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OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE ANNOUNCES TELEPHONIC SECTION 341 MEETINGS IN ALL BANKRUPTCY CASES AND TELEPHONIC CHAPTER 11 INITIAL DEBTOR INTERVIEWS (Posted: Friday, April 3, 2020)


In light of the recommendations of the CDC regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, effectively immediately and until further notice, the United States Trustee for Region 21 has directed that all Meetings of Creditors under 11 U.S.C. § 341 in all bankruptcy cases, and all Initial Debtor Interviews in Chapter 11 and Subchapter V cases, be conducted by telephone conference.

For cases in which the initial § 341 meeting was postponed (generally, cases in which the initial § 341 meeting was scheduled between March 17, 2020 and April 10, 2020) and until further notice in all newly filed cases, the Court will issue Notices of Case Filing that include information regarding the telephonic § 341 Meeting. The Notices of Case Filing will include the "dial in" telephone number for the appointed trustee or the U.S. Trustee's Office, a participant passcode, and the time of the telephonic meeting. This information will also be provided in notices of the Initial Debtor Interview in Chapter 11 and Subchapter V cases.

The U.S. Trustee's Office requests that all attorneys and their clients cooperate in making this process work as smoothly as possible under these difficult and unprecedented circumstances.

Click HERE for instructions for accessing the telephonic § 341 Meetings and Initial Debtor Interviews.


UPDATED DISTRICT-WIDE TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES PROCEDURE (Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2020)

Effective March 31, 2020, the Middle District of Florida has updated its Telephonic Appearances Procedure, applicable in all Divisions. Parties appearing before the Court are urged to review the updated procedure. The following are important highlights:
  • If possible, parties appearing telephonically should use a landline rather than a cell phone. Parties shall not use cell phones while in public spaces or while driving or riding in an automobile. If a cell phone is used, parties shall ensure that they have a strong cellular phone system or use the Wi-Fi calling option on their phones.
  • Counsel shall not connect their clients to the telephonic hearing by "conference call." If the client wishes to listen in, the client must separately call into the hearing.
  • When not addressing the Court, parties shall place their calls on "mute".
  • When addressing the Court, parties shall not use the speaker phone or the "hands-free" feature of their phones.
  • If the Court cannot understand an attorney attending a hearing by telephone, the Court may, in its discretion, continue the hearing, request the attorney to file a written argument, or rule on the matter before it without consideration of the attorney's statements.
Click HERE to review the Updated Telephonic Appearances Procedure.


Temporary Suspension of Attorneys' Obligation to Obtain Original Client Signatures Prior to Filing Signed Papers (Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020)

The Bankruptcy Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-4. Effective March 23, 2020, attorneys may, under certain circumstances, file papers, including bankruptcy petitions and schedules, that are signed by their clients without first having obtained possession of the client’s original signature.

Click HERE to view the Administrative Order.


CLERK'S OFFICE INTAKE WINDOWS CLOSED EFFECTIVE MARCH 23, 2020; FILING PROCEDURES FOR PRO SE PARTIES (Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020)

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on our local communities, effective March 23, 2020, the Bankruptcy Court has closed the Intake Windows in all Divisions. The Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-3 to authorize pro se filers to file bankruptcy petitions and other papers by email, fax, and U.S. Mail or other delivery.

Click HERE to view the Administrative Order.


EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY - ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT FOR ALL NOTICES OF HEARING (Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020)

Effective immediately, all attorney prepared notices of hearing must include telephonic access information and the following language: Telephonic Appearance Requirement. Effective March 16, 2020, and continuing until further notice, Judges in all Divisions will conduct all preliminary and non-evidentiary hearings by telephone. For Judges Colton and Williamson, parties should arrange a telephonic appearance through Court Solutions (www.court-solutions.com). For Judges Delano, Funk, Jackson, Jennemann, McEwen, and Vaughan, parties should arrange a telephonic appearance through Court Call (866-582-6878).

Sample notices of hearing are located in the Attorney Notices of Hearing procedure located in the Procedure Manual and Forms section of The Source.

Click HERE for the sample Notice of Hearing - Bankruptcy.
Click HERE for the sample Notice of Hearing - Adversary.


