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Chambers' Bulletins

On Behalf of the Court

Mon, 1/08/2018 - 3:53 pm

The Court has received comments from some attorneys raising concerns about editing limitations in the fillable pdf version of the chapter 13 form plan available on the Court’s website.  While the Court’s IT staff will continue efforts to make the fillable pdf form as user friendly as possible, there are unfortunately inherent limitations in the pdf version of the plan which may make editing it difficult.  In the event that you experience difficulty using the fillable pdf version of the form plan, the Court recommends using either the Word or WordPerfect version of the form plan.  Both are available on the Court’s website on the Local Forms page under the heading “Local Rules Forms.”  Please note that due to licensing issues, the Court may not be able to provide future support for the WordPerfect version of the form plan.

The Court has also revised the chapter 13 form plan to correct a scrivener’s error in section 4.4.  A check box has been added before the third, “Other Priority Debt” box.  This change has been made to all available versions of the chapter 13 form plan.

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 4:14 pm

The Judges met and considered comments received to the proposed local rules.  Upon agreement of the Judges, the following rule changes will be effective December 1, 2017.  The changes are summarized as follows:

1.     All exhibits have been removed from the Local Rules and will instead be placed on the Court’s Locally Maintained Court Forms page.  Each form associated with a Local Rule will be accessible through a hyperlink in the relevant Local Rule.  Local Rule 1001-1 was amended to replace references to exhibits to references to local forms.

2.     Local Rule 2016-1(b)(1) was amended to remove the requirement that the amount of attorney’s fees agreed upon between the attorney and the debtor be stated in the chapter 13 plan.

3.     Local Rule 2082-1 was amended to reference family fishermen, in addition to family farming operations.  The chapter 12 plan was substantially revised.  Motions to value or avoid liens can now be contained within the chapter 12 plan.

4.     Local Rule 2090-1 was amended to require a party moving for pro hac vice admission to file a new local form with their motion.  The local form requires that the applicant agree to abide by local rules and Chambers’ Guidelines as well as set forth their proficiency in bankruptcy law and procedure.

5.     Local Rule 3015-1 was revised to require the local form plan to be used as the form for any plan filed in a chapter 13 case.

6.     Local Rule 3015-2 was substantially changed.  Modifications before confirmation require that the debtor file and serve the form plan, along with, if necessary, a local form Notice of Confirmation Hearing.  Post-confirmation modifications to a chapter 13 plan now require a motion to modify, as set forth in subsection (b).  Finally, plan payments may now be increased by the filing of a stipulation between the debtor and the trustee.

7.     Local Rule 3015-3 was amended to clarify the Court’s revised procedures regarding scheduling of confirmation hearings and confirmation of plans.

8.     Local Rule 3015-6 was amended to delete subsection (d).  If an objection to a proposed interest rate is filed, the objection will be considered at the confirmation hearing.  No response by the debtor is necessary.

9.     Local Rule 4003-2 was amended to remove reference to chapter 12, since motions to avoid liens can now be included in a chapter 12 plan.  The procedure for obtaining an order that a lien has been satisfied in a chapter 13 case was removed from the Local Rule, as it is now governed by Fed. R. Bankr. P. 5009(d).

10.  Local Rule 5075-1 was amended to delegate additional matters for notice: (1) ballots for a chapter 11 plan to the proponent; (2) notice of confirmation hearing in chapter 12 or 13 to the debtor; and (3) order declaring that a secured claim has been satisfied or lien avoided in a chapter 12 or 13 case to the debtor.

11.  Local Rule 9013-4 was amended to add motions to modify confirmed chapter 13 plans and motions pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 5009(d) to the passive list and motions/applications nunc pro tunc to the non-passive list.

12.  Local Rule 9018-1 was amended to allow paper copies of sealed documents to be destroyed 2 years after the closing of the case, if the documents have been electronically filed.

13.  Minor amendments were made to other rules and forms.  Several forms were revised to conform to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9009 and the respective Official Form.

The Judges thank those practitioners and parties who provided comments, as well as the following members of the Local Rules committee:

  • Kathleen M. Muthig
  • John Timothy Stack
  • Katherine L. Rea
  • Michael Kevin McCarrell
  • Russell A. DeMott
  • Michael H. Weaver
  • Christine E. Brimm

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 11:18 am

Please see the attached order regarding the Court's schedule for the upcoming holiday season and for computing time during that period.

