Author Archives: William Miller

NOTICE – Trustee Commission

Effective October 1, 2020, the trustee commission in cases assigned to William C. Miller will be 8.0%, which will be collected on plan payments as they are received.

As we have always recommended, for plan confirmation purposes, please continue to calculate the fee at the ten (10) percent statutory maximum, to avoid having plans which become underfunded due to possible percentage fee changes.



NOTICE – Plan Modifications under 11 U.S.C. § 1329(d)

We are beginning to see debtors filing motions to modify plans under 11 U.S.C. Section 1329(d). So that our position is clear, we have drafted a pro forma answer to such motions,  a copy of which is available via the link in this notice.  Such an answer may or may not be filed in all such cases, depending upon the circumstances. It may also be modified. Please be guided accordingly.

PRO-FORMA ANSWER

NOTICE – Telephonic 341 Protocol

On March 30, 2020, we posted our Protocol for telephonic 341’s. These have been going well, and we thank everyone for their cooperation. The Attorney Declaration form we were using required modifications, as noted in the prior Protocol. We were made aware of another Attorney Declaration form on the UST site, apparently from another region, simpler and better suited to our needs. Therefore, we have modified the Protocol, as attached, which includes a fillable version of the updated Attorney Declaration. Please use this form going forward.

PROTOCOL

DECLARATION FORM

As previously posted, our commission increased to 10% on May 1. There have been questions regarding the calculations needed to fund a plan. The steps are as follows: (1)  take the total amount of claims to be paid, including attorneys’ fees, and (2) divide the total by 0.9. For example, if there are $5,000 in attorneys’ fees, $5,000 in priority claims, $20,000 in secured claims, and $10,000 in unsecured claims, the total = $40,000. The trustee commission = $40,000/0.9 = $4,444, for a total plan = $44,444. Please refer any specific questions to the staff attorney or paralegal handling a particular judge’s list.

Notice – Office Operations

As of Monday, May 18, 2020, the office will be staffing to cover telephone calls to the main switchboard number, 215-627-1377. The receptionist will attempt to assist the caller, or refer the caller to the appropriate staff person. However, we encourage any inquiries about a particular case issue or court list to be made directly to the paralegal assigned to that judge; and if possible, the use of email to reduce the chances of miscommunications. Contact information is available elsewhere on this site. Thanks for your cooperation and patience.

Update – 5/1/2020

Our recent Notice (below) indicates that effective May 1, our trustee commission is going to 10%. For now, Chapter 13 case filings are down dramatically, and this may well continue. We are conducting solely telephonic 341 meetings. Because of prior continuances, the lists could be a bit busy for the next couple of weeks, but that after that we’ll begin to see the reduction in filings reflected in the 341 schedules. The debtors’ bar has been receptive to our quick change in 341 protocols, which is much appreciated. Virtually all of our staff is now working remotely. We are attempting to answer phone calls, and respond to voice mail messages (although email is preferred). If you have particular issues with your cases, please communicate with the paralegals and/or attorneys assigned to the judge involved. Failing resolution prior to the court lists, please call in to the court on the day in question. Check this site for periodic postings as to developments. We hope that everyone is staying healthy.

Notice to Bar

This office has received numerous inquiries about how we will be handling case administration issues, including those involving payments, given the severe impact that the recent pandemic has caused. After much deliberation, we have decided that the fairest way to handle all such situations is to continue on a case-by-case basis. We realize that everyone’s situation is different. Some attorneys have been materially impacted, while others have not. Many debtors have been affected – some temporarily and some permanently. These variations in situations do not lend themselves to broad-brush remedies. Each of our staff attorneys is intimately involved with her/his cases. They are going to continue to monitor those cases and will be available to communicate regarding the relevant circumstances. Motions to dismiss will continue to be filed, but all efforts will be made to be responsive to, and flexible with, specific circumstances. While we will be ready to make accommodations, this should not be construed as a carte blanche for those not adversely affected by the pandemic. If there are questions about a case that cannot be remedied before a hearing date, we urge attorneys to appear (via phone) in court to ensure that appropriate dispositions occur.