The Judges, Clerk and staff of the Court enjoyed the reception and free two hour CLE with members of the bankruptcy bar who volunteer or agreed to volunteer in the upcoming year for Pro Bono and other volunteer programs in the bankruptcy area. Attached is an order of the Court recognizing and thanking our volunteers. A special thanks to the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program for cosponsoring the event with the Bankruptcy Court, to Harrison Penn for chairing the event, to South Carolina Legal Services for its efforts to ensure equal access to justice, and to George Cauthen and Bill McCarthy for supporting the Celebration with both a time and financial commitment.
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Judges' Corner Archive
Judge Duncan is pleased to welcome Katherine L. Rea as law clerk in his chambers. Katherine is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, has a Masters in Conflict, Governance and Development from the University of York, Heslington, UK, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law. She previously clerked for Judge Cynthia A. Norton (Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri). Best wishes and thanks for exemplary service also follow Chris Huber as he begins work with Collins and Lacy later this month. Chris clerked for Chief Judge Wooten at the District Court for two years before spending two years with Judge Duncan at the Bankruptcy Court.
As part of the October 17, 2014 Paralegal Seminar sponsored by the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association, Judge Waites will host a panel presentation on Mortgage Modification in a Chapter 13 case, which will include a demonstration of the use of the DMM Portal. The procedures are designed to improve communication between debtors and lenders on mortgage modifications and use forms, which are tailored to lender preferences. This technology is used in other districts and experience has shown that it lessens miscommunication by the parties, frequently observed in court, and increases a debtor's chances of obtaining a mortgage modification. Those interested in learning more about the process are encouraged to attend the upcoming Paralegal Seminar.
Judge Waites is forming a list of mediators for consumer cases, including mortgage modification issues, and is seeking attorneys interested in serving as mediators in these cases. If you are interested in being included on the mediator list, please complete the attached form and return it by e-mail to Sarah_Kistler@scb.uscourts.gov.
Judge Burris is pleased to welcome Kate Hendricks as a second law clerk in her chambers. Kate is a 2010 graduate of Wofford College and a 2013 graduate of the Charleston School of Law. She recently completed a one year clerkship with the Honorable J.C. Nicholson, Jr. of the South Carolina Circuit Court. Chambers contact information has been updated and can be found here.
Counsel for a moving party is reminded to consider Rule 9006(f) in computing the time before an affidavit of default, certification of no response, or similar pleading is filed in a case or proceeding in Bankruptcy Court. For example, counsel should not request or propose an order for relief from stay when service was made by mail and no response is made until the 18th day at the earliest. CMECF computes the earliest "last day for response" and it is counsel's responsibility, knowing how service was made, to wait the appropriate time before certifying the absence of a response.
Following a period for comment, Judge Waites has approved the following non-standard language, which may be included in the Chapter 13 plan at the debtor's option to address payment of postpetition mortgage fees, expenses and charges allowed under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002.1:
"Unless otherwise ordered, fees, expenses, and charges allowed pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002.1(c) or (e) shall be paid by the Trustee through the chapter 13 plan if timely included in the secured creditor's allowed proof of claim or amended proof of claim."
In order to give the Trustee sufficient time to pay approved Rule 3002.1 amounts, parties are advised to act promptly in the filing of the notice and any objection.
Postpetition mortgage fees, expenses and charges allowed under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002.1 in Chapter 13 cases, including those relating to the review of the Chapter 13 plan and the filing of a proof of claim, typically occur early in the case.
Rule 3002.1 does not indicate when and how such allowed fees and charges are to be paid by the debtor. In order to provide consistency and ensure the debtor can be current at the end of the bankruptcy case, Judge Waites is considering allowing the following approved, nonstandard language, which could be included in the Chapter 13 plan at the debtor's option:
"Unless otherwise ordered, fees, expenses, and charges allowed pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002.1(c) or (e) shall be paid by the Trustee thought the chapter 13 plan if timely included in the secured creditor's allowed proof of claim or amended proof of claim."
Before implementing this procedure, Judge Waites would appreciate receiving suggestions or comments from the bar on this proposed language. Please submit your suggestions/comments to Sarah Kistler at Sarah_Kistler@scb.uscourts.gov as soon as possible and by no later than August 29, 2014
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://news.uscourts.gov/2013-report-shows-fewer-debtor-assets-more-repeat-bankruptcy-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.
Free training on use of the portal and the home mortgage modification process set forth in Judge Waites' Chambers Guidelines will be provided by the portal provider DMM and held by Webex on August 4, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. You can receive the training from your office by registering at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2670068690624138754 A confirmation email will follow your registration that will provide a link to view the training from your PC and details on how to participate in the training by telephone. The training will also be taped and a link will be provided in the future to view the training. Please contact Sarah Kistler at Sarah_Kistler@scb.uscourts.gov if you have any questions.