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Chambers' Bulletins
01/2017

Judge Waites

Mon, 1/30/2017 - 3:56 pm

1. Amended LM/MM Program  

The Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification Program was amended effective January 15, 2017 as provided in the December 19, 2016 News and Announcements posting, which is available here. 

I. Forms: Chambers has received requests for copies of the new forms in individual word documents. These documents are attached below: 

     Notice and Motion for Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification 

     Order Requiring Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification 

     Order Appointing LM/MM Mediator 

II. Exemption: The amended LM/MM procedures provide that a mediator will be appointed in every case in which the Portal is utilized unless otherwise exempted by the Court. Parties may request an exemption by filing a motion (using the Motion event in CM/ECF) or correspondence simultaneously with the filing of a Notice and Motion for Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification which demonstrates cause. Since the exemption may be granted without a hearing, the proposed Order Requiring LM/MM may be modified to remove references to the mediator. An example of a modified Order Requiring LM/MM (without reference to a mediator) is available here. The granting of such an exemption, however, may limit the debtor’s ability in the future to seek the appointment of a mediator or other enforcement of the LM/MM Order.  

2. Reporting Non-Portal LM/MM Efforts 

As stated in the Chambers Guidelines for Judge Waites and required by the Order Regarding Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification Procedures entered early in each chapter 13 case, parties shall report to the Court through correspondence any non-portal loss mitigation/mortgage modification efforts during the bankruptcy case. Failure to timely report these non-portal efforts may result in the Court requiring a hearing attended by all parties to consider any Consent Order Approving Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification (Non-Portal) or Consent Order Approving Trial Period Plan (Non-Portal) filed with the Court. 

3. Standard 362 Settlement Order for Lack of Insurance 

Judge Waites has developed a standard 362 settlement order for use in circumstances where lack of insurance or force placed insurance was the cause of the 362 motion. This standard 362 settlement order is available here.  

The judge invites comments or questions regarding these announcements to be sent to Andrew_Powell@scb.uscourts.gov no later than February 14, 2017.


Tue, 1/10/2017 - 10:10 am

The following are effective starting January 20, 2017, unless otherwise advised.

Comments may be provided by January 17, 2017 to Andrew_Powell@scb.uscourts.gov.

 

Standard 362 Settlement Orders for cases filed after October 1, 2016 (Conduit Eligible Cases):

Judge Waites has implemented standard 362 settlement orders for Chapter 13 cases filed after October 1, 2016 (Conduit Eligible Case) where the debtor(s) have failed to pay mortgage creditors directly as proposed in their Chapter 13 plan. These standard orders may also be voluntarily used in cases filed prior to October 1, 2016. The standard orders are as follows:

(1)    Conduit: Applicable in cases where the parties agree that payments to cure the post-petition arrearage and the future monthly mortgage payments will be paid to the Trustee through plan payments. This standard order contemplates the Trustee’s preference that the post-petition arrearage be cured over the remaining term of the Chapter 13 plan. This standard 362 settlement order is available here.

 

(2)    Conduit & Direct Pay: Applicable in cases where the parties agree that: (1) ongoing mortgage payments will be paid to the Trustee through plan payments and (2) monthly payments to cure the post-petition arrearage will be paid directly to the Movant by the Debtor. If the value/equity above the movant’s lien in the property exceeds $5,000.00, parties shall use this order. In cases where the value/equity above the movant’s lien is less than $5,000.00, the parties shall use this order. Parties should schedule the cure payments under the following uniform standards:

 

Number of Missed Post-Petition Payments  Length of Cure Period 
0 - 6 Months  12 month cure 
7 - 12 Months  24 month cure 
More than 12 Months  To be determined at a hearing before the Court 

 

Standard 362 Settlement Order for Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification:

In addition, Judge Waites has implemented a standard 362 settlement order for all Chapter 13 cases in which the parties resolve a 362 motion through loss mitigation/mortgage modification. This standard 362 settlement order is available here.

Mediation for Valuation Disputes:

A pilot program providing mediation in contested valuation proceedings involving real estate or large value personal property has been very successful in reducing the costs to the parties and the number of contested hearings before the Court. Therefore, Judge Waites is implementing this mediation in all of his Chapter 13 cases.  A copy of the Valuation Dispute Mediation Program guidelines and a copy of the standard mediation order are available here. Please note that counsel is required to immediately notify Chambers at judgewaites_porders@scb.uscourts.gov as well as the Chapter 13 Trustee upon the filing of an objection involving the valuation of a secured claim on real estate or large value personal property.

