2007 Archived Announcements
On December 7, 2007 the Court entered General Order 173 to revise the fee guidelines for attorneys filing Chapter 13 cases. The Court conducted an extensive review of guideline fees adopted by the three other California Bankruptcy Courts and select courts within and outside the Ninth Circuit; analyzed the results of the Chapter 13 Attorney Fee survey that was distributed to all Chapter 13 debtor's attorneys filing cases since October 2005; and reviewed correspondence received by the United States Trustee regarding the fee guidelines.
Comments on the proposed changes will be accepted through January 7, 2008. Absent any further order by the Court, the revisions will become effective January 14, 2008. Any comments should be submitted to the Clerk of Court at 325 West F Street, San Diego, California 92101-6991. Please note on the envelope: “In re: 13 Guidelines.”
The Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Guidelines and the “Rights and Responsibilities of Chapter 13 Debtors and Their Attorneys” for both Chapter 13 consumer and business cases have been updated to reflect these changes.
At its September 2007 meeting, the Judicial Conference approved amendments to Official Bankruptcy Forms B 1, B 3A, B 3B, B 4, B 5, B 6, B 7, B 9, B 10, B 16A, B 18, B 19, B 21, B 23, and B 24. These revised forms will become effective on December 1, 2007, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Southern District of California will require the use of the new forms starting on that date.
CM/ECF Filers — Please note that you may need to upgrade your petition preparation software and/or templates in order to file petitions, schedules, or other amended documents. Attorneys are encouraged to contact their software providers to ensure access to the new forms starting December 1, 2007.
The new forms will be made available by December 1 on the Court’s Forms Web page (Front Counter > Get The Latest Forms). On this page, the updated, downloadable forms will be in PDF-fillable format and also included in the petition forms package. Also, the new forms in printed format will be available at the Weinberger U.S. Courthouse, located at 325 W. F Street, San Diego, CA 92101 and can be obtained at the Intake Counter Monday through Friday during our regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
You can find more information regarding the revised form changes at the Federal Judiciary’s Web site.
Due to the wildfires, Section 341 examinations for the week of October 22, 2007 are currently rescheduled to the dates below and will be held at the same times and place (except as noted):
Due to the fires, the Calendar for Thursday, October 25 in Department 2, Judge Louise DeCarl Adler
Re: The Roman Catholic Bishop of San Diego — All matters will be continued to Thursday, November 1 at 10:30 a.m. (Please note this change made on 10/24/07.)
All Law and Motion matters set at 2:00 and 2:30 p.m. will be continued to Tuesday, October 30 at 2:00 p.m.
Due to the fires, the Chapter 13 Law and Motion calendar set for Tuesday, October 23 has been continued. The 10:00 a.m. matters are now set for 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 in Department 4 and the 11:00 a.m. matters are moved to 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 30, also in Department 4. For any other matters set for Tuesday, October 23, the Courtroom Deputy will contact parties with new hearing information.
Due to the fires, the Chapter 13 Confirmation calendar set for Wednesday, October 24 has been continued. The matters are now set for 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7, 2007.
San Diego attorney Laura Taylor has been appointed to serve as a judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California.
appointment, announced by Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is contingent upon approval of background clearances. She
On June 26, 2007, the Court entered General Order 172 to amend Bankruptcy Local Rule 4004-1 requiring ALL Chapter 13 Debtors to file a Certification of Eligibility for Discharge (Local Form CSD 2120) before a Discharge is entered in a BAPCPA Chapter 13 case. This meets the new requirements of BAPCPA for certification regarding the existence of any Domestic Support Obligations and the status of payments. Absent any further order by the Court, the rule will become effective July 26, 2007. Any comments should be submitted to the Clerk of Court at 325 West F Street, San Diego, California 92101-6991. Please note on the envelope: “In re: LOCAL RULES”.
Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Survey - posted July 5, 2007
On July 3, 2007 the Court distributed a survey to bankruptcy attorneys who have filed Chapter 13 cases during the past 12 months. The survey was created to obtain basic fee information in consumer and business cases Chapter 13 cases. The survey data will be used as an initial step toward reviewing the Interim Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Guidelines established by the Court on April 13, 2007. The first part of the survey gathers data that would be found in a Fee Application. The Court has broken out the tasks defined in the current fee guidelines and Rights and Responsibilities into categories to record estimates of task, time, and position performing the work and hourly rates. Attorneys completing the survey are requested to apply these elements to current BAPCPA Chapter 13 cases. The second part of the survey includes a series of questions regarding the additional fees for services that may occur in a Chapter 13 case, as well as some more open-ended questions about changes in Chapter 13 debtor work.
If you are a bankruptcy attorney with recent experience in filing Chapter 13 cases in the Southern District of California and are interested in completing the Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Survey, the PDF-fillable version of the survey is available by clicking on the hyperlink.
Your participation in completing the survey is voluntary, and we appreciate your feedback. Please complete the survey and submit it to the Clerk's Office by Friday, August 31, 2007.
Updated Chapter 13 Interim Fee Guidelines — posted May 8, 2007The Chapter 13 Interim Fee Guidelines have been adjusted to reflect additional fee increases which were updated by the U.S. Trustee's Office and have now been adopted on an interim basis by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Southern District of California in the following categories:
In addition, there is a new category for fees and expenses of all services rendered for preparing, filing, noticing and attending hearings in regard to a motion to impose/extend the automatic stay. The interm fee guideline for these types of motions is $575.
Please refer to the updated Interim Guidelines Regarding Chapter 13 Attorney Fees for additional information.