EXTENSIONS OF CERTAIN DEADLINES (Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2020)

In light of the Office of the United States Trustee's having postponed all Sec. 341 meetings of creditors scheduled through April 10, 2020, the Court has entered Administrative Order FLMB-2020-2 to extend certain deadlines that relate to the date first set for the Sec. 341 meeting.

Click HERE to view the Administrative Order.


OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE ANNOUNCES CONTINUANCE OF ALL SECTION 341 MEETINGS (Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020)

Effective immediately, all in-person chapter 7, 12, and 13 section 341 meetings scheduled through April 10, 2020, in the Middle District of Florida are hereby continued until a later date to be determined. Absent special circumstances, section 341 meetings may not proceed during this period except through telephonic or other alternative means not requiring personal appearance by debtors. Appropriate notice will be provided to parties in accordance with bankruptcy law and rules.

Meetings already noticed as telephonic meetings may proceed as scheduled.

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


BANKRUPTCY COURT HEARING PROCEDURES EFFECTIVE MARCH 16, 2020 (Posted: Friday, March 13, 2020)

A message from Chief Judge Caryl E. Delano:

The bankruptcy judges of the Middle District of Florida are monitoring reports regarding the Coronavirus Disease known as COVID-19. In light of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's recommendation that everyone avoid crowds and exercise "social distancing," effective Monday, March 16, 2020, and continuing until further notice, the Court has implemented the following policies:

  1. Judges in all Divisions will conduct all non-evidentiary hearings by telephone. Attorneys should arrange to appear via CourtCall or CourtSolutions as indicated on each judge's webpage (www.flmb.uscourts.gov). Both CourtCall and CourtSolutions have agreed to waive their charges for pro se parties. A party who is not represented by counsel and is unable to coordinate with CourtCall or CourtSolutions should contact the judge's courtroom deputy. Contact information is listed on each judge's webpage.


  2. Individual judges may determine to continue evidentiary hearings and trials that are not time-sensitive. In that event, Court staff will contact counsel for the parties and an order continuing the hearing or trial will be entered.


  3. Any party who has a valid basis for requesting the continuance of an evidentiary or non-evidentiary hearing may file a motion to continue. Motions to continue shall include a statement that the movant has conferred with counsel for opposing parties concerning the requested continuance, and the position of other parties concerning the request.


Notice from the Orlando Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court (Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2020)

To limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus while maintaining our mission to the keep the U.S. Bankruptcy Court up and running, please follow all guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including staying home if you are ill. The Orlando Division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will immediately implement two changes: (1) All 341 Meetings will occur on the 6th floor in Courtrooms B and D; and (2) Attorneys appearing in the Orlando Division are encouraged to appear by telephone when appropriate, even if you are resident in the Orlando Division.

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


JUDGE LORI V. VAUGHAN SWORN IN AS MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA BANKRUPTCY JUDGE (Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2020)

ORLANDO, FL - On February 25, 2020, the Honorable Lori V. Vaughan was sworn in as the newest bankruptcy judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. Prior to her appointment, Judge Vaughan was a partner at Trenam Law in Tampa, Florida. Judge Vaughan will preside in the Orlando Division and conduct hearings in Courtroom 6C of the George C. Young United States Courthouse.

Click HERE to view the press release.


**AMENDED DATE** CM/ECF Planned Outage: Maintenance Scheduled for February 17, 2020 (Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 17, 2020.


CM/ECF Planned Outage: Maintenance Scheduled for February 22, 2020 (Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2020)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2020.


The Court's latest Court Connection Newsletter is currently available (Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020)

Click HERE to view the January 2020 edition.


Judge McEwen's Mentoring Program for New Bankruptcy Lawyers (Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020)

The next session of Judge McEwen's mentoring program for lawyers new to the practice of bankruptcy law is scheduled for Wednesday, February 12, 2020, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the bankruptcy court's training room on the 5th floor, Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse in Tampa. The program is open to all new and experienced lawyers. Judge McEwen's special guest for this program is: Betsy C. Cox, Esquire.

