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United States Trustee


United States Trustee

The United States Trustee Program is an agency of the et seq.

In addition to the twenty-one United States Trustees, the program is administered by the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (EOUST), located in Washington, D.C., and 95 field offices. The United States Trustee is the federal official charged with enforcing civil bankruptcy laws in the United States.


The § 586(a)(1)). The United States Trustee has other duties including the oversight of administration of most bankruptcy cases and trustees (see generally 28 U.S.C. § 586(a)(3)).

Each of the twenty-one regional U.S. Trustees maintains an office in each judicial district within the trustee's region, except for Alabama and North Carolina, which are not administered by the U.S. Trustee program.

The U.S. Trustee does not have prosecution powers, but is required by law to refer information regarding potential criminal violations of bankruptcy laws to the United States Attorney.[1]

Interim trustees serve by the U.S. Trustee's appointment in Chapter 7 cases. Generally the interim trustee is assigned at random from a "panel" of qualified individuals at the time a bankruptcy case is filed, and is automatically appointed as the "permanent" case trustee after the first meeting of creditors.

Due to the relative infrequency of filing of petitions for Chapter 12 (family farmer debt adjustment) relief, trustees for these cases are typically appointed on an ad hoc basis.

Each judicial district has one or more Standing Chapter 13 Trustees. The Standing Trustees are responsible for the administration of all Chapter 13 cases filed in their judicial district.

If for any reason all panel and/or standing trustees are disqualified or unable to perform, the U.S. Trustee may serve as trustee for a particular case under Chapter 7, 12 or 13. This very rarely happens.

The U.S. Trustee's office conducts the first meeting of creditors in a Chapter 11 case. Most Chapter 11's do not require the appointment of a trustee: however, in those cases which do, the U.S. Trustee oversees the appointed trustee's handling of the case and, for good cause, can seek the removal or replacement of the trustee. The U.S. Trustee may not, however, serve as the case trustee in Chapter 11. Along with the creditors committees, the U.S. Trustee acts as the primary "watchdog" to ensure compliance with the Bankruptcy Code in cases where no trustee has been appointed.

Accounting staffers within the Trustee's office review all debtor filings, and monitor trustee and attorney fees in all cases. Attorneys employed by the Trustee represent the office in United States bankruptcy court and pursue civil sanctions for some egregious violations of the law in Chapter 7, 12 and 13 cases.

Executive Office for United States Trustees

The Executive Office for United States Trustees (EOUST) is part of The United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The EOUST is the component of the Department of Justice responsible for overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases and private trustees. The responsibility of the EOUST as the top level office controlling DOJ attorneys who monitor conduct in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts is analogous to that of The Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) as responsible for prosecutors of the DOJ. The current Director of the Office is Clifford J. White III.[2]

In contract with the EOUSA, the EOUST maintains indirect publicity and refers to its offices as the "U.S. Trustee Program".

Criminal referral

When a government attorney working at the EUOST or any of its regional or field offices observes or suspects any criminal activity, it must be referred to the United States Attorney's Office in the District in which the suspected crime occurred. The official policy of the EOUST is to include a review of such criminal referrals as part of the employee evaluation for each DOJ attorney employed as a U.S. Trustee.

See also

Bankruptcy in the United States.


External links

  • United States Trustee Program home page

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