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U.S. Trustee, Part II

posted by John Pottow

Following up on Professor Porter's excellent observations on the U.S. Trustee program, while she is interested in the normative power wielded by the UST, I am taken by the more tawdry matter of the expansion of institutional bureaucracy.  BAPCPA has mandated a hugely invasive role for the UST office (certifying decisions not to bring means test challenges, etc.), which means that my taxpaying dollars are going to subsidize a government-run debt collection agency for the benefit of for-profit creditors.  Yes, fees have been raised, but I'm not so sure how much they'll cover.  BAPCPA's proponents must have been fans of an active, involved, and well-funded federal government!  (I wrote about this in a piece for a Spanish commercial law journal, but I don't have the link to the journal and, for that matter, only take it on good faith that they translated the piece instead of just inserting gibberish -- at least random gibberish as opposed to my structured gibberish.)


I have not researched this, but has it occured to anyone that the UST program might have equal protection issues. NC and Alabama, as I recall, were excluded from the program. We're dealing with low level scrutiny, but it seems like that test would not even be met. What legitimate govt interest could be met by subjecting almost all the country to this system and not these areas? I would guess someone made this argument back in the late 80s/early 90s (before I got out of law school). I also suppose they lost. But these geographic gaps seem strange to me and a violation of the EP clause.

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