Bankruptcy Basics: What Does the UST (United States Trustee) Do?

20 Aug Bankruptcy Basics: What Does the UST (United States Trustee) Do?

Whenever a debtor files for bankruptcy, the United States Bankruptcy Court appoints a trustee to administer the case/estate for the Court. Whether a debtor files a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, there is always a case trustee. And overseeing the case trustees on behalf of the United States government, specifically the Department of Justice, is the United States Trustee Program. Only two states are not involved with the United States Trustee Program (North Carolina and Alabama).

The country is divided into a number of districts and there is a UST assigned to each district. There are also many Assistant United States Trustees that directly oversee each state or division within a particular state. And added into that mix, are the attorneys for the Assistant United States Trustee, or the United States Trustee.

The job of the UST is to review bankruptcy cases and to identify problematic areas. The debtor must provide the last 60 days of paystubs to the UST in Oregon (as well as send copies of the last four years of tax returns to the Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 trustee). The trustees all review the documents provided and analyze whether the debtor should be repaying some of his debts or some higher percentage of the debts. The UST now also reviews the new independent audits that must be conducted on a percentage of new bankruptcy filings. The UST, if he/she believes that that bankruptcy system is being abuse, will bring the case to the attention of the bankruptcy court by filing a motion to dismiss the debtor’s case under 11 USC Section 707(b).

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.

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