Reporting Disputes involving Domestic Support Obligations:

Upon the filing of an objection to confirmation or a response to an objection to a proof of claim demonstrating disputes related to domestic support obligations (“DSO”), the debtor’s and opposing counsel shall immediately notify Chambers of the DSO dispute by an email to judgewaites_porders@scb.uscourts.gov with a copy to the Chapter 13 Trustee for consideration of mediation or other case management processes.


On Behalf of the Court

Wed, 1/18/2017 - 4:55 pm

We pause today to reflect on the history of the grand old building that we know as the J. Bratton Davis United States Bankruptcy Courthouse. Built to replace the Reconstruction era federal courthouse at the corner of Main and Laurel Streets (now Columbia’s City Hall), construction of the “new” federal district courthouse and office building began in 1936.

Judge John J. Parker, senior member of the Court of Appeals, spoke at the January 18, 1937 dedication of the new federal courthouse at 1100 Laurel Street and stated that the beautiful building was “committed to the administration of justice.” Clint T. Graydon of the Richland Bar Association referred to the new building as “a Temple of Justice, not a monument.” A photograph of members of the bar standing on the front steps of the courthouse was taken. A framed copy of the photograph is displayed in the Public Services area on the first floor and is one of our prized possessions. Some of you may recall Judge J. Bratton Davis reminiscing, on the occasion of a ceremony to mark his retirement that he, then a young student at the University of South Carolina, was present at the dedication and thought that someday the building might be important.

The building housed the United States District Court and a host of federal agencies until 1979. The District Court relocated to the Strom Thurmond Courthouse in 1979 and is now in the Matthew J. Perry Jr. Courthouse. The Bankruptcy Court and United States Attorney jointly occupied the building for a number of years, but eventually outgrew it and the United States Attorney moved off-site. In 2000 the building was renamed in honor of Judge Davis.

The Historic Columbia Foundation published a short monograph concerning the building. You can find it here.


Wed, 1/11/2017 - 10:16 am

Pursuant to Administrative Orders available here, the Court has appointed new members to the Advisory Committee on Local Rules and Practice and the Interest Rates in Chapter 13 Cases Committee. Kathleen Muthig will serve as the chair of the Local Rules Committee and Jimmy Wyman will serve as the chair of the Chapter 13 Interest Rate Committee.

The new members of the Advisory Committee on Local Rules and Practice are as follows:

  • Kathleen M. Muthig
  • John Timothy Stack
  • Katherine L. Rea
  • Michael Kevin McCarrell
  • Russell A. DeMott
  • Michael H. Weaver
  • Christine E. Brimm

The new members of the Interest Rates in Chapter 13 Cases Committee are as follows:

  • James M. Wyman
  • F. Lee O’Steen
  • Jackson Turner-Vaught
  • Suzanne G. Grigg
  • Jason D. Wyman

Thank you to all who agreed to serve on these committees.


Tue, 1/10/2017 - 11:48 am

 

The Court would like to thank the following attorneys for their two years of service on the Advisory Committee on Local Rules and Practice:

            Joseph Mitchell
            Tim Stack
            Marilyn Gartley
            Tara Nauful
            Christine Loftis
            Adam Floyd

Additionally, the Court would like to thank the following attorneys for their two years of service on the Interest Rates in Chapter 13 Cases Committee:

            Gretchen Holland
            Ann Bell
            Michael Conrady
            Benjamin Matthews
            Kathleen Muthig

 The Court will issue Administrative Orders appointing new members to each committee in the next few days.


Judge Duncan

Tue, 1/17/2017 - 1:19 pm

To assist in efficiently handling 362 settlement orders in conduit cases, the Court has made available a new form settlement order in Judge Duncan cases only. A sample is available here. The Request for Settlement Order on Motion for Relief from Stay event has been modified to require users to indicate if the bankruptcy case is changing from a non-conduit to a conduit case. After selection of the conduit option and proper input of the required information, the trustee is notified of the request for a settlement order, and upon her consent, the new form settlement order will be generated and sent to Judge Duncan for review and signature


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