Bullard v Blue Hills Bank

Bullard appealed the bankruptcy court’s refusal to confirm his Chapter 13 plan. The 1st Circuit dismissed for lack of a final order. Resolving a circuit split, the Court affirmed. It held that for purposes of 11 USC 158(a), the relevant proceeding which can result in a final order is the process of confirming a plan. Thus, when a plan is confirmed, a binding order of the court comes into effect and when a plan is not confirmed and the case dismissed, the consequences are sufficient to allow review. Rejection of a plan not resulting in the dismissal of the case is different as the debtor can simply propose a new plan. The Court noted that allowing plan by plan review would add years of delay to the proceeding which is not what Congress intended and mechanisms exist in the Code for review of important pure matters of law through certified appeals.