Commencing on May 1, 2007, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California will accept electronically Forms B 21 — Statement of Social Security Number and CSD 1801 — Declaration Re: Electronic Filing of Petition, Schedules & Statements. Please note that Forms B 21 and CSD 1801 shall be filed electronically providing the original signatures in a scanned format; /s/ signatures are not acceptable for these documents. Please review the requirements for the electronic filing of these two forms in the newly updated Form CSD 1800 — Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing and Verifying Pleadings and Papers by Electronic Means, which is available on the Court's Forms site under the Front Counter page.
Also, please note that CSD 1800 — Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing and Verifying Pleading and Papers by Electronic Means has been amended to adopt the same document retention period of five years as the U.S. District Court - Southern District of California. The old retention period was based on the previous requirements of the District Court for fax filings. This change enables the court to offer the electronic filing of scanned B 21 and CSD 1801 pleadings.
The Bankruptcy Court has adopted, as an interim step, the Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Guidelines and the "Rights and Responsibilities of Chapter 13 Debtors and Their Attorneys" for both Chapter 13 consumer and business cases that were previously maintained by the U.S. Trustee. The following documents reflect this change:
Implementation of General Order 171 Suspended - Interim Chapter 13 Fee Schedule and Rights and Responsibilities Adopted — posted April 16, 2007
On April 13, 2007 the Court entered General Order 171a to suspend implementation of fee applications as proposed in General Order 171. This followed the Court's review of the comments received following the publication of General Order 171. The implementation of General Order 171 is suspended to permit the additional gathering of information regarding the appropriate level of fees for Chapter 13 cases, and for further discussion with the Bar and other interested persons on this issue. The Court adopts the October 17, 2006 “United States Trustee Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Guidelines” and the “Rights and Responsibilities of Chapter 13 Debtors and Their Attorneys” as its own on an interim basis, and will publish same on the court’s Web site and will treat them as local court forms until further order of the Court.
Automatic Adjustment of Certain Dollar Amounts in the Bankruptcy Code and Official Bankruptcy Forms — posted March 27, 2007
On April 1, 2007, automatic adjustments to the dollar amounts stated in various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and one provision of Title 28 of the United States Code will become effective. The amended dollar amounts will apply to cases filed on or after April 1, 2007. We received this information on March 26, 2007.
The amended dollar amounts will affect, among other matters, the eligibility of a debtor to file under chapters 12 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, certain maximum values of property that a debtor may claim as exempt, the maximum amount of certain claims entitled to priority, the calculation of the “means test” for Chapter 7 debtors, the duration of a chapter 13 plan, the definition of a small business debtor, the minimum aggregate value of claims needed to commence an involuntary bankruptcy, the value of “luxury goods and services” deemed to be nondischargeable, and the location where the trustee may commence certain proceedings to recover a money judgment or property. In the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, as amended by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, Congress provided for the automatic adjustment of these dollar amounts at three-year intervals. The relevant provisions are codified in 11 U.S.C. § 104(b).
The adjustments reflect the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the United States Department of Labor for the three-year period ending December 31, 2006, and rounded to the nearest $25. Use of this formula to adjust specified dollar amounts in the Bankruptcy Code is prescribed by 11 U.S.C. § 104(b)(1). On February 14, 2007, the Judicial Conference published the revised dollar amounts in volume 72, number 30, of the Federal Register, at page 7082, as required under 11 U.S.C. § 104(b)(2).1 The next three-year automatic adjustment of these dollar amounts will be published before March 1, 2010, and will take effect April 1, 2010.
Here is a chart showing the affected sections of the Bankruptcy Code and Title 28 and a set of forms (see below) that display both the current and the revised dollar amounts in the petition, schedules, and statements.
Seven of the official Bankruptcy Forms contain references to several of the affected dollar amounts:
These forms will be amended April 1, 2007, and will apply to cases filed on or after that date.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals invites applications from highly qualified candidates for the position of Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of California. Click here for the complete announcement.
This position will be available on January 5, 2008. The person selected will maintain chambers in San Diego, California. Appointment is for 14 years, subject to possible reappointment. No relocation expenses are provided. Qualifications include (1) admission to practice before the highest court of at least one state or the District of Columbia; (2) membership in good standing in every bar in which membership is held; and (3) at least five years of legal practice experience (certain other legal experience may be substituted).
This is an open, competitive process. Application forms are available via court website at www.ce9.uscourts.gov. Applications also are available at all court clerks’ offices in the Ninth Circuit or by calling (415) 355-8900, by faxing (415) 355-8901, or by writing to U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit, Office of the Circuit Executive, P.O. Box 193939, San Francisco, CA 94119-3939, Attn: Bankruptcy Recruitment-CAS (mail). The deadline for the receipt of all completed application materials is Monday, April 16, 2007. EOE
Proposed Changes to Chapter 13 Attorney Fee Process - General Order 171— posted February 27, 2007
On February 27, 2007, the Court entered General Order 171 to amend Bankruptcy Local Rule 2016-2(d) eliminating the reference to the U.S. Trustee Fee Guidelines and creating a process for fee applications in Chapter 13 cases. This change reflects the U.S. Trustee's decision to disband the current fee guidelines and will allow the court to gather the information necessary to set a new Chapter 13 Guideline Fee based on data collected from the fee applications. Details are contained in the General Order. Comments on this amendment will be accepted through March 30, 2007. Absent any further order by the Court, the rule will become effective April 9, 2007. Any comments should be submitted to the Clerk of Court at 325 West F Street, San Diego, California 92101-6991. Please note on the envelope: “In re: LOCAL RULES.”
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