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Chambers' Bulletins

Judge Burris

Fri, 4/06/2018 - 1:40 pm

Updated Chambers Guidelines for Judge Burris have been posted here to include the chapter 7 Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification event


Thu, 4/05/2018 - 4:11 pm

At the request of the debtors' bar, the Request for Order Authorizing Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification event is now available for use in chapter 7 cases (Judge Duncan and Judge Burris cases only).  The event may be used one time only, and can only be filed once the chapter 7 trustee has filed a report of no distribution or a report of abandonment of the specific property on which the debtor intends to pursue loss mitigation.  A copy of the resulting order is available here.  Note that the chapter 7 order provides that “the issuance of this order does not extend any time period or deadline in this case.” Additionally, the language of the Request for Order Authorizing Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification in Judge Duncan and Judge Burris chapter 13 cases has changed slightly to conform to the language of the chapter 7 order and to provide clarity.  The title of the Order has changed from "Order Authorizing Loss Mitigation/Mediation" to "Order Authorizing Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification", and the second sentence of the order has been revised to add "at their discretion" after "Debtor(s) and Creditor", reflecting that although the stay is lifted to allow the parties to engage in loss mitigation, doing so  is within the discretion of the parties.  A copy of the revised order is available here.


Judge Duncan

Thu, 4/05/2018 - 4:11 pm

At the request of the debtors' bar, the Request for Order Authorizing Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification event is now available for use in chapter 7 cases (Judge Duncan and Judge Burris cases only).  The event may be used one time only, and can only be filed once the chapter 7 trustee has filed a report of no distribution or a report of abandonment of the specific property on which the debtor intends to pursue loss mitigation.  A copy of the resulting order is available here.  Note that the chapter 7 order provides that “the issuance of this order does not extend any time period or deadline in this case.” Additionally, the language of the Request for Order Authorizing Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification in Judge Duncan and Judge Burris chapter 13 cases has changed slightly to conform to the language of the chapter 7 order and to provide clarity.  The title of the Order has changed from "Order Authorizing Loss Mitigation/Mediation" to "Order Authorizing Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification", and the second sentence of the order has been revised to add "at their discretion" after "Debtor(s) and Creditor", reflecting that although the stay is lifted to allow the parties to engage in loss mitigation, doing so  is within the discretion of the parties.  A copy of the revised order is available here.


Thu, 11/30/2017 - 2:33 pm

The Judges are continuing to consider revisions to their Operating Orders regarding conduit mortgage procedures with the hopes of adopting uniform language to be used in plans in conduit cases.  Until a revised Operating Order is announced for Judge Duncan, for conduit cases filed on or after December 1, 2017, the following language, also available here, should be included in Section 8.1 of the chapter 13 form plan:

8.1 (a) Mortgage payments to be disbursed by the Trustee (“Conduit”)

Mortgage payments, including pre-petition arrears, will be paid and cured by the Trustee as follows: 

Name of Creditor

Description of Collateral

(note if principal residence; include county tax map number and complete street address)

Current installment payment (ongoing payment amount) *

Monthly payment to cure GAP ** (post-petition mortgage payments for the  two (2) months immediately following the event beginning conduit)

Estimated amount of PRE-PETITION ARREARAGE** (including the month of filing or  conversion)*

Monthly payment on pre-petition arrearage

 

 

$
Escrow for
taxes:
☐ Yes
☐ No

Escrow for
insurance:
☐ Yes
☐ No

$
Or more

$
 

$
Or more

 

 

$
Escrow for
taxes:
☐ Yes
☐ No

Escrow for
insurance:
☐ Yes
☐ No

$
Or more

$

$
Or more

 

* Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the amounts listed on a compliant proof of claim or a Notice filed under FRBP 3002(c) control over any contrary amounts above, and any Notice of Payment Change that might be filed to amend the ongoing monthly payment amount.

** The Gap will be calculated from the payment amounts reflected in the Official Form 410A Mortgage Proof of Claim Attachment and any Notice of Payment Change that might be filed to amend the monthly payment amount, but should not be included in the prepetition arrears amount.

 

All payments due to the Mortgage Creditor as described in any allowed Notice of Post-petition Mortgage Fees, Expenses, and Charges under F.R.B.P. 3002.1, filed with the Court, will be paid by the Trustee, on a pro rata basis as funds are available. See the Operating Order of the Judge assigned to this case. 

 

Once the trustee has filed a Notice of Final Cure under F.R.B.P. 3002.1(f), the debtor shall be directly responsible for ongoing mortgage payments and any further post-petition fees and charges.

 


On Behalf of the Court

Sat, 3/17/2018 - 10:00 am

The judges and staff of the United States Bankruptcy Court extend congratulations and best wishes to Judge John E. Waites on his induction as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy in a ceremony held today. Judge Waites is the first Bankruptcy Judge in South Carolina to be awarded this honor.  The American College of Bankruptcy is an honorary association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals whose fellows include bankruptcy judges, attorneys, and other practitioners in the bankruptcy and insolvency community.  Those selected as Fellows demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, character, integrity, professional expertise, leadership, and scholarship contributing to the enhancement of the insolvency field.  


Fri, 2/02/2018 - 2:30 pm

Our Court web page has a new feature.  Under the "Judges' Information" tab you will find a new link to "Chambers' Bulletins."  This link will take you to a new page containing messages and important announcements from one or more of the Judges of the Court.  Recent Chambers' Bulletins are available on the opening page of the web site, opposite News & Announcements.  News & Announcements will continue to report courtwide news, administrative matters, and news from the Clerk's office.  Chambers' Bulletins will contain courtroom and chambers news and information.

If you practice in one division or need to consult the preferences and practices of a particular judge you can restrict your search to that judge (and can even choose to subscribe only to alerts from that judge).  Announcements by the Chief Judge and those on behalf of all the Judges will be under the "On Behalf of the Court" heading and all CM/ECF registered users will receive alerts with those messages, along with News & Announcements alerts as in the past.  Substantive messages from the old Judges' Corner Archive are still available on the Chambers' Bulletins page.

 The Court's web page also has a new Advanced Search Feature.  To access the Advanced Search feature, click on the "Go" button in the search feature on the upper right hand side of the web page.  A Search page will appear, and below the box for "Enter your keywords", "Advanced search" will appear.  If you click on Advanced search, you will have various options for searching.  Using this feature, you can search specific keywords and can select options to search only Chambers' Bulletins or News & Announcements. 


Fri, 1/26/2018 - 1:29 pm

The Chapter 13 Interest Rate Committee has met and recommended an increase to the presumptive interest rate in chapter 13 cases.  After consideration, the Court has adopted the recommendation of the committee.  The presumptive interest rate in chapter 13 cases to be applied to secured claims will become 6.00%, effective for cases filed on or after March 1, 2018.  Operating Order 18-01 adopting the new interest rate is available here.  The Court thanks the members of the Chapter 13 Interest Rate Committee for their work and recommendation.


Mon, 1/22/2018 - 11:53 am

Notwithstanding the lapse in appropriations for the federal government, the federal judiciary, including our Bankruptcy Court, remains open and continues to provide all usual services. The Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system is operational. 

The Court will provide additional information as necessary.


Mon, 1/08/2018 - 3:53 pm

The Court has received comments from some attorneys raising concerns about editing limitations in the fillable pdf version of the chapter 13 form plan available on the Court’s website.  While the Court’s IT staff will continue efforts to make the fillable pdf form as user friendly as possible, there are unfortunately inherent limitations in the pdf version of the plan which may make editing it difficult.  In the event that you experience difficulty using the fillable pdf version of the form plan, the Court recommends using either the Word or WordPerfect version of the form plan.  Both are available on the Court’s website on the Local Forms page under the heading “Local Rules Forms.”  Please note that due to licensing issues, the Court may not be able to provide future support for the WordPerfect version of the form plan.

The Court has also revised the chapter 13 form plan to correct a scrivener’s error in section 4.4.  A check box has been added before the third, “Other Priority Debt” box.  This change has been made to all available versions of the chapter 13 form plan.


Judge Waites

Mon, 3/05/2018 - 2:42 pm

362 Settlement Orders – Conduit

Effective today, at the request of the Chapter 13 Trustees, chambers will be eliminating the 362 settlement orders that result in the Debtor participating in the Conduit Procedure after previously making regular payments directly to the mortgage creditor. These settlement orders include Exhibit K, Exhibit L and Exhibit M. For cases pending that are assigned to Judge Waites, a 362 settlement order that provides for the maintenance of regular mortgage payments shall be by direct payments from the debtor to the mortgage creditor. 

Use of New Certification of Facts Form

As part of the changes to the local rules in December of last year, the form Certification of Facts was modified to provide a more detailed breakdown of the liens on the property that is subject to a motion for relief. The new form is available in the Local Forms section on the Court’s website. Chambers has observed that many of the recently filed motions for relief are not utilizing the updated form certification of facts. 

Please note that for purposes of motions filed under 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(1) (for cause including lack of adequate protection), equity refers to the amount of equity above the movant’s lien, which is not always the net equity amount regarding all of the liens on the property.

Delegation of Service of LM/MM Orders

Starting today, the service of any Order Requiring Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification is delegated to Debtor’s counsel, and the Clerk of Court’s office will cease service of this order.

As a reminder, the service of the Order Appointing LM/MM Mediator and Order Regarding LM/MM Procedures (early case order) is also delegated to Debtor’s counsel by the terms of those orders.

LM/MM Reports, Emails and Correspondence

Chambers has recently received several emails and correspondence regarding LM/MM. Please note that any requests for a status hearing on a pending LM/MM review, including a hearing on the debtor’s timeliness to submit an application in the Portal, should be requested through a filed correspondence on CM/ECF. Chambers will not act upon email requests for a status hearing.

Also, any request for relief based on a party’s alleged wrongful conduct or lack of good faith in the LM/MM process should be sought through the filing of a Motion to Enforce LM/MM. Chambers will not act upon such requests for relief if included in a LM/MM Report, a filed correspondence or an email to chambers.

 


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