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Effective Date Item
06/23/3017

Bankruptcy Brown Bag Thursday, June 29, 2017 12 Noon

Assistant U.S. Trustee Curtis Ching will speak on the following topic in the Bankruptcy courtroom on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at 12 Noon.

Presumed Abuse Under Section 707(b)(2) - Essential Information for Debtors' Counsel

The event is sponsored by the Hawaii Bankruptcy Bar Association. Non-members are welcome to attend the brown bag, including non-attorney staff who may be involved in preparing documents for filing a new case. The standard security check will be in effect at the entrance so please bring a government issued photo ID.

HBBA is generously providing light refreshments. Attendees may also bring their own lunch to the courtroom. However, we ask that beverages be limited to bottled water.

For those not able to attend in person, the presentation will be available as a WebEx session. This is not a live stream video - rather, remote participants may view the PowerPoint slides on their monitors while listening to the speaker via a separate teleconference connection. Information on how to log on and dial in are below.

WebEx Link: https://uscourts.webex.com/uscourts/j.php?MTID=m5b19018e45827e93bea7f993a0e5d264

OUST Brown Bag - June 29, 2017
Thursday, June 29, 2017
12:00 pm | Hawaii Time (Honolulu, GMT-10:00)
Meeting number: 597 727 124
Meeting password: USBC808

Call-in toll-free number (ATT Audio Conference): 1-877-873-8017
Accesss code: 5663287
Security code: 1132

06/01/2017

Chapter 13 Interest Rate

The standard interest rate provided for in LBR 3015-1(g) is set on the first day of June and December each year. The standard interest rate applicable to chapter 13 plans filed in cases commenced or converted to chapter 13 on and after June 1, 2017, is 5.50%.

12/01/2016 Chapter 13 Interest Rate

The standard interest rate provided for in LBR 3015-1(g) is set on the first day of June and December each year. The standard interest rate applicable to chapter 13 plans filed in cases commenced or converted to chapter 13 on and after December 1, 2016, is 5.00%.


12/01/2016

Fee Increases December 1, 2016

Effective December 1, 2016, various fees set by the Judicial Conference in the Miscellaneous Fee Schedule will be increased due to an inflationary adjustment. A table of the fee changes is included as Attachment A of the document summarizing the latest news from the Clerk's Office.

04/19/2016

Revised Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Guidelines and Forms

The dollar amounts for presumptively reasonable attorney fees in Chapter 13 cases have been revised. In conjunction, the court has revised the Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Guidelines and Rights and Responsibilities of Chapter 13 Debtors and Attorneys. One change is that the Rights and Responsibilities form will be required in all Chapter 13 cases if the debtor is represented by an attorney, even if the "no-look" fee schedule is not used. See draft versions of the guidelines and form. Any comments should be submitted April 29, 2016, so that the new fees and forms may be implemented as soon as possible.

Reaffirmation Agreement - Information for Chapter 7 Debtors is a new resource that is posted at the court website. This was developed as a public service of the Hawaii Bankruptcy Bar Association.

02/01/2016

Amended Order Adopting LBRs

An amended order has been issued regarding the adoption of amendments to the local bankruptcy rules effective December 1, 2015. The previously issued order attached incorrect versions of certain rules.

12/1/2015

Chapter 13 Plan

As provided in LBR 3015-1(f), effective December 1, 2015, "[t]he debtor shall serve the plan on the trustee and all creditors when it is filed with the court." This is the same language contained in the proposed amendment to the federal rule. However, in the short term, the court will continue to use BNC to mail out copies of the debtor's plan as a courtesy if the plan is filed electronically at the same time the petition is filed.

Note that it has always been the debtor's responsibility to ensure that the plan is served. As stated in the 2003 Guidelines for Chapter 13 Procedures (superseded by adopting procedures in the local rules) : "As a courtesy, the clerk will serve ... a copy of the court-approved plan and related motions if submitted with the petition at the time of filing or if filed through the court's electronic case files ("ECF") system, unless it is unduly burdensome to do so. Notwithstanding this policy of service of the plan by the clerk, it remains the responsibility of the debtor to ensure that service has been accomplished." Use of the BNC for service was intended to encourage timely filing as well as electronic filing, introduced in this district in 2003. The policy subsequently was changed to provide for BNC transmission only if the plan was filed electronically together with the petition.

