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.
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.
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.
|12/1/2015||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, 2015, remains at 4.75%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
1. The CM/ECF selections have been modified in the list of available events under Miscellaneous Documents:
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.
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.
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:
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:
Attendance at 341 Meetings
Meetings of Creditors
1. Reminder for Debtor identification and Social Security numbers at 341 meetings: