The judges, as announced in conjunction with the December 1, 2016 local rule amendments, have continued to consider amendments to SC LBR 3015-2. After notice and an opportunity for comment, amendments to the rule and to the forms associated with it have been adopted, effective March 1, 2017. This local rule establishes procedures and forms for modifications to chapter 13 plans, both prior to and after confirmation. The local rule has been amended to conform to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and requires notice of modifications, including in connection with base plan amendments (see Exhibits C-1 and C-2). The rule also sets the requirement as to parties to be served. Finally the local rule memorializes the procedure for payment changes initiated by the chapter 13 trustee in conduit cases as set forth in the respective operating orders of the three judges. A copy of Operating Order 17-1, adopting the amendments and providing forms, is available here.
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Pursuant to Local Rule 3015-6, the Court, in consultation with the Chapter 13 Interest Rate Committee, has determined that the presumptively reasonable interest rate in Chapter 13 plans remains 5.25%.
The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure met on January 3, 2017 and, among other things, recommended adoption of an amendment to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3015 requiring the use of an official chapter 13 plan form unless a district adopts a local plan that meets the requirements of proposed Rule 3015.1. Adoption of a number of amendments to the federal rules and of the form plan is on the consent calendar for the March meeting of the Judicial Council of the United States. Matters on the consent calendar generally have no previously expressed opposition. The Standing Committee has asked that, upon Council approval, the rules package and forms go to the Supreme Court and Congress in May with a view that they will be effective December 1, 2017. The chapter 13 rules and forms have been under consideration for a period of five years.
The 420 page Standing Committee working document may be accessed here.
The Judges of the Court seek the advice of the bar and the public in evaluating whether this district should default to the national plan or create a local form plan. Proposed Rule 3015.1 contains specific requirements for any local form plan. Please provide your recommendation whether the district should default to the national plan or adopt a local plan. The national plan makes provision for the addition of limited “non-standard” provisions. If you recommend the national plan, also suggest language for any “non-standard” provisions you think may be necessary considering the case law in our federal judicial circuit and district. If you recommend adopting a local form plan please state the reasons for your recommendation and suggest proposed plan language that you believe should be included in the district plan, including the basis for any such proposed plan provisions. You need not propose a complete plan.
For your convenience the national form plan, as most recently amended, is available here.
On or before March 10, 2017 recommendations should be forwarded electronically to Jeff_Davis@scb.uscourts.gov or mailed to:
United States Bankruptcy Court
1100 Laurel Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Attn: Jeff Davis – chapter 13 plan
David R. Duncan
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
District of South Carolina