of Claims and Transfers of Claims
Generally, upon receipt of a claim, the Claims Agent should promptly date-stamp it, assign a claim number, scan the original, retain originals in a fire-proof safe or vault, and return a date-stamped copy to the claimant (if a self-addressed, postage paid envelope was provided). The Claims Agent shall review the Court’s docket periodically, identify notices transferring claims, and issue such notices as are required by Fed.R.Bankr.P. 3001(e).
(4) Maintenance of the Claims Register
Usually, the Claims Register should be maintained by the Claims Agent. The Claims Agent should list the claim on the register within three (3) days of receipt, in alphabetical order, according to the name of the claimant (last name for individuals) and include the claimant’s address, claim number assigned, date received, dollar amount claimed, and classification of claim.
(5) Audits of Claims Records
The Agreement or the Employment Order may provide for the periodic audit of claims information by the Clerk, a representative of the creditors’ committee, or some other entity.
(6) Transmission of Claims Register
The Agreement or Employment Order should provide the mechanism and timing for delivery of a final Claims Register to the Clerk.
(7) Mailing List
In addition to the Claims Register, the Claims Agent should maintain a separate mailing list including the claimants’ addresses, edited to reflect any notice of change of address.
(8) Transfers of Claims
The Agreement or the Employment Order should establish responsibility and method for processing transfers of claims.
(9) Retention/Destruction of Documents
The Agreement or Employment Order should provide for the retention or destruction of documents received by the Claims Agent.
(10) Effect of Conversion
The Agreement or the Employment Order shall provide for treatment and disposition of Proofs of Claim if the case is converted to Chapter 7.
(d) Balloting Agent
The Balloting Agent will receive, record, and tabulate ballots. The Agreement or Employment Order should provide for filing of a declaration showing the results of balloting and provide for the retention or destruction of original ballots.