The Portal, as a tool to facilitate LM/MM, was introduced in Judge Waites' cases on June 23, 2014 and indicated as the preferred procedure in January of 2015. It has been used in over 350 cases. South Carolina Debtors' counsel who have used the Portal extensively have reported success rates of over 70%, with success being defined as an offer and approval of a trial period plan opportunity for the debtor(s). According to statistics published by HAMP, the national success rate for modification programs is 45%. Therefore, Judge Waites continues to endorse the Portal in his cases and offers the following modifications to make the process more efficient.
Following a period for comment, Judge Waites has amended his Chambers Guidelines regarding Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification for cases assigned to him. The revised Guidelines and downloadable forms in Word format are available on the Court's website at http://www.scb.uscourts.gov/ChambersJW.htm. For the convenience of the Bar, the remaining exhibits to Chambers Guidelines are also now available as downloadable forms in Word format, including the stay relief forms and a new form order granting motion to substitute collateral or use insurance proceeds.
The revised Guidelines also reference several new CM/ECF events to facilitate the filing of documents related to the Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification ("LM/MM") procedures:
1. Proposed Consent Order Requiring LM/MM (No Motion Filed)
2. Proposed Order Approving Trial Period Plan
3. Proposed Consent Order Approving LM/MM
4. Request for Appointment of Mediator
5. Limited Notice of Appearance for LM/MM & Request for Notice
Judge Waites encourages the Bar to begin using the new Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification procedures, events, and forms immediately to expedite consideration of these matters. The revised Guidelines and use of the new forms and events will be required December 1, 2015.