Program Description: The Do's and Don'ts of Discovery

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


**AMENDED CM/ECF OUTAGE TIME** CM/ECF Planned Outage: Maintenance Scheduled for January 18 - 20, 2020 (Posted: Friday, January 17, 2020)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 1:00 a.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020, through 9:00 p.m. Monday, January 20, 2020.


CM/ECF Application unavailable - Reminder (Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020, through 9:00 p.m. Monday, January 20, 2020.


Office Closures - Holidays (Posted: Friday, December 20, 2019)

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida clerk's office in Jacksonville and Orlando will close on Tuesday, December 24, 2019. The clerk's office in Tampa will be open on Tuesday, December 24. Any person in need of court services (in any of the divisions) on Tuesday, December 24, can contact the Tampa Division clerk's office:

San M. Gibbons United States Courthouse
801 North Florida Avenue, Suite 555
Tampa, FL 33602

Tampa division phone numbers:
(813) 301-5046 or (813) 301-5070


CM/ECF Planned Outage: Maintenance Scheduled for January 18 - 20, 2020 (Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2019)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020, through 9:00 p.m. Monday, January 20, 2020.


December 1, 2019 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019)

The following amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure took effect on December 1, 2019:
  • Rule 4001(c) - Amended to clarify that Rule 4001(c), "Obtaining Credit," does not apply in Chapter 13 cases.

  • Rule 6007 - Amended to specify service requirements for motions to compel the trustee or debtor in possession to abandon property and a 14 day objection deadline. To implement this amendment, the Court has revised the Negative Notice list to shorten the response period for Motions to Compel Abandonment from 21 days to 14 days.

  • Rule 9036 - Amended to provide that notice to or service on a registered user is complete upon the filing of the notice or paper with the court's electronic-filing system (CM/ECF). The amended rule does not apply to pleadings or papers required to be served in accordance with Rule 7004.

  • Rule 9037 - Amended to add new paragraph (h) regarding motions to redact previously filed documents and for the court to restrict public access to the motion and the unredacted documents pending its ruling on the motion. To implement this amendment, the CM/ECF filing event "Motion to Redact" has been programmed to automatically restrict the viewing of a motion to redact to the filer, the trustee (if any), and the U.S. Trustee.
In addition, Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 26.1(c) has been amended to require the appellant in a bankruptcy appeal to file a statement that (1) identifies each debtor not named in the caption and (2) for each debtor that is a corporation, discloses the information required by information required by Rule 26.1(a).


Judge McEwen's Mentoring Program for New Bankruptcy Lawyers (Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019)

The next session of Judge McEwen's mentoring program for lawyers new to the practice of bankruptcy law is scheduled for Tuesday, December 17, 2019, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the bankruptcy court's training room on the 5th floor, Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse in Tampa. The program is open to all new and experienced lawyers. Judge McEwen's special guest for this program is: John Lesko, Florida Lawyers Assistance Outreach Representative.

Program Description: The Features of a Legal Practice - How and Why Lawyers Are So Often Impacted by the Stressors Inherent to the Profession

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


Public Comment Requested - Interim Bankruptcy Rules to Accompany the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, P.L. 116-54 (SBRA) (Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2019)

On February 19, 2020, the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, P.L. 116-54 (SBRA) will go into effect - long before the normal three-year rules amendment process runs its course. As a temporary measure, the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules has drafted Interim Bankruptcy Rules for adoption by courts as local rules or by general order when the SBRA goes into effect. The Advisory Committee has also drafted amendments to the Official forms to address the SBRA. The Standing Committee now seeks comment on the proposed SBRA rules and forms prior to making final recommendations.
  • Interim Bankruptcy Rules 1007(b), 1007(h), 1020, 2009, 2012(a), 2015, 3010(b), 3011, and 3016.

  • Official Forms 101, 201, 309E, 309F, 314, 315, 425A, and new Official Forms 309E2, and 309F2

Please note the comment period is open from October 16, 2019 to November 3, 2019.

Click HERE to view the Draft of the proposed amendments and supporting materials.

Click HERE to submit or view comments on the Proposed Interim Bankruptcy Rules and Official Forms.

Click HERE to view detailed instructions on how to submit a comment.


