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Chambers' Bulletins

Wed, 4/27/2016 - 5:00 am

Student Loan Debt No-Look Fee
The Court being aware that student loan debt issues are arising more and more in Chapter 13 cases and that the resolution of such issues is critical to the Debtor(s)' fresh start, issues the following guidelines to establish a procedure for compensation for counsel who provide services to Debtor(s) in addressing student loan debt in Chapter 13 cases assigned to Judge Waites. Click here to view the Student Loan Debt guidelines.

Supplemental No-Look Fee for Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification
An additional supplemental no-look fee for LM/MM shall be allowed for representation of Debtor(s) and the filing of related pleadings for the following matters:

  1. $500 - Hearing on Debtor(s)' motion to enforce LM/MM guidelines

  2. $500 - Mediation of LM/MM as ordered by the Court

The additional supplemental no-look fees set forth above may be requested at the hearing by oral motion and authorized by the Court, or in the event of mediation, the fees may be authorized upon the mediator's submission of a mediation report indicating that Debtor(s)' attorney actively participated in the mediation.

Announcement of Valuation Dispute Mediation Pilot Program
In an effort to facilitate communication and settlement of contested valuation issues in Chapter 13 cases and in order to reduce costs of contested hearings, mediation will be ordered in certain cases involving valuation of secured claims on real estate and large value personal property, such as manufactured homes, tractor trailers or RVs (but excluding automobiles). The Court shall select and appoint a mediator who will be compensated by a fee of $400, to be equally divided between the debtor(s) and creditor, and who will perform up to 2 hours of service in preparation or mediation sessions. The form mediation order, which provides an opportunity to settle before mediation and thereafter a schedule for mediation, may be viewed by clicking here.

Mon, 4/11/2016 - 5:00 am

Judge Waites is currently accepting applications for a law clerk position in Columbia or Charleston beginning on or about June 6, 2016. Please click here to view the vacancy announcement.

After nine years of service as Judge Waites' career law clerk, Sarah Kistler will be leaving his chambers in June to accompany her husband to Atlanta, Georgia as the result of his acceptance of a new position in that area. We wish her and her family great happiness in Georgia.

Thu, 4/07/2016 - 5:00 am


Amendments to Chambers Guidelines 

New Chambers Guidelines are posted for Judge Burris and Judge Duncan, including changes highlighted below.

Both Judge Burris and Judge Duncan have made the following changes to their Chambers Guidelines:

  • Chapter 13 Fees pursuant to SC LBR 2016-1(b)(2)

      The Judges added supplemental fee amounts for loss mitigation or mortgage loan modification of up to $1,500 and an additional Supplemental Fee Form. A CMECF event to facilitate the filing of this form will be enabled.

  • Requests for Order Regarding Loss Mitigation/Mediation and Notification of Permanent Loan Modifications

            The Judges added new provisions with this title to their Chambers Guidelines as a result of the new CMECF event available for cases assigned to them consistent with the New CMECF Events for Loss Mitigation/Mediation (Loan Modification) Requests announced on 4/1/2016.


Judge Burris has made the additional change to her Chambers Guidelines:

  • Chapter 13 Fees pursuant to SC LBR 2016-1(b)(1)

      Judge Burris has increased the expedited fee amount for the purposes of 2016-1(b)(1) to $4,000 for Consumer and $4,500 for business cases for all cases assigned to her in the Spartanburg division only.


Judge Duncan’s revised Chambers Guidelines are also available on the Court’s website.  Minor changes have been made throughout the Chambers Guidelines.  More significant changes to Judge Duncan’s Chambers Guidelines include:

  • Duty to Consult Concerning Attendance of Witnesses

Judge Duncan added a new section regarding contested matters to clarify that parties have a duty to consult regarding contested matters and must be prepared to go forward at the first scheduled hearing in the matter.  For chapter 13 confirmation hearings, if the matter remains disputed at the time of the first scheduled confirmation hearing, the matter will be rescheduled to an available dispute date, at which witnesses must appear.

  • Section 362 Settlement and Default Orders

Judge Duncan added a new section to address his preference that parties use the available CM/ECF events for section 362 settlement and default orders.





Fri, 4/01/2016 - 5:00 am

New CMECF Events for Loss Mitigation/Mediation (Loan Modification) Requests in Judge Duncan and Judge Burris Cases

The court has made two CMECF events available for use in chapter 13 cases assigned to Judges Burris and Duncan. The "Request for Loss Mitigation/Mediation" event requests stay relief to initiate loss mitigation discussions, including requests for loan modifications. It does not require creditor consent, no separate motion is necessary, and a court appearance is not required. A proposed order lifting the stay so that consensual discussions may take place is generated for the judge. The "Notification of Permanent Loan Modification" event notifies the trustee and court of a consensual, permanent loan modification. The event requires the attachment of the modification agreement. A proposed order authorizing the trustee to cease making mortgage arrearage payments under the plan (if any were called for) is generated for the judge. Once again, no motion or court appearance is required. The instructions for using the events can be found under Participant’s Guides on the court’s webpage. Copies of the proposed orders generated by the events will be added to chambers guidelines.

Judicial Opinions

An update has been posted to the Court's Judicial Opinions webpage. For the "10 Most Recently Posted" Opinions please click on this link.

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