The Judicial Conference recently adopted a policy that shifts the burden of service to the party required to make the service, rather than on the court which must use congressionally appropriated funds, i.e. taxpayer monies, to do so. To ease this transition to discontinuing use of the BNC for chapter 13 plans, the court will - in the short term - continue to utilize the BNC if the plan is filed electronically together with the petition. The court will give notice when BNC mailing of the plan will be discontinued.


10/20/2015

Report of Bankruptcy Scam

The following alert was issued by the United States Courts.

A sophisticated phone scam is targeting bankruptcy filers in several states, using personal information from filings and posing as attorneys to get intended victims to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt.

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys issued a warning that “Under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.”

Scammers use software to “spoof” the Caller ID system so the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Typically the calls come late in the evening or during non-business hours to make it difficult for intended victims to verify the call by contacting their attorney.

Consumers receiving this kind of call are advised to hang up and contact their bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do not give any personal or financial account information to the caller.

03/06/2015

Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii now offers debtors the opportunity to request email notices from the court. Under the Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN) program, court notices and orders will be sent as PDFs attached in emails instead of paper notices sent through the U.S. Mail.

This email noticing service by the court through the Bankruptcy Noticing Center is VOLUNTARY and FREE.

Once the court receives the debtor’s DeBN request, court staff will create an email account with the BNC. From then on, all court notices in the bankruptcy case (and any other bankruptcy case where the debtor may be a party) will be delivered by email. Court notices will be sent through the U.S. Postal Service only if (1) the name and address in a case does not match the name and address registered in the DeBN account, (2) there is an email transmission failure, or (3) the PDF is larger than 8 MB. The debtor also may cancel a DeBN account at any time.

A brochure is attached here. More details as well as the request form are located here.

Note:  These DeBN emails contain ONLY notices that would normally be sent by the court through BNC - not every document filed in the case. Only the court is authorized to send notices to the debtor through the DeBN program. Other parties, such as trustees and creditors, may not use these BNC email notices to serve documents on the debtor.

09/29/2014 Approved Transcription Services

The court has approved 4 transcription services for providing official transcripts of proceedings. Previously, the court selected a transcriber when a party filed a transcript request. On the revised form, the requesting party may select one of four transcription services:

Access Transcripts, LLC, 10110 Youngwood Lane, Fishers, IN 46038
eScribers, 700 W. 192nd St., Suite 607, New York, NY 10040
Jessica B. Cahill, Maukele Transcribers, LLC, P.O. Box 1652, Wailuku, HI 96793
Washington Rapid Transcription Service, 320 W. Republican, Suite 207, Seattle, WA 98119

The court will select the transcription service if no selection is made on the request that is filed.
06/13/2014

Fees for Amended Schedules and Creditor Lists

Certain policy and CM/ECF procedure changes have been made with respect to the electronic filing of amended schedules and creditor lists in order to comply with the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule, ensure better notice to creditors, and lessen some of the confusion regarding how to file these documents. The attached PDF provides instructions and screen shots for filing these types of documents in CM/ECF when they are not filed together with the petition.

In sum:

1. The CM/ECF selections have been modified in the list of available events under Miscellaneous Documents:

  • Creditor List (Amended - FEE 30)
  • Creditor List (Initial Filing)

  • Schedules A-J (Amended)
  • Schedules A-J (Initial Filing)
  • Schedule of Unpaid Postpetition, Preconversion Debts
    (Upon Conversion to Ch 7)

2. The filing of an amended creditor list will incur a $30 amendment fee, even if the filer electronically uploads the names and addresses into the CM/ECF database. Previously no fee was charged if schedules were not being amended.

3. The names and addresses of entities listed in Schedules D, E, F, G, and H must be consistent with the creditor list filed with the petition. If additional names and addresses are listed in the schedules - even if the schedules are the initial ones filed within the 14-day or extended deadline - inclusion of an amended creditor list and payment of the $30 amendment fee are required.

4. The filer remains responsible for uploading the additional names and addresses into the CM/ECF database and to send notice of the bankruptcy case, meeting of creditors, and deadlines to any parties not sent notice by the court.

5. If the Clerk's Office determines that the amendment fee is required and has not been paid, an entry will be made on the docket noting the fee due. This will generate a notice of electronic filing as well as an email to the filer similar to the one below:

"Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1930, a fee has been assessed for document # __ in case ______ which will be reflected in your internet payment charges. Please click on the link to make payments - Internet Payments Due."

