One of the most prominent actors in a Las Vegas bankruptcy case is the trustee. However, the Bankruptcy Code sometimes refers to another trustee called the “U.S. Trustee.” It can be confusing as to which one is which, but they are different people with different responsibilities. Here are a few of the more important ones.
- The trustee that most debtors deal with is more broadly referred to as the “case trustee” or the “bankruptcy trustee” and is not a “U.S. Trustee.” The case trustee liquidates the debtor’s assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and pays the creditors out of the repayment plan in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The case trustee is the person who appears at the 341 meeting of the creditors to inquire the debtor as to the veracity of his or her bankruptcy.
- U.S. Trustees are appointees of the Attorney General, so they work for the Department of Justice. The U.S. Trustee program has been in existence since the bankruptcy reform of 1978. The program is divided into 21 regions serving the entire country except North Carolina and Alabama.
- U.S. Trustees are responsible for supervising and appointing case trustees to bankruptcy cases, and they teach them how to do their jobs.
- Case trustees are paid a commission from the bankruptcy estate based on its size, which encourages them to pursue debtors’ assets vigorously. U.S. Trustees are paid out of the United States Trustee System Fund, which is financed by petitioners’ bankruptcy filing fees.
- A U.S. Trustee’s primary responsibility is evaluating bankruptcy petitions and pursuing bankruptcy fraud. U.S. Trustees can also file adversary proceedings to revoke debtors’ discharge orders or to request the bankruptcy court dismiss their cases.
- Debtors who encounter difficulties with their case trustees can contact the U.S. Trustee’s Office and report their complaints.
- Anyone can contact the U.S. Trustee’s Office to report bankruptcy scams they are aware of.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 1-702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.