News Archives

Effective Date Item
12/15/2016 Maui 341 Location for February and March 2017
Please be aware that the location for Maui meetings of creditors in February and March 2017 will be changed from the usual Cameron Center because the Cameron Center is undergoing some renovations. 
In February and March 2017, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 meetings of creditors will be held at the Second Circuit Court, Hoapili Hale, 2145 Main Street, Room 407, Wailuku, HI 96793.  Please pay close attention to the Notice of Commencement of Case which will reflect this location for the February and March 2017 meetings of creditors. 
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%.


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.


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.


Revised Dollar Amounts in Bankruptcy Forms April 1, 2016

Automatic adjustments will be made on April 1, 2016, to dollar amounts stated in various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, one provision in Title 28, seven Official Bankruptcy Forms which contain adjusted dollar amounts, the Instructions for Individual and Non-Individual Debtors, two Director’s Forms which include dollar amounts, and one set of instructions for a Director’s Form which includes a dollar amount. The adjustments will apply to cases filed on or after April 1, 2016.

If not updated in your bankruptcy software application, the forms may be downloaded from here. This link is also on the bankruptcy court home page.


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.


Amendments to Federal and Local Rules

Attached is an order adopting amendments to the local bankruptcy rules effective December 1, 2015. Note that several of the amendments address the need for parties to state explicitly whether they consent to entry of final orders and judgment by the bankruptcy court.

Also attached is the sole amended federal bankruptcy rule, Rule 1007, amended only to change references to schedules E and F to schedule E/F. As Part VII of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure on adversary proceedings adopts many of the federal civil rules, those amendments are attached also. Many of these amendments concern discovery and service, such as reducing the time a defendant must be served from 120 days to 90 days (Rule 4(m)).

The new bankrupty Official Forms are effective today. The court also is in the process of updating local forms, some of which are now posted at the court website. Some of the updated forms, such as the Declaration re: Electronic Filing, follow the format of the new national forms.


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.


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.


New Schedule for Hearings

The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii is adopting a new system for setting hearings.

Under the current system, most motions are set for hearing during “all purpose week,” which is usually held during the third week of the month. Motions in chapter 11 cases are set on Monday, motions in chapter 7 cases are set on Wednesday, and motions and scheduling conferences in adversary proceedings are set on Friday. Originally, chapter 13 cases were set for hearing on Thursday of all purpose week, but due to growth in the chapter 13 caseload, chapter 13 hearings are now held approximately every third Thursday. The remainder of the month is set aside for trials, evidentiary hearings, and hearings on motions for relief from the automatic stay.

The all purpose week system has certain advantages. It is simple and easy to administer. Attorneys and others can make a single trip to court for hearings on many of their matters.

The system also has certain disadvantages. Because all hearings are set in a compressed period, the workload is spread unevenly through the month and hearings are sometimes set later than would otherwise be necessary.

Under the new system, (1) motions in chapter 7 and chapter 11 cases will be set on Mondays, (2) motions and scheduling conferences in adversary proceedings will be held every other Friday, (3) chapter 13 cases will be heard every third Tuesday, and (4) trials, evidentiary hearings, and preliminary and final hearings on motions for relief from the automatic stay will be set on Tuesdays (except for chapter 13 Tuesdays). A table showing a typical 4-week calendar under the new system is here.

This is only an outline of the new scheme. The hearing dates may have to be adjusted due to holidays and the court’s other commitments.

We are making a gradual transition to the new system. We expect to fully implement the new system by January 2016.

Because this is a new system, the court is open to comments and suggestions from the bar and the public. Please contact the clerk of court, Mike Dowling, or the courtroom deputy, Oriette Vegas.


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.


Rule and Form Changes Effective December 1, 2014

A number of changes will become effective December 1, 2014, with respect to federal and local rules as well as forms. Please see the comprehensive summary prepared by the bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Georgia. The summary contains useful links to the various forms and rules.

The following changes may be of particular interest.

  • Summons must be served within 7 days after issuance. Previously, the summons was stale after 14 days.

  • Amended Official Forms B22 on statement of current monthly income for chapters 7, 11, and 13. For chapters 7 and 13, the B22 forms have been split so all debtors need to complete one form while a second form need only be completed by above median income debtors. Note: If amending a B22 after December 1, 2014, the amended form must be used even if the original B22 was the prior version.

  • Significant restructuring of Part VIII of the federal rules regarding appeals. You should review these carefully if involved in an appeal after December 1, 2014.

  • Notice of Appeal and Statement of Election. There is an amended Official Form for filing a notice of appeal which includes an optional election for the appellant to request the appeal to be heard by the district court. Previously, the election for district court required the filing of a separate statement. In addition, there now is an Official Form for the appellee to make the election if not made by the appellant.

  • New $25 fee for filing a motion to redact. Note: in CM/ECF, a filer should select "Motion to Redact" (the current selection of Motion for Protective Order will be removed). The motion also may be filed in a closed case - reopening is no longer required if the only purpose is to redact protected information from a previously filed document.
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.

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.


Debtor Education Certificates

Effective December 1, 2013, Bankruptcy Rule 1007(b)(7) has been amended to permit an approved debtor education provider to notify the court directly that the debtor has completed a personal financial management course. A new application at the court's website provides a link whereby the provider can electronically file the certificate without a CM/ECF login. This application should be used only by debtor education providers. Attorneys should continue to log in to CM/ECF to file certificates.

Although providers may now file debtor education certificates directly with the court, it is not mandatory for them to do so. If the provider does not file the debtor education certificate, the debtor is responsible for filing the certificate or Official Form B 23 with the certificate number as evidence that the course was completed. Failure to file the certification will result in the case being closed without a discharge.


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.



Phone Directory

The bankruptcy court is implementing a VOIP phone system. Effective Wednesday, January 30, 2013, the CM/ECF help desk number will change and additional direct lines will be activated. EXISTING DIRECT LINES AND CURRENT EXTENSION NUMBERS WILL NOT CHANGE. However, there will be new direct line numbers for court staff who previously could only be contacted by dialing the main line and then an extension number. Please see the new Clerk's Office phone directory.




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.


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:

Twitter (@HIBKC)


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



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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