If the fee is not paid within 24 hours, the CM/ECF account will be locked to prevent any further electronic filing.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

03/27/2013

Outstanding Fees

When electronically filing a document requiring a fee, payment with a credit card must be made by 6:00 PM HST on the day of filing. The vast majority of filers comply. However, when payments are not made timely, court staff must contact attorneys about outstanding fees. To address this situation, the bankruptcy court will soon be implementing a process in CM/ECF whereby failure to make a timely payment will result in an automatically generated email notifying the filer that his or her login will be disabled for filing documents if the outstanding balance remains due for more than one day. If this occurs, the login will give access only to the Internet payment portion of CM/ECF. Once the outstanding fees are paid, the ability to file documents will be automatically reinstated. See sample message about this "lockout" feature that a filer would receive.

 

09/13/2011

McVCIS

The court is now participating in McVCIS, a nationwide judiciary Voice Case Information System. Dial a toll free number (866) 222-8029 and access code 44 for the District of Hawaii case information, including:

  • debtor name
  • case number
  • judge name
  • tax identification number
  • date the case was opened
  • voluntary/involuntary case filing
  • business or consumer
  • date of filing
  • chapter
  • attorney name and telephone
  • date/time of the §341 Meeting
  • date of discharge
  • date of case closing
  • date/time of the first meeting
  • asset status
  • general case status

See the VCIS page for more information.


04/08/2011

Facebook & Twitter Accounts

The court has created accounts for Facebook and Twitter in an effort to make court news more accessible. Check out the following links:

Facebook
Twitter (@HIBKC)

02/24/2010

Attendance at 341 Meetings

The following is being sent on behalf of the Office of the United States Trustee

Re: Allowance of Meetings of Creditors via telephone

To Consumer Bankruptcy Practitioners

In the last year or so, there have been increasing requests for debtors to appear at their meetings of creditors by telephone. The Office of the U.S. Trustee has accommodated some of those requests. But the number of requests and the reasons for the requests have caused us to review the circumstances under which the U.S. Trustee will allow debtors to appear by telephone.

Henceforth, the UST will generally allow telephonic appearance for meetings of creditors under the following circumstances: 1) severe medical condition, documented; 2) deployment under military orders, documented; 3) imprisonment, documented. The UST may, on a case by case basis, allow telephonic appearances for other reasons of similar severity. In any case for which a telephonic appearance may be approved, there must be a satisfactory mechanism for confirming the debtor's identity and social security number, e.g., appearance and confirmation at a different U.S. Trustee office.

The following reasons are generally not sufficient to warrant telephonic appearances: debtor has already moved to the mainland; debtor is job hunting; debtor is working a job elsewhere; debtor has long-planned vacation; debtor has family obligation. Such reasons may or may not warrant a continuance of the first meeting, subject to the approval of the Chapter 7 Trustee, provided notification is given well in advance of the scheduled meeting. Attorneys should advise debtors that their presence at a meeting is required generally 25-40 days after the commencement of the case (up to 60 for neighbor islands) and at any continued meeting, and so should plan accordingly.

Curtis Ching
Assistant United States Trustee
1132 Bishop St, Rm 602
Honolulu, HI 96813
Telephone: (808) 522-8154
Email: curtis.b.ching@usdoj.gov

 

06/25/2009

Meetings of Creditors
The Office of the United States Trustee has requested the following information be disseminated regarding meetings of creditors (341 meetings).

1. Reminder for Debtor identification and Social Security numbers at 341 meetings:

For many years now, due to the rise in identify thefts nationwide, debtors have been required to show proof of their identify and proof of their social security number. Acceptable picture identification includes a valid state-issued drivers license, military identification, state-issued picture identification card, passport, legal resident alien card, student photo identification or work photo identification. Acceptable proof of social security number includes an original social security card, a current original W2 form, recent original pay advice, health card, or some other original official document which shows name and social security number. Trustees are instructed to continue the meeting to the trustee’s next calendar date if the Debtor does not have the required identification.

2. Telephone interpreter services:

Effective immediately, debtors with limited English proficiency (LEP) may request, free of charge, the use of a telephone interpreter service for their section 341 meetings. This service is currently available at the Honolulu, Hawaii meeting of creditors room only. To the extent possible, debtors or their attorneys should notify the trustee in advance of the meeting in order to avoid disruption to the flow of meetings. Services are available in over 165 languages. Trustees have been instructed not to allow debtors' attorneys or relatives to provide interpreting services for the debtor.

 


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