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Chambers' Bulletins

Judge Duncan

Fri, 8/10/2018 - 3:27 pm

Nicholas Hulse, Judge Duncan's current law clerk, has accepted a position with Riley Pope & Laney, LLC in Columbia.  Nick's last day is today, Friday, August 10.  Judge Duncan would like to thank Nick for exemplary service over the past two years and extend best wishes as he begins his career in private practice.

Judge Duncan is also pleased to welcome Charles Buist to his chambers beginning August 20.  Charles is a 2016 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law.  He also holds a master of business administration from the Darla Moore School of Business and a master of environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School.  Prior to joining Judge Duncan's chambers, Charles served as a law clerk for Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr.


Tue, 6/19/2018 - 3:00 pm

Judges Waites and Duncan have revised the procedure for chapter 13 conduit plans in their cases. A new operating order has been entered to implement the procedures. The new order replaces the amended operating order 16-02 and the interim language for use in section 8.1 of chapter 13 plans posted for use in Judge Duncan’s cases. Any questions regarding language in section 8.1 in Judge Waites’ cases may be directed to Trustees Wyman and Stephenson.

The new procedures are effective in cases filed on and after August 1, 2018. The major differences are that chapter 13 plans containing provisions for post-petition mortgage payments must adopt the conduit payment method when the collateral is a principal residence and if there is a default in payments other than a technical default (for example due to late payment charges or a shortage in payment of less than one monthly payment) that can be cured within 30 days of the petition date. Please consult the operating order in its entirety for other changes and for the small differences in procedure between the two judges (relating to loss mitigation for example).

These changes do not apply to chapter 13 cases assigned to Judge Burris.


Judge Waites

Tue, 7/31/2018 - 11:18 am

Judge Waites and his case team wish to thank Tara Nauful for her service as a career law clerk in Charleston over the past two years. Tara's extensive legal experience, excellent judgment and skills have been invaluable, and she will be greatly missed by the Court and the Bar. We all wish her well as she embarks upon a sabbatical, during which time she looks forward to having more time to travel and to spend with her family. Tara's last day in chambers will be August 3rd.

As a result, Judge Waites will accept applications for the position of a term law clerk in the Charleston or Columbia office. Please click here for the vacancy announcement.


Thu, 6/28/2018 - 2:10 pm

Effective July 1, 2018, the Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification (“LM/MM”) guidelines for Judge Waites will be revised as previously announced on June 1, 2018. In addition, the LM/MM forms have been updated, and are attached to this announcement. Below are the forms that have been updated or discontinued:

Exhibit P - Notice and Motion for Loss Mitigation Mortgage Modification Pursuant to Judge Waites’ Chambers Guidelines:  A “Track Changes” copy of the Notice and Motion is included in the attachments to highlight the changes to the Notice and Motion.

Exhibit Q - Order Requiring Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification: Upon the filing of the Notice and Motion for Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification using the Loss Mitigation/Mediation CM/ECF event, this Order will be generated by CM/ECF for the Judge’s consideration.

Exhibit R – Order Appointing Mediator: As the updated guidelines delay the appointment of a LM/MM mediator, this Order will no longer be utilized by the Court.

In addition, Judge Waites has revised the LM/MM Settlement Order on Motion for Relief from Stay (Exhibit N), a copy of which is attached to this announcement. The LM/MM 362 Settlement Order has also been added to the CM/ECF Request for Settlement Order on Motion for Relief from Stay (Judge Waites). By using this CM/ECF event, a proposed 362 settlement order and a proposed order requiring LM/MM will be generated by CM/ECF for the Judge’s consideration.

If you have any questions about the new LM/MM forms, please contact Andrew Powell (Andrew_Powell@scb.uscourts.gov).


Mon, 6/25/2018 - 11:26 am

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I write to advise the South Carolina Bankruptcy Bar that our colleague, George B. Cauthen, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Bankruptcy Inn Alliance Distinguished Service Award given by the American Inns of Court. This national award recognizes the individual recipient’s ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession, the rule of law and the demonstration of personal ethics and integrity. George joins the ranks of only 7 prior recipients, including bankruptcy judges and lawyers of national reputation, who are identified in the attachment.

The award will be presented to George at the 2018 Annual Conference of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges in San Antonio, Texas, which will be held on October 28-31, 2018 and be followed by a reception in his honor. Please join me in congratulating George on this honor.


Wed, 6/20/2018 - 10:42 am

In addition to the new LM/MM Guidelines, Judge Waites and his law clerks will review changes to the Conduit Procedure at the bar meetings scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2018 in the Charleston courtroom and Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in the Columbia courtroom. The meetings will be held after Court concludes each day (approximately 10:30 AM).

If you have not already done so, please sign up for the meetings by contacting Andrew Powell at Andrew_Powell@scb.uscourts.gov.


Tue, 6/19/2018 - 3:00 pm

Judges Waites and Duncan have revised the procedure for chapter 13 conduit plans in their cases. A new operating order has been entered to implement the procedures. The new order replaces the amended operating order 16-02 and the interim language for use in section 8.1 of chapter 13 plans posted for use in Judge Duncan’s cases. Any questions regarding language in section 8.1 in Judge Waites’ cases may be directed to Trustees Wyman and Stephenson.

The new procedures are effective in cases filed on and after August 1, 2018. The major differences are that chapter 13 plans containing provisions for post-petition mortgage payments must adopt the conduit payment method when the collateral is a principal residence and if there is a default in payments other than a technical default (for example due to late payment charges or a shortage in payment of less than one monthly payment) that can be cured within 30 days of the petition date. Please consult the operating order in its entirety for other changes and for the small differences in procedure between the two judges (relating to loss mitigation for example).

These changes do not apply to chapter 13 cases assigned to Judge Burris.


Mon, 6/18/2018 - 11:15 am

Judge Waites invites members of the bankruptcy bar and their staff to a meeting to review the new LM/MM Guidelines, which will be effective on July 1, 2018. The Charleston Meeting will be held in the Charleston courtroom on Thursday, June 21, 2018 after Court concludes (approximately 10:30 A.M.). The Columbia Meeting will be held in the Columbia courtroom on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 after Court concludes (approximately 10:30 A.M.). Chambers expects each of these meetings to be no longer than one hour.

If you are planning to attend, please RSVP by email to Andrew Powell (Andrew_Powell@scb.uscourts.gov).

Attendance by telephone will be considered for counsel or staff whose offices are located more than 30 miles from the court location, and should be requested by contacting Regina Schmidt (Regina_Schmidt@scb.uscourts.gov) and Agnes Babb (Agnes_Babb@scb.uscourts.gov) no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.


Fri, 6/01/2018 - 9:30 am

The Portal LM/MM process continues to be a successful means for debtors and creditors to address mortgage debt as recent statistics suggest that more than 70% of completed reviews result in trial modifications, permanent loan modifications and other arrangements beneficial to the parties.

In an effort to continue to improve the Portal LM/MM process and after input from members of the Bar who are most active in the LM/MM program, Judge Waites has made certain changes to the applicable Chambers Guidelines to be effective July 1, 2018.*

The changes primarily provide more time for the completion of the Debtor’s Prepared Package, and the scheduling of court hearings as backstops to ensure the timely exchange of information. More complete information will allow for a more effective mediation process when needed.

The updated LM/MM guidelines are attached below. Updated forms and orders will be forthcoming. In addition, chambers will be hosting bar meetings in June for the Charleston and Columbia divisions to review these LM/MM changes.

In the meantime, members of the Bar may provide comments or suggestions in writing to Andrew Powell (Andrew_Powell@scb.uscourts.gov) no later than June 14, 2018.

* In anticipation of these updated guidelines, the Court has revised and is presently using LM/MM orders that reflect these modified procedures.


On Behalf of the Court

Wed, 6/20/2018 - 11:43 am

Our court, along with many others around the country and most of those in the 4th Circuit, previously employed a procedure for dismissal of bankruptcy cases upon certification by the Clerk of Court, the United States trustee or a trustee of certain deficiencies. The 4th Circuit, in the recent case of No v. Gorman, 891 F3d. 138 (4th Cir. 2018), noted the notice and opportunity for hearing requirement of sections 707(a), 1112(b), 1208(c), and 1307(c). In light of this decision the Court has adopted the attached operating order revising our local rules and adopting procedures consistent with No v. Gorman.

In short, rather than the certification of dismissal procedure previously permitted under the local rules, dismissal will now be considered upon a Rule to Show Cause or motion. The opportunity for a hearing (self-scheduled by the Clerk, UST or trustee) is thus available, however the case may be dismissed without a hearing, consistent with our general passive notice procedure, unless a timely response is interposed.


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