Beginning with the April 2013 regular distribution, the percentage fee collected by D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, will increase from from 5.0% to 5.5% to defray the actual, necessary expenses of his office.
Until April 2011, D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, utilized a lockbox facility located in Tampa, FL to process plan payments through his bank, ServisFirst Bank. Since April 2011, the Trustee has utilized a lockbox facility located in Birmingham, AL to process plan payments through his bank. Since April 2011, the Trustee has issued notices to Debtors and Employers that the Tampa, FL Post Office would stop forwarding mail to D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, on August 8, 2012. A copy of the most recent notice is attached. We are informed that the Tampa, FL Post Office has recently stopped forwarding any mail to Mr. Crawford's P.O. Box in Birmingham.Please be aware that some Chapter 13 debtors and employers have continued to mail plan payments during the last 17 months to the Trustee's former P.O. Box in Tampa, FL despite notices of our new P.O. Box in Birmingham, AL. Although the Trustee is informed that the Postal Service will follow its regular procedures for returning mail to senders, the Trustee reminds all parties that Chapter 13 plan payments must be mailed to D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, Dept. SF 3, P.O. Box 830525, Birmingham, AL 35283-0525.
The Office of D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, is receiving significant numbers of written informational notices from Bank of America ("BOA") each month about Chapter 13 debtors with BOA home loans pursuant to BOA's agreement with the Federal Trade Commission. The Trustee understands that these notices are also mailed directly to each Chapter 13 debtor. Based upon the Trustee's concerns about privacy and the relevancy of these notices, his office will take no action upon them. When the Trustee's office receives such notices, they will be destroyed and discarded to maintain the confidentiality of debtor information. Please contact the Trustee's office if you have any questions.
D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, will not conduct Section 341 creditor meetings for Chapter 13 cases in the Southern Division on July 20, 2011 or July 27, 2011 due to the Bankruptcy Court move. Section 341 meetings for Chapter 13 cases in the Southern Division will resume on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. at the Financial Center, 505 20th Street North, 4th Floor, Room 448, Birmingham, AL 35203. Due to access and space concerns in the Financial Center,
For the convenience of the Debtors' Bar, the Trustee will continue to group cases by Attorney. However, depending upon when your clients' Chapter 13 petitions were filed with the Court, an Attorney may have cases set during more than one time slot on any given Wednesday. Please make your plans accordingly, and rest assured that the Trustee and his attorneys will attempt to proceed expeditiously through the 341 meeting dockets whenever possible. If you have any questions, please contact Sims Crawford, Charles King, or Mary Frances Fallaw at (205) 343-4631.
Please read the attached Memo for procedural changes regarding the setting of Section 341 meetings of creditors by D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, effective April 20, 2011.
Administrative Order 11-01 concerning the Sequence of Payments for the Distribution of Attorney Fees to Debtors' Attorneys by the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee is applicable to Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases filed on or after March 1, 2011 in the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division that are assigned to Judge Tamara O. Mitchell or Judge Benjamin Cohen. It does not apply to cases assigned to the Chief Bankruptcy Judge Thomas B. Bennett. This order is applicable only in cases where the original petition is filed on or after March 1, 2011.
Please see the attached notice and form for cases assigned to Judge Bennett. These changes will be effective in Chapter 13 cases (TBB) filed on or after February 1, 2010. Please contact the Trustee's office if you have any questions.
D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, has created an email list to communicate with local attorneys. Through this list, the Trustee will provide updates and information about his policies and procedures, as well as general information about local Chapter 13 bankruptcy practice. To subscribe, please complete the attached form and submit it to the Trustee's office for review. In order to participate, an attorney must be admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The provided link may also be used to unsubscribe to the email list.
Effective February 3, 2010, D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, has implemented the following procedure regarding federal income tax refunds in certain Chapter 13 cases. Please view the following link for more information.
An increasing number of Chapter 13 debtors in this Division are filing “Pot” plans, where the debtor proposes to pay a “pot” of funds to the Trustee, based upon the debtor’s disposable income, to be disbursed to creditors who file nonpriority unsecured claims.
