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Chambers' Bulletins
12/2016

Judge Waites

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 4:23 pm

The Guidelines and Forms used for LM/MM in Judge Waites’ cases have been revised to be effective for all notices and motions for LM/MM and Consent Orders Requiring LM/MM filed on or after January 15, 2017. The Guidelines and Forms are attached for review and comment by the Bar. Please direct all comments to Andrew Powell by January 9, 2017 at Andrew_Powell@scb.uscourts.gov. 

The primary changes in procedure are the appointment of a mediator in each case and the adjustment of supplemental attorney’s fees. A low cost, efficient mediation procedure is being adopted for all cases for the following reasons: 

  1. Mediation has been very successful in past LM/MM cases; 
  2. Early case mediation will ensure more timely submission by debtors of the required financial information and similarly a more timely acknowledgement and response by the mortgage creditor; 
  3. Early case mediation will result in the designation of local counsel for the mortgage creditor earlier in the case, which has proven to expedite the LM/MM review. 

The supplemental debtor’s attorney’s fee has been increased to $1,700 plus $300 for participation in a second mediation session, if necessary. The guidelines also allow debtor and counsel to agree to a different fee amount if paid directly by debtors outside of the Chapter 13 Plan. 

To accommodate form changes, they are provided in Word format and may be automated in the future.  

Upon final enactment of the guidelines and forms, Judge Waites anticipates being available for bar meetings in the applicable divisions to review the procedures.


Judge Duncan

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 4:52 pm

The Operating Orders (16-02 and 16-03), which govern Conduit Mortgage Payment Procedures, have been amended. The revisions are: (1) to revise footnote 13; (2) to amend Exhibit C, the form to be used for a debtor to consent to payment of funds to affected mortgage creditors and the debtor’s attorney upon conversion or dismissal and to rename it Exhibit C.1; and (3) to add Exhibit C.2, a form order to be used in cases being converted when the debtor has signed a Consent in accordance with Exhibit C.1. The revised Operating Orders are available here.
Additionally, the Court has made new CM/ECF events available to be used in chapter 13 conduit cases. The events are as follows:

  1. Exemption from Conduit Mortgage Payment Requirement. The event is located in the Motions/Applications menu and may be used by any party seeking an exemption from the conduit mortgage payment requirement. This event may be used in Judge Duncan’s and Judge Waites’ cases.
  2. Mortgage Creditor Report. The event is located in the Other and Creditor Claims Actions menu and may be used by a mortgage creditor for filing its report in response to a Trustee’s Request for Mortgage Creditor Report. This event may be used in all Judges’ cases.
  3. Consent Allowing Payment of Funds to Creditor(s) and Debtor(s) Attorney-Conduit. The event is located in the Other menu and may be used by a debtor to consent to payment of funds to a conduit mortgage creditor and to the debtor’s attorney in the event of a conversion or pre-confirmation dismissal of the case. This event may be used in all Judges’ cases, and the Judges encourage the filing of the Consent at the beginning of the case whenever possible. In any event, the Consent must be filed before an order allowing the payment can be obtained. Note that it is the debtor’s attorney’s responsibility to ensure that an order is proposed to the Court at the time conversion is requested. A form order for use in cases being converted is available here.

The Plan and Amended Plan events have also been revised to add an option to designate the plan as a conduit plan. Additional events have also been made available for use by the chapter 13 trustees.


On Behalf of the Court

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 11:19 am

Changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the South Carolina Local Bankruptcy Rules, and the Miscellaneous Fee Schedule are effective today. Amendments have been made to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1010, 1011, 1012, 2002, 3002.1, 7008, 7012, 7016, 9006, 9027, and 9033. Local Rule changes are detailed in the Court's November 21, 2016 Announcement and the fee changes are detailed in the November 17, 2016 Announcement.


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