U.S. Trustee Program, U.S. Department of Justice

The United States Trustee Program (USTP) is a litigating component of the Department of Justice whose mission is to promote the integrity and efficiency of the bankruptcy system for the benefit of all stakeholders—debtors, creditors, and the public. In its legislative history, the USTP is called the “watchdog” of the bankruptcy system. The USTP carries out administrative, regulatory, and enforcement responsibilities covering about 1.5 million ongoing bankruptcy cases annually. Among other things, the USTP: appoints and oversees about 1,400 private trustees who administer cases, liquidate assets, and distribute an average of nearly $10 billion annually to creditors; prescribes financial reporting for trustees, consumer debtors, and corporations seeking reorganization; and approves approximately 200 credit counselors and debtor education providers to offer pre-filing and pre-discharge services to individuals. Annually, the USTP takes more than 30,000 formal and informal civil enforcement actions against debtors, creditors, professionals, and other parties with a potential monetary impact of about $1 billion. Additionally, it makes more than 2,000 criminal referrals to its law enforcement partners and may assist in prosecutions. The USTP consists of an Executive Office, 21 regions, and 90 field office locations. Staff appear in about 275 bankruptcy courts and preside over statutory meetings of creditors held in every bankruptcy case in about 400 locations. The USTP employs about 1,000 staff, including attorneys, financial analysts, and other professional and support personnel.