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Chambers' Bulletins

On Behalf of the Court

Thu, 8/15/2019 - 9:28 am

The Judges remind the bar that SC LBR 5075-1 delegates the service of a variety of orders, including, for example, orders confirming plans, orders on motions to reconsider dismissal, and orders on motions to extend stay.  The docket text generated upon entry of the order reflects, and should remind you, whether the order is a delegated service order.  SC LBR 9013-3 requires filing certificates of service.  It appears that many attorneys either are not serving delegated orders or are serving orders but not filing certificates of service.  Failure to comply with the Local Rules may affect the enforceability of these orders.  Please review your internal office procedures to ensure that you are in compliance with the Local Rules.


Tue, 8/06/2019 - 8:10 am

The Court has released a new and improved opinions search feature on its website.  The opinions feature now allows a user to narrow the search by both search terms and Judge.  Additionally, the search terms feature has been enhanced.  To return results containing a particular phrase, use quotation marks around the entire phrase.  To return results containing a particular phrase within a certain number of words of another word or phrase, use quotation marks around the phrases and include "~[number of words]" between the phrases with no spaces.  For example, to search for automatic stay within 10 words of "debtor", use "automatic stay"~10debtor.  The Court will continue to review its search feature and will implement additional features and improvements as they become available.


Mon, 4/29/2019 - 1:10 pm

A technical amendment has been made to SC LBR 9013-4, Exhibit A to add Motions to Convert to Chapter 13 by a Chapter 7 Debtor to the list of matters that may be scheduled passively.  A 21-day objection period is required.  The Convert Case to 13 event has been modified to conform with the Court's passive notice procedures.  The Operating Order adopting the amendment is available hereSee FRBP 1017(f)(2) and 2002(a)(4).


Tue, 4/09/2019 - 11:04 am

On behalf of the Judges, thanks to the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association for an educational and enjoyable weekend in Savannah.  The Annual Seminar is open to all and is a must attend event for many in our practice area.  The speakers this year included United States Circuit Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr.  The 2020 seminar has been announced for March 20-22 in Asheville, N.C.

A highlight of the annual meeting is the presentation of the Association's William E.S. Robinson Public Service Award.  It is presented annually by the Board of Directors to a member rendering distinguished public service to the legal profession and community. 

This year Keith Poston of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP was recognized.  Keith practices in Columbia and was involved in the Bi-Lo, LLC chapter 11 and the Tuomey Healthcare Systems workout.  Last November the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges chose Keith to participate in its next generation program, naming him one of 40 up and coming bankruptcy practitioners with five to ten years experience. 

Keith has been involved with Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity since 2009 and a board member since 2014.  He currently serves as the Board's vice president.  Keith serves as counsel in Habitat's rare foreclosure actions.  The other Board members, while appreciating his legal work, note that he often works with Habitat clients to achieve a loan modification, refinance, or extension of mortgage terms.  According to Executive Director Roy Kramer, once a homeowner falls into foreclosure, "if they can come up with a plan, more times than not, Keith works it out.  He's pretty good at getting them back on track."

Keith also volunteers for the Wills for Heroes program (providing simple wills and medical powers of attorney to first responders), the South Carolina Guardianship Project (a probate court guardian program), and does pro bono family and landlord-tenant law.  Keith says he enjoys working on these matters because he is able to personally connect with his clients.  The Judges thank Keith for his efforts and congratulate him on the award.

David R. Duncan, Chief Judge


Wed, 3/27/2019 - 9:44 am

On April 1, 2019, various adjustments to the dollar amounts in the Bankruptcy Code, official forms, and in 28 U.S.C.  1409 will take effect.  A list of the affected sections and the new dollar amounts is available here.  In addition to these sections, the following official forms have been updated to reflect the new dollar amounts:

Official Form 106C, Schedule C:  The Property You Claim as Exempt;

Official Form 107, Statement of Financial Affairs for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy;

Official Form 122A-2, Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation;

Official Form 122C-2, Chapter 13 Calculation of Your Disposable Income;

Official Form 201, Voluntary Petition for Non-Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy;

Official Form 207, Statement of Financial Affairs for Non-Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy; and

Official Form 410, Proof of Claim.

The new amounts and forms should be used for all cases filed on or after April 1, 2019.


