Board Certified Michigan Bankruptcy Specialist

Detroit Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Consumer Bankruptcy Filings

 Certification: "A voluntary process instituted by a nongovernmental organization by which
    individuals are recognized for [specific], sometimes advanced, knowledge and skills."

     - National Organization for Competency Assurance, Washington, D.C.



Bankruptcy in Michigan is a difficult and demanding process. Often, when bankruptcy becomes necessary, it is the result of some unforeseen event or external circumstance beyond an individual's or married couple's control. Bankruptcy is not a “quick fix” and can involve some very complicated areas of law. For the most part, federal law governs bankruptcy in the United States, although several states have peculiarities unique to those states. Because bankruptcy law is mostly federal, the American Board of Certification was created to develop an examination and a set of standards that can be used nationwide to measure an attorney’s competence in bankruptcy law. Some states have laws that prevent an attorney from advertising legal specialties and Michigan is one of them. Only Board Certified Bankruptcy Specialists may advertise themselves as professionals.

Ask if your attorney is a Michigan Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Certification.

If you are interested in obtaining the names of certified consumer or business bankruptcy specialists in your area, or in obtaining a free directory of certified specialists, please contact the American Board of Certification.

The United States Trustee Program

The United States Trustee Program is a component of the Department of Justice that seeks to promote the efficiency and protect the integrity of the Federal bankruptcy system.  To further the public interest in the just, speedy and economical resolution of cases filed under the Bankruptcy Code, the Program monitors the conduct of bankruptcy parties and private estate trustees, oversees related administrative functions, and acts to ensure compliance with applicable laws and procedures.  It also identifies and helps investigate bankruptcy fraud and abuse in coordination with United States Attorneys, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies.

Background of the U.S. Trustee Program

The Program was established by the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 (11 U.S.C. 101, et seq.) as a pilot effort encompassing 18 districts.  It was expanded to 21 Regions nationwide, covering all Federal judicial districts except Alabama and North Carolina (see Note below), by enactment of the Bankruptcy Judges, U.S. Trustees, & Family Farmer Bankruptcy Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-554, 100 Stat. 3088, reprinted in part at 28 U.S.C. 581, note).  The Program is funded by the United States Trustee System Fund, which consists primarily of fees paid by parties and businesses invoking Federal bankruptcy protection.

The primary role of the U.S. Trustee Program is to serve as the "watchdog over the bankruptcy process."1/   As stated in the USTP Mission Statement:

The USTP Mission is to promote integrity and efficiency in the nation’s bankruptcy system by enforcing bankruptcy laws, providing oversight of private trustees, and maintaining operational excellence. 2/

The Attorney General is charged with the appointment of United States Trustees and Assistant United States Trustees. The Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (EOUST) in Washington, D.C., provides general policy and legal guidance, oversees the Program's substantive operations, and handles administrative functions. The Director of the Executive Office, whose authority derives from the Attorney General, oversees a staff comprised of the Offices of the Director, General Counsel, Administration, Review & Oversight, and Research & Planning. The Executive Office also provides administrative and management support to individual U.S. Trustee Offices in their implementation of Federal bankruptcy laws.  See 28 U.S.C. 581-589a.


