Judge Duncan’s chambers guidelines have undergone a minor change. Starting September 1, hearing notes for chapter 13 matters will now be posted on 13Network.com rather than emailed to attorneys. Please contact the office of the chapter 13 trustee if you need access to or have any questions regarding 13Network.com.
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Judges' Corner Archive
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/2015/07/21/2014-report-shows-fewer-debtors-filing-bankruptcy-more-repeat-filers. 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.
Judge Waites and his Court team thank Kayce Seifert for her excellent service as his law clerk in Charleston Chambers. Kayce leaves the Court on July 31st to join the FDIC Legal Division in Washington, D.C. as an Honors Attorney. Kayce has done a great job and will be missed. We wish her the best in her new endeavor.
Judge Waites is pleased to announce that Andrew Powell will join his chambers as law clerk in Charleston beginning August 3rd. Andrew is a 2011 honors graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and formerly practiced bankruptcy law as a supervising attorney at the Scott & Corley, P.A. law firm. We look forward to working with Andrew and welcome him to the Court.
A new event has been created for attorneys to request supplemental fees in chapter 13 cases for the Loss Mitigation and Mortgage Modification process described in Operating Order 15-01. The event "App For Suppl Ch 13 Atty Fees Loss Mitigation/Loan Modification" is found under the "Motions/Applications" menu. The event should only be used as part of this process whereby the debtor uses the loss mitigation portal. All other fee requests for loss mitigation should be submitted through other supplemental fee events.
On behalf of the Judges and Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court, thank you to the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association, its members and other attendees at the 25th Annual Meeting for the hospitality, social interaction and excellent educational opportunities.
The Bankruptcy Court is pleased to recognize the Association’s award recipients:
J. Bratton Davis Professionalism Award
W. Ryan Hovis
The nomination and statements by Judge Duncan in presenting the award include: Ryan, appointed by Judge Davis as a chapter 7 trustee in Bankruptcy Act cases and a panel trustee for Bankruptcy Code cases from 1978 to 2014, certainly satisfies the five requirements for consideration of the award. He is civil to just shy of a fault; respectful, without being a pushover; he treats all parties with integrity, respect and fairness. Ryan is responsible for litigating or pursing many of the precedent setting bankruptcy decisions in South Carolina and argued novel theories to recover significant assets for creditors. The nomination, from a debtor’s counsel, summed up Ryan’s qualifications as follows: “he was known as a trustee as one who would be fair to debtors, he also somehow managed to recover significant sums for creditors, not at the expense of beating debtors for every last dime.” [H]e set “an example of how a trustee should carry himself.” Ryan was a mentor and source of information for many young bankruptcy attorneys and for those who sought his advice on matters that were novel to them but which he regularly saw in his practice.
William E. S. Robinson Public Service Award
The nomination and statements by Judge Waites in presenting the award include: In Susie's everyday service as an attorney for SC Legal Service she demonstrates dedication to the delivery of legal services to the poor. She helped set up the legal clinics (foreclosure Friday clinics) we provide at the bankruptcy court and has established systems to expedite the referral of qualifying pro se filers to SC Legal Services for representation. Recent projects include setting up an online, group setting financial management session for low income and computer deficient debtors in the upstate to meet the case closing requirement in cases. For SC Legal services she has received over $90,000 in grants from the American Bankruptcy College and used the funds to produce helpful videos on bankruptcy and housing, student loans and domestic issues- among other things.
As a member of the recent student loan debt project, she initiated the relationship with American Student Assistance which will allow free student loan management advice for any SC resident and she helped establish the new pro.net web site to serve as the home for the updated CARE program in SC.
She was nominated by her peers at SC Legal Services and others for the award.
David R. Duncan, Chief Judge
For the Court
Judge Waites is currently accepting applications for a term law clerk position in Charleston beginning on or about August 1, 2015. Please click here to view the vacancy announcement.
Upon the completion of her clerkship this summer, Kayce Seifert will join the FDIC as an Honors Attorney in Washington, D.C.
In connection with the Court's previous Announcement on Court Initiatives, please see the attached press release issued today regarding South Carolina Legal Services' partnership with American Student Assistance to provide free guidance to South Carolina residents, including debtors before this Court, who are experiencing difficulty managing their student loan debt.
The Judges of the Court would like to thank the members of the CARE working group: Jane Downey, Marilyn Gartley, Janet Haigler, Susie Ingles, Kathleen Muthig, Lauren Schumann, Bill Short, Pamela Simmons-Beasley, and Dan Stone, and especially express their appreciation to the Board and members of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association for its adoption of the program as its public service initiative.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina, in conjunction with working groups comprised of Judge Waites and members of the bankruptcy bar, is pleased to announce the results of two initiatives begun in October of 2014 involving its financial literacy outreach program, CARE, and its Student Loan Debt project. Please click here to view the announcement. The announcement references certain publications prepared by the Student Loan Debt working group, including the Student Loan Debt Primer and a Student Loan Flowchart, which can be viewed by clicking on the title of each publication and will be made available on the Court's website in the near future.
Based upon the comments received from the Bar, Judge Waites' Chambers Guidelines regarding Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification have been revised. Click here to review the changes to the procedures and forms, which are effective April 20, 2015. Highlights of the Portal Program and a brief summary of the Portal process are also provided in the attached document. Please note that the Loss Mitigation/Mortgage Modification forms have been slightly modified and you should update your forms accordingly. To assist the Bar, a Word version of the new forms may be requested by e-mail to Sarah_Kistler@scb.uscourts.gov.