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Craig D. Robins, Esq. New York Bankruptcy Attorney, Longisland bankruptcy attorney

“ Craig D. Robins, Esq., has been a practicing Long Island bankruptcy attorney for over twenty-four years ”

Craig D. Robins, Esq.

Nine Tips to Protect Your Clients From the U.S. Trustee Initiative Program

Posted on Wednesday (March 3, 2004) at 11:00 am to Bankruptcy Practice
Nassau Lawyer

150px-us-deptofjustice-seal_svg1Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.

The U.S. Trustee Initiative Program. The Office of the United States Trustee has been scouring cases recently, looking for indications that a debtor has the ability to make a reasonable payment to his creditors. The United States Trustee Program launched a nationwide campaign, dubbed the “Civil Enforcement Initiative,” aimed at “advancing and protecting the integrity of the bankruptcy system.” The initiative was developed when, after years of proposed legislation to stop alleged bankruptcy abuse, none of the proposed bankruptcy reforms became law. Thus, the U.S. Trustee’s Office decided to adopt and implement some of the legislative policy themselves.

It appears that the initiative will focus on three key problem areas: ( i) debtors who abuse the bankruptcy system and engage in bankruptcy fraud, by loading up on credit card debt or orchestrating a bust-out; ( ii) debtors who have the ability to repay a reasonable portion of their debts; and (iii) debtors (or their attorneys) who file sloppy schedules, or false and incorrect schedules; and attorneys who provide poor legal representation or charge excessive attorney’s fees.

You can therefore expect to see a heightened amount of activity out of our district U.S. Trustee’s office investigating cases to see if debtors have truly filed in “good faith.” The following are my observations of this practice.

“Substantial Abuse” – Bankruptcy Code Section 707(b). The U.S. Trustee frequently relies on this section and alleges that a debtor is substantially abusing the bankruptcy system when it believes a debtor has not filed in good faith for one of the above reasons.

The Initiative Program Has Become the U.S. Trustee’s Foremost Priority. The Office of the U.S. Trustee is a division of the Department of Justice and has responsibility for overseeing all bankruptcy cases and trustees. Previously, a major portion of that office’s time was devoted to overseeing the administration of Chapter 11 business cases. However, Chapter 11 filings have decreased markedly over the past few years, apparently resulting in the U.S. Trustee’s office shifting their priorities from business cases to consumer cases.

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Craig D. Robins, Esq. is a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer, who is focused primarily on helping individuals and families, find solutions to their debt problems. Read more »


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