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Chambers' Bulletins

Thu, 3/09/2017 - 2:49 pm

The following changes apply to cases assigned to Judge Waites and are effective starting March 30, 2017, unless otherwise advised.

Wage Orders

Wage orders have been shown to be beneficial for debtors and have contributed to successful chapter 13 reorganizations. Therefore, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1325(c), unless otherwise exempted, debtors shall submit to a wage order in all new chapter 13 cases that are assigned to Judge Waites. For cases assigned to Trustee Wyman, debtors may alternatively use a Trustee-approved electronic account deduction program in lieu of submitting to a wage order. 

The complete guidelines requiring the payment of plan payments and wage orders are available here, which include a list of the available exemptions and a copy of the standard consent form indicating the payment method for post-confirmation trustee payments.

Ex parte Relief Due to Default on Settlement Order

The guidelines for submitting affidavits of default pursuant to a § 362 settlement order have been changed. Future affidavits shall include an attachment which demonstrates the direct payments made after the entry of the settlement order and their application, rather than the previous requirement, which required that the attachment demonstrate “all direct post petition payments and their application.” The revised version of the guideline is available here.

Consent Allowing Payment of Funds to Creditor/Debtor Attorney

Non-Conduit Cases

In connection with conversion or dismissal of a non-conduit chapter 13 case, a debtor may consent to the payment of outstanding attorney’s fees and costs that are owed to debtor’s counsel as part of the Chapter 13 Trustee’s final distribution. The following forms may be used to request such payment: Consent Form and Proposed Order.

To file these consents on the docket, a new CM/ECF event has been created entitled “Consent Allowing Payment of Funds to Creditor/Debtor Attorney- Non Conduit.” When using this event, a proposed Order should not be filed until such time as there is a pending motion for dismissal/conversion.

Conduit Cases

Judge Waites has revised the forms for consenting to the payment to the Mortgage Creditor or Debtor’s Counsel upon the conversion or dismissal of a conduit chapter 13 case. These updated forms are attached here: Consent Form and Proposed Order. Counsel should continue to utilize the CM/ECF entitled “Consent Allowing Payment of Funds to Creditor/Debtor Attorney- Conduit.” When using this event, a proposed order should not be filed until such time as there is a pending motion for dismissal/conversion.

Wed, 3/01/2017 - 5:08 pm

Judge Duncan has made minor revisions to the Chapter 13 Matters section and Exhibit F of his Chambers Guidelines to bring the guidelines in conformance with the amendments to SC LBR 3015-2.  Minor revisions have also been made to Exhibits A and B to the Chambers Guidelines to reflect a recent name change of the CM/ECF event for "Adversary Proceeding Report."

Tue, 2/28/2017 - 3:48 pm

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.

Thu, 2/23/2017 - 10:46 am

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%.

Fri, 2/03/2017 - 3:08 pm

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 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

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 no later than February 14, 2017.

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.

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

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.


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