The judges have agreed to the following to provide additional Covid-19 relief. Motions to Extend Stay (or accompanying affidavit) shall state sufficient facts to indicate that the relief requested is warranted. If no timely objection is filed, the court may elect to grant the motion without a hearing and remove the matter from the hearing calendar. In that event, the standard order will no longer include a provision that bars refiling. Any requests to include a limit on future petitions, or any further conditions, should be clearly stated in any objection to the Motion.
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On Behalf of the Court
It is with great sadness that the Judges learned of the passing of W. Ryan Hovis, a retired bankruptcy practitioner and chapter 7 trustee from Rock Hill, S.C., on May 26, 2020. A graduate of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina School of Law, Ryan was a Navy veteran, working with early computer programs and systems under the command of Admiral Grace Hopper, the developer of the COBOL programming language. Ryan was a member of the United States Patent Bar and he served as a chapter 7 trustee in cases under the Bankruptcy Act. Judge Davis appointed Ryan as one of the original five members of the panel of chapter 7 trustees at the time of the effective date of the Bankruptcy Code on October 1, 1979. Ryan served on the panel until his retirement in 2014. He was responsible for litigating many precedent setting matters before the Bankruptcy and District Court along with the Court of Appeals. Ryan was awarded the J. Bratton Davis Professionalism Award by the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association in 2015. He was interviewed for the South Carolina Bar oral history project in late 2019 and a transcript of that interview is available here.
To streamline compensation for debtor's attorneys in chapter 13 cases and to provide fair and reasonable compensation, Judges Duncan, Waites and Burris have agreed to certain changes for fee amounts and procedures. These include a consistent expedited fee amount under SC LBR 2016-1(b)(1) ($4,000.00 consumer; $4,500.00 business) and the elimination of the cap on fees, in most instances, under SC LBR 2016-1(b)(2)(A). Attorneys are reminded that any fees charged must be fair and reasonable and fees remain subject to review throughout the case. Please consult updated Chambers Guidelines for each judge, which will be posted soon. These changes are effective in cases filed on or after March 1, 2020, and to pending cases as provided in a judge's Chambers Guidelines.
As a reminder, if you attended the SBRA training on February 11, 2020 by WebEx and would like to obtain CLE credit, please send your completed certificate of attendance to Dawn Hardesty at email@example.com by Monday, February 17, 2020. A copy of the certificate of attendance form is available here.
As a reminder, if you plan to attend the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 training on February 11, 2020 at 3:00 p.m., please rsvp by today, February 7 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate whether you plan to attend in person and in which location, or whether you plan to attend via WebEx. If attending by WebEx, please provide the email address to which you would like the log-in instructions sent. If you have questions about the training, please contact Dawn Hardesty at email@example.com or at (803) 765-5659.
As previously noticed, the United States trustee program will host a training session to discuss the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 on February 11, 2020 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. The training session will be held at the United States Bankruptcy Courthouse, 1100 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC. The training will also be available by video from the Charleston and Spartanburg courthouses and via WebEx from your personal computer. It is anticipated that the training will be approved for 1.5 hours of CLE credit.
If you would like to attend the February 11 training, please RSVP by Friday, February 7 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate whether you plan to attend in person and in which location, or whether you plan to attend via WebEx. If attending by WebEx, please provide the email address to which you would like the log-in instructions sent. Instructions for logging in to the training via WebEx will be sent out the day prior to the training to those that have RSVPed. Written materials for the training will be posted on the Court's website and sent by email to those that have RSVPed prior to the event.
If you have questions about the training, please contact Dawn Hardesty at email@example.com or at (803) 765-5659.
To facilitate uniformity in the implementation of the changes mandated by the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, the Court has adopted Local Rule 2081-3, which incorporates Interim Amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007, 1020, 2009, 2012, 2015, 3010, 3011, 3014, 3016, 3017.1, 3017.2, 3018, and 3019. Local Rule 2081-3 is effective February 19, 2020. The Operating Order adopting the Local Rule is available here. A redline showing the changes made to the Local Rules by the Interim Rules is available here.
The United States trustee program will host a training session to educate the bankruptcy bar on the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 on the afternoon of February 11, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. The training session will be held at the United States Bankruptcy Courthouse, 1100 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201 and will also be available for viewing from the Charleston and Spartanburg courthouses or from your personal computer. The session should be approved for CLE credit. Please save this date and make plans to attend. More information will be available soon.
The Chapter 13 Interest Rate Committee has met and recommended that the presumptive interest rate in chapter 13 cases be decreased from 6.25% to 5.75%. The Court has considered and adopted this recommendation. The presumptive interest rate in chapter 13 cases to be applied to secured claims will become 5.75% effective for cases filed on or after January 9, 2020. Operating Order 20-01 adopting the new interest rate is available here. The Court thanks the members of the Chapter 13 Interest Rate Committee for their work and recommendation.
Upon agreement of the Judges, local rule changes will become effective December 1, 2019. The changes are summarized as follows:
1. Local Rule 3011-1 has been amended to implement and conform to Director's Form 1340.
2. Local Rule 3015-8 is new. It establishes procedures for chapter 13 debtors obtaining post-petition credit.
3. Local Rule 5005-4 was amended to update the email address and fax number to be used for emergency filings in the event electronic filing is not possible.
4. Local Rule 5075-1 was amended to reflect that the Court now uses Director's Form 1340.
5. Local Rule 9013-4 was updated to add chapter 13 debtors' motions to obtain post-petition credit under new Local Rule 3015-8(b) to the passive notice list with a 14-day objection period.
The Judges thank the following members of the Local Rules committee for their efforts:
William K. Stephenson, Jr.
John Timothy Stack
Ann Urquhart Bell
Gina Rossi McMaster
Joseph Kershaw Spong
J. Ronald Jones, Jr.