Thu, 3/14/2019 - 3:32 pm

The Judges have considered comments submitted by the bar and the chapter 13 trustees to the proposed changes to the chapter 13 plan.  The Judges would like to especially thank those that provided comments and suggestions during the process.  The Judges believe that the comments improved the final plan resulting from this process.  The Judges have adopted the attached form as the District-wide plan as provided in SC LBR 3015-1.  The revised form plan should be used for cases filed on or after May 1, 2019.


Judge Waites

Thu, 6/27/2019 - 9:11 am

Upon the recent retirement of Judge Waites’ Courtroom Deputy, in order to assist the transition of duties to other staff, effective July 1, 2019, Judge Waites will strictly follow the deadline requirements for timely submissions of continuance requests, settlements, and withdrawals (allowing for matters to be removed from the docket in advance of the hearings in uncontested matters) and joint statements of dispute and proposed exhibits in contested matters.

Failure to adhere to the requirements will require counsel to appear at all hearings and may require the postponement of a contested hearing or denial of the relief requested in the Judge’s discretion. Untimely requests to appear at hearings telephonically may also be denied.

For reference, the relevant sections of Chambers Guidelines are attached.

 


Tue, 4/23/2019 - 9:51 am

On March 14, 2019, the Bankruptcy Court announced modifications to the local form chapter 13 plan that will be effective for all cases filed on or after May 1, 2019.

Judge Waites invites members of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Bar that practice before him to a meeting to discuss how these District-wide changes will specifically affect the chapter 13 cases assigned to him. This meeting will address the cases assigned to both Trustee Wyman and Trustee Stephenson.

The meeting will be held at 11:30 AM after the close of the docket in Charleston scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2019. Attorneys and staff from either the Charleston or Columbia divisions may attend in person or by telephone. Please RSVP for the meeting to Agnes Babb at Agnes_Babb@scb.uscourts.gov no later than today at 3:00 PM. In the RSVP, please indicate whether you anticipate attending in person or by telephone.


Fri, 4/19/2019 - 8:48 am

Judge Waites’ term law clerk, Claire Voegele, has accepted the opportunity to serve as the law clerk for a United States District Court Judge in Columbia beginning at the end of this month. The Judge and members of his chambers and case team would like to thank Claire for her service and wish her well. Claire’s last day in chambers will be April 26, 2019.

With Claire’s departure, Judge Waites is happy to welcome back Sarah Kistler to his chambers as a law clerk on a part-time basis. She has previously served with distinction as Judge Waites’ career law clerk for many years prior to her family’s move to Georgia in 2016. Sarah will be teleworking from Georgia.


Thu, 4/18/2019 - 2:34 pm

On March 14, 2019, the Bankruptcy Court announced modifications to the local form chapter 13 plan that will be effective for all cases filed on or after May 1, 2019.

Judge Waites invites members of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Bar that practice before him to a meeting to discuss how these District-wide changes will specifically affect the chapter 13 cases assigned to him.

The meeting will be held at 11:30 AM after the close of the docket in Charleston scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2019. Attorneys and staff from either the Charleston or Columbia divisions may attend in person or by telephone. Please RSVP for the meeting to Agnes Babb at Agnes_Babb@scb.uscourts.gov no later than 12:00 PM on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. In the RSVP, please indicate whether you anticipate attending in person or by telephone.

Below is a short summary of the recent and upcoming changes to the chapter 13 practice that will be discussed in more detail at the meeting. A more detailed summary of these changes is available here.

Changes to the Chapter 13 Plan in cases filed on or after May 1, 2019:

Part 1: Changes to the notice to creditors of objection deadline.

Part 3:  Changes to #3.2 and #3.3 regarding the satisfaction of liens.

Part 4: Changes to #4.4 elimination of extraneous language and clarification.

Other recent and upcoming changes:  

Presumptive interest rate in Chapter 13 Cases filed on or after May 1, 2019 increases to 6.25%.

Adjustments to the dollar amounts listed in the Bankruptcy Code became effective on April 1, 2019.  Notably, Chapter 13 debt limits under §109(e) were changed to $419,275 unsecured and $1,257,850 secured for cases filed on or after that date.    Other changes to adjusted dollar amounts can be found here.


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