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Chambers' Bulletins

Tue, 10/29/2013 - 5:00 am

Debtors who are incapacitated, disabled or on active military duty in a combat zone may request a finding by the court that the debtor is unable to complete the requirements for pre-filing credit counseling (11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(1)) or an instructional course concerning personal financial management as a condition of discharge (11 U.S.C. §§ 727(a)(11), and 1328(g)(1)). The court has posted four form motions for use in requesting this relief pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 109(h)(4). A debtor may request:

  1. a waiver of both the credit counseling and debtor education requirements in a chapter 7 case with one motion;

  2. a waiver only of credit counseling in a chapter 13 case;

  3. a waiver only of financial management requirement later in a chapter 13 case; and

  4. a waiver of the financial management requirement in a chapter 7 case when credit counseling was not initially waived.

Beginning November 1, 2013, the debtor is responsible for selecting a passive notice hearing date, completing the form motion, serving all parties in interest, filing documentation of the condition as noted in the motion, and presenting a completed proposed order. A new CM/ECF event has been created for the filing of documentation in support of these motions (Restricted Documents in Support of Waiver of Credit Counseling or Financial Management) and these documents are available only to the trustee, United States trustee, and judge. Please do not use previous versions of these forms.

Tue, 10/29/2013 - 5:00 am

The chapter 13 plan provides that if a secured tax debt is to be valued, the debtor will file a separate motion to value the claim and determine priority. The bar is presently using several different events to file the motion and filing the motion passively and non-passively. The Court has eliminated the CM/ECF events "Determine Tax Liability" and "Establish Tax Claim" and created the event "Value Tax Claim and Establish Priority," which should be used for this type of motion. Pursuant to SC LBR 9013-4, this motion should be set for a definite hearing and not filed passively.

Tue, 10/29/2013 - 5:00 am

The following technical amendments are made to the local rules effective November 1:

(1) SC LBR 3015-3(a) was amended to clarify that a domestic support obligation recipient should be served with a copy of Exhibit A to that rule;

(2) Exhibits A and C to SC LBR 3015-5 were amended to clarify that a debtor does not need to file a certificate of completion of an instructional course in financial management if the debtor has sought and received a waiver; and

(3) 9013-3 was amended to clarify the obligation to file a certificate of service for delegated matters within seven days and clarify that a delegated party may attach a Notice of Electronic Filing to the certificate of service as evidence that some or all of the parties who require notice have received it.

(4) As indicated in the August 30, 2013 announcement on the local rules, delegated matters have expanded in SC LBR 5075-1 and more matters have been added for self-scheduling under SC LBR 9013-4. In SC LBR 5075-1, delegations were added to (a)(6)-(9), (b)(1)-(3), (c)(3)-(9), and (d)(12)-(22). Various other delegated sections were amended to clarify that the obligations imposed therein arise regardless of whether the delegated party is the prevailing party. Exhibits A and C to 9013-4 were restyled to organize self-scheduled matters into certain categories. Exhibit A was also amended to add: extensions of time to file a chapter 11 plan; motions under SC LBR 1015-1; and requests for exemptions from credit counseling or financial management. The time period to object to a motion for relief from the co-debtor stay was also reduced from 21 to 14 days. The Court removed from the passive list applications to employ and consensual motions to modify a mortgage, which may be considered ex parte. Exhibit C was amended to add: applications to employ nunc pro tunc; reconsideration of stay relief orders; motions under Rule 3002.1; motions to extend the exclusivity period; motions to appoint a chapter 11 trustee; motions to convert or dismiss by a creditor or party in interest and by the debtor (if there was a previous conversion); motions by the United States trustee under § 707(b); and motions to continue the administration of the case after the death of the debtor.

New CM/ECF events are available for the self-scheduled matters added to SC LBR 9013-4. The Court continues to modify CM/ECF events for matters delegated under SC LBR 5075-1. Delegated parties should serve and file a certificate of service for delegated matters under SC LBR 5075-1 when the docket text indicates: "Notice and service of this event are delegated pursuant to SC LBR 5075-1." The judges wish to thank the Local Rules Committee for reviewing of these modifications.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 5:00 am

The American Bar Association has set aside the week of October 20 - 26, 2013 to recognize attorneys who represent those who cannot afford help with legal matters and to encourage those who have not yet taken up the cause of helping others. Our bench is especially appreciative of the efforts of the bar of our court to ensure that those most in need receive assistance with their bankruptcy cases. We celebrate the long tradition of the bankruptcy bar providing free legal assistance through organized efforts coordinated by the South Carolina Bar, Legal Services, and this court. The South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association has recognized those extending exceptional efforts to assist with pro bono and promoted participation by its members. If you have taken one or more cases on a pro bono basis in 2013 or provided financial or law firm support toward these efforts, thank you. If you have not done so please consider the opportunity and promote equal access to justice.

David R. Duncan
Chief U. S. Bankruptcy Judge
District of South Carolina

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