The United States Trustee Program is a component of the Justice Department that works to ensure the integrity of the bankruptcy system across the nation.
The duties of United States Trustees include:
- Appointing and supervising the private trustees who collect and disburse funds to creditors in bankruptcy cases under Chapters 7, 12, and 13;
- Assuring compliance with the Bankruptcy Code with respect to information disseminated in cases through reports, schedules, disclosure statements, reorganization plans, and other filings.
- Reviewing fee applications of professionals, like attorneys and accountants, who serve in Chapter 11 business reorganization cases; and
- Monitoring bankruptcy cases for fraud and abuse, and referring criminal matters to U.S. Attorneys for prosecution in accordance with the USTP Mission Statement.
The United States Trustee Program was created as a pilot program by the 1978 Bankruptcy Reform Act. In 1986, Congress expanded the program from the original 18 judicial districts, and it now operates in all states except North Carolina and Alabama.
The 1986 enactment established 21 regions, each of which is administered by a United States Trustee. In addition to the 21 regional offices, there are 95 field offices, most of which are headed by an Assistant United States Trustee.
The Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, located in Washington, D.C., oversees the United States Trustee Program's substantive operations and handles the program's administrative functions. Clifford J. White III serves as Director of the Executive Office for United States Trustees, under authority derived from the Attorney General.