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Chambers' Bulletins

Fri, 11/30/2007 - 4:00 am

Order Setting Procedures for Approval of Attorney’s Fees in Chapter 13 Cases (Operating Order 07-12): The Judges are pleased to have considered and finalized an order that establishes an expedited procedure for approval of attorneys’ fees in chapter 13 cases effective January 1, 2008. Revisions to the Chapter 13 Form Plan were also necessary to implement the new procedure. The Judges would like to thank the numerous groups from which input was received: the Court’s Advisory Committee, the Chapter 13 Attorneys Working Group, the consumer debtors’ attorneys email group, and the Chapter 13 Trustees. The Court, with the assistance of the chapter 13 trustees, plans to sponsor training sessions to assist with implementation of the Order in the future.

Local Rule 4001-4 (Operating Order 07-13): As a result of the amendment to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 4001(d) effective December 1, 2007, revisions to the form agreement relating to Rule 4001(d) (Exhibit A to Local Rule 4001-4) are necessary. Revised Exhibit A shall become the mandatory form effective December 1, 2007.

Returned Mail (Amended Operating Order 07-03): In order to continue to address the volume of returned mail received by the Court, Operating Order 07-03 has been amended. The amendment provides that in instances of cases that are or soon will be closed, or cases that have been reopened, the Clerk’s Office will no longer delete or correct such address. The attorney for the debtor should continue to ensure the accuracy of the list of creditors and mailing matrix, and continue to review and submit any needed address changes or deletions of creditors to the mailing matrix upon the filing of a motion to reopen a case.

Fri, 11/30/2007 - 4:00 am

The monthly Bankruptcy Ask-A-Lawyer program was conducted on November 27, 2007. Thanks to George Cauthen, George Clauer, Rose Manos, and Rick Steadman for the volunteering of their time and efforts to the program. The next session for Ask-A-Lawyer is planned December 11, 2007.

Wed, 11/28/2007 - 4:00 am

CARE Program presentations were conducted on November 14, 2007 to 40 students at The Technology Center, Orangeburg Consolidated District #5 and on November 28, 2007 to 350 students at Lexington High School. Both presentations were a great success and a rewarding experience for everyone involved. The Judges of the Bankruptcy Court would like to thank Daniel Stone and Janet Haigler for volunteering for the Technology Center presentation and Jane Downey, Lex Rogerson, Daniel Stone, Linda Barr and Donna DeMichael for volunteering for the Lexington High School presentation. If you are interested in volunteering for future CARE Program presentations, please send an e-mail to Lisa Dunbar at

Mon, 11/19/2007 - 4:00 am

The Judges of the United States Bankruptcy Court would like to remind the members of the bankruptcy bar of the social hour scheduled for 5:30 p.m. this evening in Columbia at the Flying Saucer. The Flying Saucer is located at 931 Senate Street in the Vista. All three Judges and the Clerk of Court will be present. We hope to see you there!

Wed, 11/14/2007 - 4:00 am

A more detailed agenda, including an alternative session now addressing Chapter 11 Matters, has been posted here. We have received a great response to this year's paralegal seminar to be held this Friday, November 16, 2007. The registration deadline is today, so please submit your form as soon as possible (see 11/6/07 posting for details).

Wed, 11/07/2007 - 4:00 am

Consumer Practice Initiatives: The following information may be of interest to the bar.

A. Chapter 13 Attorneys Fees: An operating order that establishes an expedited procedure for approval of attorneys' fees in chapter 13 cases is in its final stages and has been forwarded to the Court's Advisory Committee for consideration. In association therewith, the court is also considering certain minor changes to the language of the form plan required by the new procedure. Upon finalization, the new procedures would be published with an effective date of January 1, 2008.

B. Working Group on Mortgage Related Issues: A Working Group of lawyers representing all practice specialties and geographic areas was appointed on September 30, 2007 to discuss various issues arising in 362 practice and related mortgage issues. The Group made its report on November 1 with the following among its several recommendations:

1. The court should enforce the requirement in the 362 Certification of Facts form for a complete post petition payment history in order to improve the resolution of payment disputes.

2. The court should consider a 24 month sunset provision for the ex parte relief provisions of a consent 362 order. In the event of a default after 24 months, the debtor would be afforded an opportunity to respond to the assertion of default either in a pleading or at a hearing.

3. The court should provide guidance on allowable post petition charges or fees for mortgage creditors.

4. The present reinstatement of stay and resumption of payment procedures appear effective for addressing those situations. The adoption of a form for a reinstatement of stay order may be helpful.

5. The present methods of asserting disputes between a debtor and a mortgage creditor regarding incorrect charges or fees appear effective in providing a resolution.

The Working Group discussed but could not agree to recommend the proposal for inclusion of additional language in the form plan that references 524(i) and specifically the language referenced in the Ballard decision which is used by a district in North Carolina. After consideration by the judges, the Working Group recommended further discussion of this issue. Until that time, these matters would be addressed by the court on a case by case basis.

The judges appreciate the contribution of the members of the Working Group: Cynthia Lowery, Dana Wilkinson, Eddye Lane, Jennifer Rubin, John Kay, and Michael Drose.

Wed, 11/07/2007 - 4:00 am

The Bankruptcy Court is seeking volunteers to participate in the following CARE Program presentations scheduled for November:

November 14, 2007-The Technology Center, Orangeburg Consolidated District # 5

Two Sessions (25 students per session)

1st - 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

2nd - 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Two volunteers are needed for this presentation (one volunteer for each session).

November 28, 2007 - Lexington High School

Two sessions (170 students per session)

1st - 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

2nd - 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Four volunteers are needed for this presentation (two volunteers for each session).

Please send an e-mail to Lisa Dunbar at by November 9, 2007 if you are interested in volunteering for any of these sessions. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa at (803) 765-5159.

Tue, 11/06/2007 - 4:00 am

Reminder that the registration deadline for the paralegal seminar is Friday, November 9, 2007. Click here for registration details and the seminar agenda. Please allow enough time to enter the courthouse and be seated for the 9:30 a.m. opening remarks - new security regulations mandate the removal and x-ray of shoes for visitors that trigger the metal detector.

Fri, 11/02/2007 - 5:00 am

The Judges of the United States Bankruptcy Court would like to invite the members of the Bankruptcy bar to join them for a social hour on November 19, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. at the Flying Saucer. The Flying Saucer is located at 931 Senate Street in the Vista. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Kistler at (803) 765-5030.

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