The Court's latest Court Connection Newsletter is currently available (Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2019)

Click HERE to view the October 2019 edition.


Judge McEwen's Mentoring Program for New Bankruptcy Lawyers (Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2019)

The next session of Judge McEwen's mentoring program for lawyers new to the practice of bankruptcy law is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23, 2019, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the bankruptcy court's training room on the 5th floor, Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse in Tampa. The program is open to all new and experienced lawyers.

Program Title: Town Hall Meeting to Brainstorm Ways to Stop Abusive Serial Filers

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


CM/ECF Planned Outage - Maintenance Scheduled (October 12 - 14, 2019) - POSTPONED (Posted: Friday, October 11, 2019)

Due to technical reasons beyond our control the CM/ECF maintenance that was scheduled has been postponed.

The system will be available the Columbus day weekend October 12-14, 2019.


CM/ECF Planned Outage - Maintenance Scheduled (October 12 - 14, 2019) - POSTPONED (Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2019)

Due to a maintenance release of CM/ECF, the CM/ECF Application will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. Saturday, October 12, 2019, through 9:00 p.m. Monday, October 14, 2019. POSTPONED


Bankruptcy Judge Caryl E. Delano appointed Chief Bankruptcy Judge (Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019)

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida has appointed Judge Caryl E. Delano as the Middle District's chief bankruptcy judge for a four-year term commencing October 1, 2019. Judge Delano succeeds Judge Michael G. Williamson, whose term as chief judge ends on September 30, 2019.


Third Amended Administrative Order Prescribing Procedures for Student Loan Management Program, FLMB-2019-5 (Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019)

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida posted an updated Administrative Order: FLMB-2019-5, Third Amended Order Prescribing Procedures for Student Loan Management Program. The amended order clarifies the procedures set forth in the Amended Administrative Order Prescribing Procedures for Student Loan Modification (Admin. Order. No. FLMB-2019-2) and the Second Amended Administrative Order Prescribing Procedures for Student Loan Modification (Admin. Order. No. FLMB-2019-4).

Click HERE to view Administrative Order FLMB-2019-5.


C.A.R.E. Kickoff Orientation - Tampa, Florida (Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019)

An orientation luncheon for the C.A.R.E. program will be held on October 9, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. in the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse fifth floor bankruptcy training room in Tampa.

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


CLOSING OF UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA - JACKSONVILLE DIVISION - DUE TO HURRICANE DORIAN (Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2019)

The United States Bankruptcy Court's Jacksonville Division will remain CLOSED on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

All court hearings scheduled during this period are cancelled. Attorneys and the public will NOT be able to conduct routine business in person at the United States Bankruptcy Court's Jacksonville division.

The Jacksonville division of the court is expected to resume normal business operations on Thursday, September 5, 2019. The Orlando division of the court will resume normal business operations on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The public is advised to continue to check the court's website at www.flmb.uscourts.gov and listen to all local news broadcasts for information on the status of federal court operations in each division.


CLOSING OF UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA - ORLANDO and JACKSONVILLE DIVISIONS - DUE TO HURRICANE DORIAN (Posted: Monday, September 2, 2019)

The United States Bankruptcy Court Orlando and Jacksonville Divisions will be CLOSED on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

All court hearings scheduled during this period are cancelled. Attorneys and the public will NOT be able to conduct routine business in person at the United States Bankruptcy Court Orlando of Jacksonville Divisions.

Additionally, the Office of the United States Trustee has cancelled ALL Section 341 meetings of creditors scheduled for Tuesday, September 3, 2019 in Orlando.

The Orlando and Jacksonville divisions of the court are expected to resume normal business operations on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The public is advised to continue to check the court's website at www.flmb.uscourts.gov and listen to all local news broadcasts for information on the status of federal court operations in each Division.


CLOSING OF UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA - ORLANDO - DUE TO HURRICANE DORIAN (Posted: Sunday, September 1, 2019)

The United States Bankruptcy Court Orlando Division will be CLOSED on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

All court hearings scheduled during this period are cancelled. Attorneys and the public will NOT be able to conduct routine business in person at the United States Bankruptcy Court Orlando Division.