Principal U.S. Trustee Duties under the Bankruptcy Code

United States Trustees supervise the administration of the following cases filed under the Federal Bankruptcy Code:
  • Liquidation proceedings under Chapter 7 — In Chapter 7 "liquidation" proceeding, those assets that are not exempt from creditors are collected and liquidated (reduced to money). The proceeds are distributed to creditors by a private trustee appointed to administer the debtor's estate under Chapter 7 (see generally 11 U.S.C. 701-704). An eligible debtor may receive a "discharge" from his or her debts under Chapter 7, except for certain debts that are prohibited from discharge by the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Reorganization proceedings (usually business-related) under Chapter 11 — Chapter 11 offers a procedure by which an individual or a business may attempt to "reorganize" its debts while continuing to operate. The vast majority of Chapter 11 cases are filed by businesses. The debtor, often with the participation of creditors, creates a reorganization plan under which to repay all or part of its debts. The "debtor in possession" may generally continue business operations pending reorganization, unless a trustee is appointed under Chapter 11 (see, e.g., 11 U.S.C. 1104).
    Section 1930(a)(6) of the U.S. Code (28 U.S.C. 1930(a)(6)) prescribes "quarterly fees" that are to be paid by Chapter 11 debtors to the U.S. Trustee Program. In essence, quarterly fees accrue throughout the pendency of a Chapter 11 reorganization case (i.e., until the case is closed, dismissed, or converted to another chapter) and are payable on a quarterly basis, 30 days following the end of each calendar quarter. "The amount of the quarterly fee [is] calculated according to a graduated scale based on the total sum of disbursements" as specified in 1930(a)(6), and "disbursements" include all pre- and post-confirmation payments made by or on behalf of the debtor, including routine operating expenses. See, e.g., Tighe v. Celebrity Home (In re Celebrity Home Entertainment, Inc.), 210 F.3d 995 (9th Cir. April 21, 2000). For more information regarding Chapter 11 quarterly fees, please contact the Office of the United States Trustee in the judicial district where the case was filed.
  • Family farm reorganization proceedings under Chapter 12 — Chapter 12 allows an eligible family farmer to file for bankruptcy, reorganize the farm's business affairs, repay all or part of the farm's debts, and continue operating. A "standing trustee" appointed by the United States Trustee under 28 U.S.C. 586(b) typically serves as the trustee of the debtor's estate pending fulfillment of the debtor's repayment obligations under a plan confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court where the case was filed.
  • "Wage-earner" reorganization proceedings under Chapter 13 — Chapter 13, often called wage-earner bankruptcy, is used primarily by individual consumers to reorganize their financial affairs under a repayment plan that must be completed within three or five years. To be eligible for Chapter 13 relief, a consumer must have regular income and may not have more than a certain amount of debt, as set forth in the Bankruptcy Code. A "standing trustee" appointed by the United States Trustee under 28 U.S.C. 586(b) typically serves as the trustee of the debtor's estate pending fulfillment of the debtor's repayment obligations under a plan confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court where the case was filed.

Specific responsibilities of the United States Trustees include:

  • Appointing and supervising private trustees 3/  who administer Chapter 7, 12, and 13 bankruptcy estates (and serving as trustees in such cases where private trustees are unable or unwilling to serve);
  • Taking legal action to enforce the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code and to prevent fraud and abuse;
  • Referring matters for investigation and criminal prosecution when appropriate;
  • Ensuring that bankruptcy estates are administered promptly and efficiently, and that professional fees are reasonable;
  • Appointing and convening creditors' committees in Chapter 11 business reorganization cases;
  • Reviewing disclosure statements and applications for the retention of professionals; and
  • Advocating matters relating to the Bankruptcy Code and rules of procedure in court.
For Further Information:
See Bankruptcy Fact Sheets & Consumer Notices
E-Mail the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees at:  USTWeb
or Contact Us at:


Executive Office for U.S. Trustees
Office of the General Counsel
Department of Justice
20 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 8000
Washington, D.C.  20530
ADVISORY: The Department of Justice does not provide legal advice to individual members of the public. For specific bankruptcy-related advice, please consult qualified legal counsel. A list of private attorneys in your area may be available from your State bar association, local law schools, or legal aid clinics.
JURISDICTIONAL NOTE Bankruptcy cases in Alabama and North Carolina are not currently within the jurisdiction of the United States Trustee Program, and questions as to such cases should be directed to the Courts at the following address:
FOOTNOTE REFERENCES 1.  House Report No. 989, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. at 88 (reprinted in 1978 U.S. Code Congressional & Admin. News at  5787,  5963,  6049). 2.  See United States Trustee Program Mission Statement. 3.  Visit the on-line U.S. Trustee Program Reference Library to locate private bankruptcy trustees.


  Walter Metzen, Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer in Michigan, will provide, free of charge as part of your free initial Bankruptcy Analysis, a means test calculation to determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  Nearly 90% of the people who walk through my door are eligible to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Michigan and get a permanent discharge of their debt. With Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Michigan, we can develop and affordable repayment plan to fit every budget.


 Contact me, bankruptcy attorney Walter Metzen to learn more about how I can help you get a Fresh Financial Start!.

 Be sure to Obtain a copy of your Credit Report after your Michigan Bankruptcy Filing and check it for Mistakes.

Contact me, bankruptcy attorney Walter Metzen to learn more about how the new Chapter 7 bankruptcy law may affect your case. I offer a free initial consultation so we can discuss your case personally.

We are a Debt Relief Agency helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Let us help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you.

Bankruptcy attorney Walter Metzen represents clients throughout Southeast Michigan, including the communities of Detroit, Southfield, Warren, Roseville, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Belleville, Canton, Clinton Township, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Holland, Howell, Lincoln Park, Livonia, Macomb, Northville, Plymouth, Port Huron, Redford, Rochester, Saginaw, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Trenton, Troy, Westland, Wyandotte, Ypsilanti, Mount Clemens, Howell, Oakland County, Macomb County, Wayne County, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, and all of the surrounding areas.
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