The Trustee’s interim statement will indicate that the debtor has filed a “Pot” plan on the left side of Page 1 near the top, where it says “PERCENTAGE: POT PLAN.”
In addition, the “APPROXIMATE BALANCE:” figure on Page 2 of the interim statement should not be used if the debtor has proposed a “Pot” plan. All parties should instead refer to the “Needed To Complete” figure at the bottom of Page 2 of the Interim Statement to determine the amount needed to complete payment of the debtor’s “Pot” plan. This only applies to “Pot” plans. The “APPROXIMATE BALANCE:” figure should still be used for all 100% plans and composition plans.
As a reminder, the Trustee must audit each Chapter 13 case before he can certify to the Bankruptcy Clerk that the plan has been completed by the Debtor. In other words, the “Needed to Complete” figure in a “Pot” plan is subject to audit by the Trustee just as the “Approximate Balance” figure is subject to audit in a 100% plan or composition plan.
Please see the attached interim statement for more information.
The information provided in this paragraph also applies to "Base" plans, which are very similar to "Pot" plans. The Trustee's interim statement should be read the same way for these two types of Chapter 13 cases.
Effective April 1, 2011, the attached Memo will still apply to the Trustee's banking procedure. However, the payment address for mailing payments is no longer in Tampa, Florida. The payment address is now located in Birmingham, Alabama as indicated on the Home page of this website.
Effective October 1, 2007, all requests made to the Trustee for plan payment refunds must be submitted using this Form, which must be signed by the Debtor and the Debtor’s Attorney. No request over $500 will be considered. All supporting documents should be sent with the executed form. This procedure should be used only when an emergency situation has arisen that is causing severe financial difficulty for the Debtor or his/her family (maximum $500). Otherwise, the Trustee encourages Debtors and their Counsel to consider filing an appropriate motion with the Bankruptcy Court. For all Chapter 13 cases assigned to the Honorable Thomas B. Bennett, any request for a refund must be filed as a motion with the Court and Debtors should contact their attorneys for legal advice.
The Chapter 13 Trustee sometimes files a motion to convert a case to
Chapter 7, for which the bankruptcy estate of that case incurs a $25.00
fee. This fee is payable only from the assets of the bankruptcy estate
that exist before the court enters a conversion order. When the Chapter
13 Trustee files such a motion, the interim statement for that case will
reflect a claim payable to the U.S. Bankruptcy Clerk in the amount of
$25.00 if the fee has been assessed by the Clerk.
When serving the Trustee with copies of tax returns pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 521 or Fed. R. Bankr. Proc. 4002, the Trustee requests that properly redacted pdf's of the returns be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. As a reminder, when the service of tax returns upon the Trustee is required, they must be served separately from any filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Clerk since the Trustee does not have access to tax returns filed in the Clerk's CM/ECF system. The email as well as the attachment must include the case number, the debtor's last name, and the year of the tax return for proper and timely identification. Example: 0901234_debtor_08taxrtn.
CHANGE REGARDING CERTIFICATES OF PLAN COMPLETION
Effective February 1, 2008, the office of D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee will file a Certificate of Plan Completion with the Bankruptcy Clerk after the final distribution to creditors has been made, and after the Chapter 13 case has been audited. Even if the debtor makes the final plan payment early in the month, the Trustee's Certificate will not be filed until after the next regular monthly distribution cycle, when the final disbursement to creditors is made and the case is audited.
CHANGE REGARDING PLAN PAYMENTS MADE BY EMPLOYER CHECK, MONEY ORDER OR CASHIERS CHECK
Since April 2007, the Trustee's office has held all plan payments made by personal check for a period of 15 business days before their distribution to ensure that the funds were good. Beginning March 3, 2008, the Trustee's office will also begin holding plan payments made by employer check for a period of 15 business days to ensure that the funds are good. Beginning April 1, 2008, money orders and cashiers checks will be held for 10 business days to ensure that the funds are good. These changes will not affect plan payments made by attorney trust account check. This change could affect the timing of certain pre-confirmation adequate protection payments, depending upon the debtor's plan. As a reminder, if a debtor's personal check is returned for insufficient funds, the Trustee will assess a $10.00 returned check charge that will appear on the interim statement for the debtor's case.
ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING TRUSTEE’S CONFIRMATION PREPARATION
PROCESS IN CASES ASSIGNED TO THE HONORABLE THOMAS B. BENNETT
Effective January 9, 2008, D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee,
is modifying his confirmation preparation process as it relates to cases
assigned to the Honorable Thomas B. Bennett. In light of the notice requirements
of Fed. R. Bankr. Proc. 2002, the Trustee requires that any and all amended
plans, pleadings or other documents be filed at least two weeks (14 days)
before the scheduled confirmation hearing.
Trustee Distribution Updates
Effective December 1, 2007, D. Sims Crawford, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, will implement two administrative updates to the regular monthly distribution that are designed to be more efficient and more informative for parties receiving payments.
Previously, payments made for each closed (dismissed, discharged, or converted) Chapter 13 case were made by separate, individual distribution checks. To reduce the number of checks issued to a party, payments for closed Chapter 13 cases will be combined into a single check when possible. This update does not affect the amount of payments, only the method. This update does not apply to payments for open (active) Chapter 13 cases.
In addition, the remittance statement included with each distribution check has been updated. Information on the remittance statement has been reorganized and expanded to include, when applicable, a collateral description, as well as the unpaid balance of the principal and interest due on the proof of claim for which the payments are being made. This update does not affect the amount of payments, it only expands the information previously provided with each payment.
Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 521(h) and Bankruptcy Rule 4002(b)(1)(A), every individual Debtor shall bring to the meeting of creditors a picture identification issued by a governmental unit, or other personal identifying information that establishes the debtor's identity. As announced earlier this year, the Chapter 13 Trustee will request proof of identification beginning with the February 7, 2007 creditor meeting docket.
Form for Agreed Order regarding Adequate Protection Payments For Chapter 13 Cases Assigned to the Honorable Thomas B. Bennett, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
For Chapter 13 cases assigned to the Honorable Thomas B. Bennett, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Debtors and Counsel may voluntarily elect to consider the attached Agreed Order Form concerning adequate protection payments pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1326. If the Debtor elects to utilize this form, a completed version must be forwarded to the Trustee's office for his written consent, and thereafter must be filed by the Debtor or Counsel with the Bankruptcy Clerk. Due to the time-sensitive nature of its terms, the Debtor and Counsel should complete the proposed agreed order, submit it to the Trustee for his written consent, and then file it with the Court immediately after the filing of the Debtor's bankruptcy petition. The Trustee's office will proceed pursuant to the terms of such an agreement only after it has been approved by the Court and entered as an Order on the Clerk's CM/ECF docket. The timing of monthly distributions is subject to the Trustee's policy and procedure regarding plan payments made by personal check, employer check, money order, or cashiers check. The Trustee will not begin disbursing adequate protection payments until the filing fees have been paid to the Clerk or sufficient funds are being held by the Trustee for payment of the filing fees upon confirmation, conversion or dismissal.
Information Regarding Domestic Support Obligation (DSO) Claim holders
When a debtor's bankruptcy schedules disclose a domestic support obligation, the Trustee requests that the debtor provide the name, address and telephone number of said claim holder in writing to the Trustee before or during the meeting of creditors. The Trustee will also send this request to the debtor's attorney in each Chapter 13 case where a DSO is listed in the debtor's schedules.
Notice Regarding Interim Statements for Inactive/Closed Cases
Beginning September 2005 - Due to contractual changes with our software provider, interim statements for Southern Division Chapter 13 cases that have been inactive/closed for more than 13 months will no longer be available at the Courthouse or via the internet. Any interested party needing an interim statement for an inactive/closed Southern Division Chapter 13 case should contact our office at (205) 323-4631 or email@example.com. This change will not effect the availability of interim statements in active cases or cases that have been closed within the last 13 months.
For an extremely informative pamphlet on bankruptcy,
please go to http://www.uscourts.gov/library/bankbasic.pdf