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Illinois Bankruptcy Protection and the U.S. Trustee Program

Posted on in Bankruptcy Attorney

According to a recent survey from Gallup® Politics, six of every 10 Americans polled believe the federal government holds too much power. Over 1,500 adults, age 18 and above in all 50 states and the District of Columbia were surveyed via telephone, and the new statistics were the highest recorded percentage since Gallup® first posed the question in 2010.

The concern over government power is warranted. For instance, the United States Department of Justice houses 53 different in-house agencies, beginning with the Antitrust Division and concluding with the U.S. Trustee Program.

If you are an Illinois native recently considering bankruptcy, you may wonder what role the U.S. Trustee Program may play in your personal bankruptcy proceeding. With the passing of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 (11 U.S.C. 101), a pilot program was administered by the federal government covering 18 districts with expansion later encompassing a total of 21 regions, Illinois included. Further legislation, called the Bankruptcy Judges, U.S. Trustees, and Family Farmer Bankruptcy Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-555, Statute 3088) empowered the agency to serve as “the watchdog over the bankruptcy process” and to protect the integrity and efficiency of our bankruptcy system for all parties involved in the process.

Although the mission statement reiterates this philosophy, the U.S. Trustee Program is highly involved with personal bankruptcy court proceedings, as well as providing protection against bankruptcy fraud. Since the agency reports that the majority of bankruptcy petitions are filed by the U.S. consumer, the role of the agency remains to uphold the integrity and efficiency of your Illinois circuit court, not only for you personally, but for your creditors as well.

The agency maintains that approximately 70 percent of consumer petitions filed for protection fall under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy statutes. You may want to explore the role of the U.S. Trustee Program in relation to your personal petition. The following information may provide insight as to how the Trustee Program oversees personal Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases before opting to contact an Illinois bankruptcy attorney.

For Illinois residents filing for Chapter 7 protection, or the discharging of all eligible debt, the U.S. Trustee Program stipulates that a trustee be appointed to take charge of your property of which could land on the real estate market to satisfy debt owed to creditors. The allowance of personal items is governed by both Illinois and applicable federal laws.

Filing under Chapter 13 bankruptcy regulations, also called “reorganization” bankruptcy, permits approval of a set payment plan satisfying debt over a three to five year period, with remaining eligible debt discharged at the end of the financial repayment plan. The role of the Trustee Program is to assign you a trustee who is responsible for monetary collection, payment to creditors and to ensure that you maintain your financial repayment terms.

For Illinois citizens considering filing for protection under Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy law, it remains a very personal decision, but you are not alone. Although the U.S. Trustee Program cannot offer legal advice, you do have the option of retaining an experienced Lake County bankruptcy attorney to legally safeguard your interests. The qualified bankruptcy attorneys of Newland & Newland, LLP have been assisting Illinois clients throughout Northern Illinois, including the Chicago metro area, Lake, DuPage, McHenry, Kane and Will counties since 1993. Contact one of our area offices today to schedule your personal consultation.

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