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:28 am

Wm. Thurmond Bishop was sworn in as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of South Carolina on October 30, 1987, thirty years ago today. He served as Chief Judge from 2000 - 2006. Upon his 2006 retirement he resumed the private practice of law in his hometown.

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:58 am

J. Bratton Davis was born 100 years ago today, on October 27, 1917, at Hartsville SC. He was a graduate of the University of South Carolina and a 1940 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. He continued graduate study at Harvard Law School in 1941. He was commissioned as a line officer in the United States Navy serving during World War II principally in the South Pacific Theater of Operations.

Judge Davis returned from military service to practice law with the firm of Graydon, Davis and Suber. In 1969 he was appointed the first full-time bankruptcy referee for the District of South Carolina. Prior to that time the District Court had appointed a number of part-time referees, usually to a division or particular county. In 1973, with the adoption of Bankruptcy Rules, the United States Supreme Court changed the judicial office from referee to bankruptcy judge. Judge Davis continued to serve until his retirement in 2000, including as Chief Judge from 1986 to 2000. Our courthouse is named in his honor.

Judge Davis’obituary, following his October 29, 2004 death, reflected some of his accomplishments and contributions:

In 1948, the Junior Chamber of Commerce named Judge Davis Columbia's Young Man of the Year. He has served as: U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of South Carolina (1969–2000) ; Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of S.C. (1986–2000) ; chairman, State of South Carolina Development Board; Columbia Board of Directors of the South Carolina National Bank; Board of Directors of Security Federal Savings and Loan Association; president of the Columbia Museum of Art; vestryman, Trinity Cathedral; member of the Judicial Conference of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; member of the Security and Facilities Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States; member of the Board of Directors of the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation; member of the Board of Directors of the University of South Carolina Law School Partnership Board; member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia and Donald S. Russell Symposium Committee; member of the Board of Governors of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges; president of the Columbia Kiwanis Club; member of the Board of Directors of the Columbia Chapter of the American Red Cross; member of the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis; chairman of the Donald Russell Gubernatorial Inauguration Committee; member of the Board of Directors of the Byrnes Foundation; and member of the Board of Directors of the James F. Byrnes Centennial Committee. In 2000, Judge Davis was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor conferred by the State of South Carolina.

Fri, 8/25/2017 - 1:22 pm

The December 1, 2017 amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure adopt a national chapter 13 plan form (Official Form 113) unless a district adopts a local form in compliance with Rule 3015.1. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina is considering a local form, available here. Please send any comments concerning the proposed local form to on or before September 15, 2017. The Court will consider any comments and either adopt a plan for the district or default to Form 113 effective December 1.  

At present the court is revising its chapter 13 procedures, forms and local rules. Information concerning the procedures and an opportunity to comment on the proposed local rules will be forthcoming. The court, chapter 13 trustees, and South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association are all planning training in the coming months.

Wed, 5/17/2017 - 3:38 pm

New Exhibit A to SC LBR 3015-5, the Certification of Plan Completion and Request for Discharge, must be used in Chapter 13 cases. A copy can be found here.

Wed, 4/12/2017 - 4:47 pm

Pursuant to SC LBR 9029-1, which allows the Court to make technical corrections to any local rule at any time, SC LBR 3015-5, as well as Exhibits A and E to SC LBR 3015-5, have been amended.  The Rule has been amended to extend the time for a debtor to file his Certification of Plan Completion and Request for Discharge and Notice of Certification of Plan Completion and Request for Discharge from fourteen to twenty-eight days from the date of the trustee’s Notice of Plan Completion and Notification of Need to File Request for Discharge.  Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Exhibit A to SC LBR 3015-5, the Certification of Plan Completion and Request for Discharge, have been amended to clarify which payments the debtor is certifying he has completed.  Finally, Exhibit E to SC LBR 3015-5, the Trustee’s Notice to Debtor of Plan Completion and Notification of Need to File Request for Discharge, has been revised to be consistent with the language of the Rule and Exhibit A.  A copy of Operating Order 17-03, adopting the amendments, is available here.

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%.