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:
- Mediation has been very successful in past LM/MM cases;
- 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;
- 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.