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General

Category: General

Chapter 7: Often called the liquidation chapter, chapter 7 is used by individuals, partnerships, or corporations who have no hope for repairing their financial situation. In chapter 7 asset cases, the debtor’s estate is liquidated under the rules of the bankruptcy code. Liquidation is the process through which the debtor’s non-exempt property is sold for cash by a trustee and the proceeds are distributed to creditors.

Chapter 11: Often called the reorganization chapter, chapter 11 allows corporations, partnerships, and some individuals to reorganize, without having to liquidate all assets. In filing a chapter 11, the debtor presents a plan to creditors which, if accepted by the creditors and approved by the court, will allow the debtor to reorganize personal, financial or business affairs and again become a financially productive individual or business.

Chapter 13: An individual with a regular income who is overcome by debts, but believes such debt can be repaid within a reasonable period of time, may file under chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. Chapter 13 permits the debtor to file a plan in which the debtor agrees to pay a certain percentage of future income to the bankruptcy court trustee for payment to creditors. If the court approves the plan, the debtor will be under the court’s protection while repaying such debts.

More information regarding the difference between chapters can be found in the Bankruptcy Basics Manual.

Category: General

The court prints the name of the trustee in Chapters 7, 12, or 13 bankruptcy cases on the Notice of Bankruptcy, Meeting of Creditors and Deadlines. You may obtain the trustee’s name by accessing the court’s Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS) or through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).  The name of the trustee is also accessible via the public terminals in all divisional offices or you may call the  divisional office where the case is pending or was closed.

Category: General

Procedures on our website are divided into three sections: district, division and national. Please see the Rules and Procedures link for further information.

Category: General

The creditor’s matrix is a list of the creditors in your case. It must be filed in the proper format so that it can be used by the court’s automated noticing system. Please see Amended General Order 13 for creditor matrix formatting instructions.

Category: General

The meeting of creditors is a hearing all debtors must attend in any bankruptcy proceeding. It is held outside of the presence of the judge and usually occurs between 20 and 40 days after the filing of the petition. In chapter 7, 12, and 13 cases, the trustee assigned to the case conducts the meeting. In a chapter 11 case, a representative of the United States Trustee’s Office conducts the meeting.

The meeting permits the trustee or the representative of the U.S. Trustee to review the debtor’s petition and schedules with the debtor. The debtor is required to answer questions under penalty of perjury (swearing or affirming to tell the truth) about the debtor’s conduct, property, liabilities, financial condition, and any other matter that may affect the administration of the case or the debtor’s right to discharge. In addition, the trustee or U.S. Trustee’s representative will ask questions to ensure that the debtor understands the bankruptcy process.

The meeting is referred to as a meeting of creditors because creditors are notified that they may attend and ask the debtor questions pertaining to assets or any other matter pertinent to the administration of the case. It is also referred to as a 341 meeting because it is mandated by Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. Creditors are not required to attend these meetings and do not waive any rights if they do not attend. The meeting usually lasts only about ten to fifteen minutes and may be continued if the trustee or U.S. Trustee’s representative is not satisfied with the information presented.

If the debtor fails to appear and provide the information requested, the trustee or U.S. Trustee’s representative may request that the case be dismissed, or may seek other relief against the debtor for failure to cooperate. If the case involves spouses filing jointly, both spouses must appear at the meeting of creditors.

Category: General

In order to expedite the handling of complaints of criminal violations in the bankruptcy system, the United States Trustee requires that your complaint be submitted in a signed letter, bearing your return address and telephone number.

Your complaint will be reviewed promptly upon receipt. If the information furnished establishes a reasonable belief that a criminal violation has occurred, the matter will be referred to the United States Attorney. If the United States Attorney deems the matter to hold prosecutorial merit, it will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. A clearly written statement containing copies of any available documentation will expedite this process.

The following information should be submitted with your complaint:

1.  Name and address of the person or business you are reporting.

2.  The name of the bankruptcy case, case number, and the location of where the case was filed.

3.  Any identifying information you may have regarding the individual or the business.

4.  A brief description of the alleged fraud, including how you became aware of the fraud and when the fraud took place. Please include all supporting documentation.

5.  Identify the type of asset that was concealed and its estimated dollar value, or the amount of any unreported income, undervalued asset, or other omitted asset or claim.

6.  Your name, address, telephone number, and email address. You are not required to identify yourself, though it is often helpful to do so if questions arise.

Submit a complaint by email to USTP.Bankruptcy.Fraud@usdoj.gov, or to one of the following addresses:

Office of the United States Trustee
450 Golden Gate Avenue
5th Floor, #05-0153
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: (415) 705-3333
Fax: (415) 705-3379

Office of the United States Trustee
280 S. First Street, Room 268
San Jose, CA 95113
Tel: (408) 535-5525
Fax: (408) 535-5532

Office of the United States Trustee
1301 Clay Street, Room 690N
Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: (510) 637-3200
Fax: (510) 637-3220

Executive Office for U.S. Trustees
Office of Criminal Enforcement
441 G Street, NW
Suite 6150
Washington, DC 20530

For more information regarding reporting suspected bankruptcy fraud, please see the United States Trustee’s website.

While the information presented above is accurate as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It is highly recommended that legal advice be obtained from a bankruptcy attorney or legal association. For filing requirements, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code), the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California.

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