Tomorrow’s bar meeting in Columbia will be held after the hearings scheduled before Judge Waites at 1:30 PM at the J. Bratton Davis U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse (1100 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201). Counsel may request to attend the bar meeting by telephone by emailing Agnes Babb (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Regina Schmidt (email@example.com) before the end of business today.
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Statements of Dispute: The guidelines update the procedures on the filing of Joint Statements of Dispute and Separate Statements of Dispute, including an update to the Joint Statement form and the addition of a new form Statement of Dispute. In addition, for objections to chapter 13 plans, parties are to submit a joint statement of dispute upon the earlier of 30 days after the filing of the objection or 10 A.M. two business days before the scheduled confirmation hearing.
- Separate Guidelines on LM/MM: While incorporated into the Chambers Guidelines, the procedures on LM/MM are now separately stated for ease of reference pursuant to Operating Order 18-06.
Judge Waites invites members of the bar and their staff to a meeting to review Operating Order 18-04, which will be effective October 1, 2018, and to discuss other matters involving the chapter 13 practice. The Charleston Meeting will be held in the Charleston courtroom on Thursday, September 6, 2018 after Court concludes (approximately 11:00 A.M.). The Columbia Meeting will be held in the Columbia courtroom on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 1:30 P.M. Chambers expects each of these meeting to be no longer than one hour.
Telephone attendance will be available for both meetings. In addition, video attendance will be available for the Charleston meeting. To attend the meeting by telephone or video, please make a written request to Regina Schmidt (Regina_Schmidt@scb.uscourts.gov) and Agnes Babb (Agnes_Babb@scb.uscourts.gov) no later than 10 A.M. one day before the scheduled meeting.
Judge Waites is pleased to welcome Claire Voegele as a law clerk in his chambers in Charleston, beginning September 4, 2018. Claire is a 2017 honors graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, and recently completed a clerkship with the Honorable Robert H. Hodges, Jr. of the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington D.C. We look forward to working with Claire and welcome her to the Court.
At the suggestion of Trustees Stephenson and Wyman, Judge Waites has entered Operating Order 18-04, which modifies the confirmation procedure in the cases before him filed on or after October 1, 2018. The changes are not applicable in matters before any other judge.
The new procedures are more similar to the procedures previously used in this District, but do not change the requirement to use the local form Chapter 13 plan adopted by the Court.
The Trustees and Court will conduct bar meetings to review the changes and to receive input/comments from the bar as follows:
Charleston Meeting: Thursday, September 6, 2018 after the completion of the chapter 13 docket (approximately 11:00 AM) at 145 King Street, Room 225, Charleston, SC 29401.
Columbia Meeting: Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 1:30 PM at the J. Bratton Davis U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse, 1100 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201.
Further logistical announcements for the meetings will be made next Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Judge Waites and his case team wish to thank Tara Nauful for her service as a career law clerk in Charleston over the past two years. Tara's extensive legal experience, excellent judgment and skills have been invaluable, and she will be greatly missed by the Court and the Bar. We all wish her well as she embarks upon a sabbatical, during which time she looks forward to having more time to travel and to spend with her family. Tara's last day in chambers will be August 3rd.
As a result, Judge Waites will accept applications for the position of a term law clerk in the Charleston or Columbia office. Please click here for the vacancy announcement.
Effective July 1, 2018, the Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification (“LM/MM”) guidelines for Judge Waites will be revised as previously announced on June 1, 2018. In addition, the LM/MM forms have been updated, and are attached to this announcement. Below are the forms that have been updated or discontinued:
Exhibit P - Notice and Motion for Loss Mitigation Mortgage Modification Pursuant to Judge Waites’ Chambers Guidelines: A “Track Changes” copy of the Notice and Motion is included in the attachments to highlight the changes to the Notice and Motion.
Exhibit Q - Order Requiring Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification: Upon the filing of the Notice and Motion for Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification using the Loss Mitigation/Mediation CM/ECF event, this Order will be generated by CM/ECF for the Judge’s consideration.
Exhibit R – Order Appointing Mediator: As the updated guidelines delay the appointment of a LM/MM mediator, this Order will no longer be utilized by the Court.
In addition, Judge Waites has revised the LM/MM Settlement Order on Motion for Relief from Stay (Exhibit N), a copy of which is attached to this announcement. The LM/MM 362 Settlement Order has also been added to the CM/ECF Request for Settlement Order on Motion for Relief from Stay (Judge Waites). By using this CM/ECF event, a proposed 362 settlement order and a proposed order requiring LM/MM will be generated by CM/ECF for the Judge’s consideration.
If you have any questions about the new LM/MM forms, please contact Andrew Powell (Andrew_Powell@scb.uscourts.gov).
On Behalf of the Court
The Administrative Office for United States Courts issues an annual report compiled from statistics collected by the Clerks of Court of the Bankruptcy Courts in bankruptcy cases filed around the nation. The report is required by the 2005 Reform Act and it reflects information garnered from consumer cases. You can find the full report and statistical tables at http://www.uscourts.gov/news/2018/08/27/bankruptcy-report-gives-details-2017-filers.
Consumer filings in South Carolina decreased 0.70% in 2017. In South Carolina, the median monthly income reported by individual debtors in chapter 7 cases was $2,407 per month, compared with $2,582 in the Fourth Circuit and $2,488 nationwide. Median expenses in South Carolina chapter 7 cases were $2,574 per month, compared with $2,890 in the Fourth Circuit and $2,659 nationwide. For chapter 13 cases, the median income in South Carolina was $3,288 per month, compared with $3,579 in the Fourth Circuit and $3,287 nationwide. Median expenses in South Carolina chapter 13 cases were $2,450, compared with $2,947 in the Fourth Circuit and $2,616 nationwide.
South Carolina enjoys a slightly higher chapter 13 case completion rate than the rest of the country. Nationwide, the plan completion rate was 48.38% for 2017, and in South Carolina the completion rate was 50.45%. The Fourth Circuit had a slightly higher completion rate, at 50.88%.
A summary of the report and a comparison of South Carolina's data to the rest of the 4th Circuit and the nation can be found here.
David Kershaw, current term law clerk for Judge Burris in the Spartanburg Division, will soon leave the Court to join Turner Padget in Greenville, S.C. His last day in the office will be Thursday, August 23. David has provided excellent service to the Court over the past two years and we wish him well.
We also welcome Jason Ward as term law clerk in Spartanburg, effective August 20. Jason is a 2012 graduate of USC School of Law, and we look forward to the benefit of his experiences as a practicing bankruptcy attorney. Jason joins career clerk, Lauren Maxwell, who will return from maternity leave (twins!) on September 10.
Nicholas Hulse, Judge Duncan's current law clerk, has accepted a position with Riley Pope & Laney, LLC in Columbia. Nick's last day is today, Friday, August 10. Judge Duncan would like to thank Nick for exemplary service over the past two years and extend best wishes as he begins his career in private practice.
Judge Duncan is also pleased to welcome Charles Buist to his chambers beginning August 20. Charles is a 2016 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. He also holds a master of business administration from the Darla Moore School of Business and a master of environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School. Prior to joining Judge Duncan's chambers, Charles served as a law clerk for Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr.