The U.S. Trustee's office in Washington D.C. is taking its responsibility under the Bankruptcy Reform law seriously. The U.S. Trustee has created a more powerful enforcement arm to seek out and pursue non-existent debtor "abuse" of the bankruptcy system. The U.S. Trustee's marching orders were created by Congress, after considerable financial encouragement by creditor special interest groups, all seeking to engourge themselves with additional profits at the expense of consumers.
The U.S. Trustees monitor every Chapter 7 case filed, and send out "letters of inquiry", seeking extensive personal financial information in an apparent effort to determine whether the debtor should be filing a Chapter 13, or better yet, simply have his or her case dismissed to enable creditors to agressively collect their claims. The U.S. Trustee's "letters of inquiry" frequently cause the bankruptcy case to be much more expensive to prosecute than before Bankruptcy Reform was enacted. The new mandate issued by Congress has transformed the U.S. Trustee's office from a monitor of the bankruptcy system, particularly in Chapter 11 cases, to an agressive protector of corporate profits.
The Maine U.S. Trustee's office perfoms its unsavory task with courtesy and respect for the debtor and his or her counsel, and for that, this counsel is grateful. Notwithstanding the stellar performance of the Maine U.S. Trustee's office, another round of bankruptcy reform is needed to reduce the powerful influence of creditors under the current bankruptcy law. A balance of creditor and debtor interests needs to be restored. Wth almost 2 years of the Bankruptcy Reform law under our belts, it is easy to see the "creditor abuses" built into the current law; perhaps it is time to vote into Congress representatives and senators who look out for the best interests of consumers instead of profits for big business.