Additionally, the Office of the United States Trustee has cancelled ALL Section 341 meetings of creditors scheduled for Tuesday, September 3, 2019 in Orlando.

The Orlando division of the court is expected to resume normal business operations on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The public is advised to continue to check the court's website at www.flmb.uscourts.gov and listen to all local news broadcasts for information on the status of federal court operations in each Division.


Due to Hurricane Dorian, All September 3, 2019 Hearings in Fort Myers Division Are Cancelled (Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019)

Please see the attached Memorandum from the Hon. Caryl E. Delano, Presiding Judge of the Fort Myers Division regarding Rescheduling of September 3, 2019 Hearings and meetings of creditors under § 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Memorandum may be viewed by Clicking Here.


Second Amended Administrative Order Prescribing Procedures for Student Loan Management Program, FLMB-2019-4 (Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2019)

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida posted an updated Administrative Order: FLMB-2019-4, Second Amended Order Prescribing Procedures for Student Loan Management Program. This amended order changes the effective date from September 1, 2019, to October 1, 2019.

Click HERE to view Administrative Order FLMB-2019-4.


Revised Chapter 13 Model Plan Effective September 1, 2019 (Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019)

The Middle District of Florida's Model Chapter 13 Plan has been revised, effective September 1, 2019. The revised Model Plan more clearly informs debtors that if they elect certain plan treatments of secured claims, they will not receive a discharge of those claims. See Sections C.(5)(a), (b), (c), (h), (i), and (k), and Sections 6.(a) and (b). In addition, Sections 5.(a) and (b) clarify that debtors may cure arrearages on homeowner's and condominium assessments and may, but need not, include the payment of post-petition assessments in their plan payments. The revised Model Plan also includes several non-substantive revisions.

Click HERE to view the fillable form.
Click HERE to view the non-fillable form.


Judge McEwen's Mentoring Program for New Bankruptcy Lawyers (Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2019)
The next session of Judge McEwen's mentoring program for lawyers new to the practice of bankruptcy law is scheduled for Wednesday, August 28, 2019, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the bankruptcy court's training room on the 5th floor, Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse in Tampa. Judge McEwen's special guest for this program is: Sue-Helen Motley, Esquire, Bay Area Legal Services.

Program Title: THE GREYING DEBTOR CLASS - Curing Reverse Mortgage Defaults; Elder Fraud; Death Issues; and Foreclosure Strategies

Click HERE to view the full announcement.


Public Notice for the Appointment of a Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division (Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2018)
The Middle District of Florida will appoint a full-time magistrate judge for the Orlando division. The annual salary is $191,360. The term office is eight years, beginning March 1, 2019. The magistrate judge must remain in the Orlando division.

Click HERE to read full announcement.


Proposed Chapter 11 Confirmation Orders and Local Rule 3020-1 (Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2018)
The Court would like to remind Chapter 11 practitioners of Local Rule 3020-1 which addresses Chapter 11 Confirmation. Specifically the Court draws your attention to paragraph (c)(1), which is as follows: (1) Contents.

The confirmation order shall include the following if applicable: a schedule summarizing the timing and amount of payments to be made to each class of creditors under the plan; notice of any scheduled post-confirmation status conference; and the form of Post-Confirmation Avoidance & Claim Litigation Report to be filed in connection with post-confirmation status conferences conducted in the case.

The form is available on the Court's website in the forms section of the Procedures Manual
Proposed Chapter 11 Confirmation Orders that do not comply with the requirements of the Court's Local Rule may be returned for non-compliance.


Negative Notice and Accompany Orders Lists Updates (Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2018)
Please be aware of the following revisions to the Court's Negative Notice List and Accompanying Orders List. Negative Notice List updates include: 1. Existing Negative Notice List item Motion to Approve Compromise or Settlement is updated to add an exception to those filed in Chapter 13 Cases. Those filed in a Chapter 13 case related to a personal injury matter are no longer allowed to be filed with Negative Notice. 2. Added: Motion to Vacate Mortgage Modification Mediation Order. Accompanying Orders List update: Added: Motion for Refund of Fee Payment. To view the Court's revised lists, use the following links:

Negative Notice List
Accompanying Orders List


(Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013)


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