On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank
and, in the process, likely resolved a Circuit-level split on an important bankruptcy confirmation issue: Is an order denying
confirmation of a bankruptcy plan “final” and, thus, immediately appealable? Siding with the “majority view,” the Supreme Court answered with a unanimous “No” (at least in the Chapter 13 context, but likely in all
plan confirmation contexts).
To be sure, Bullard
is a significant win for creditors and likely more significant than it first appears. Therefore, we’ll cover Bullard
in 2 posts. In the first post, we’ll summarize the decision, with minimal commentary. In the second post, we’ll provide some humble, but pointed criticism.
‘s the procedural context is straightforward.
Louis Bullard filed a Chapter 13 in Massachusetts. In pertinent part, his Chapter 13 plan proposed to bifurcate his $346,000 mortgage to Blue Hills Bank, with the secured portion ($245,000) to be paid over a long period of time and the unsecured portion ($101,000) to be paid over the shorter statutory period. The Bankruptcy Court denied confirmation because Bullard’s “hybrid” plan violated the Bankruptcy Code.
Bankruptcy Appellate Panel