Instructions For The Preparation Of Chapter 13 Standing Trustees Annual Summary Budget Request

Appendix F - Instructions


INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PREPARATION OF
CHAPTER 13
STANDING TRUSTEES ANNUAL SUMMARY BUDGET REQUEST


I.      Introduction

        These instructions relate to the preparation of standing trustee upcoming
budget estimate. The various policies with budgetary impact are covered, as is
guidance on the classification of expenditures from trustee office expense
accounts.

II.     Responsibilities and Timetables

        A.    Standing Trustees. The standing trustee will prepare all budget
estimates in final form for submission to the United States Trustee by August
1 of each year.

        B.    United States Trustee. The United States Trustee will review the
standing trustee's budget estimates, provide comments, and indicate approval
of budget requests along with any necessary modifications for their submission
of the data to the Director by August 31 of each year. Recommended upcoming
yearly percentage fees and compensation levels must accompany United States
Trustee letters which approve the standing trustee's yearly budget.

        C.    Executive Office for U.S. Trustees. The Executive Office will issue
approved standing trustee compensation levels and any changes in percentage
fees by September 30 of each year. Requests for compensation increases will not
be processed until the budgets are approved by the United States Trustee.

        The Executive Office will also conduct an analysis of the data provided by
standing trustees in their budget requests. The analysis will report the ranges
of expenses incurred during the previous year and ranges of projected costs for
the current and upcoming year.

III.    Standards to be Used in Preparing Estimates.

        The current data requested in the budget forms provided should be
available from the standing trustee's most recent annual report. Where
necessary, accounting practices should be modified to capture data in the
requested level of detail and in the categories of expense used throughout the
submission.

        Several exhibits in the presentation include flexible formatting. These
include the Supporting Estimates (Exhibit II), the Detail of Personnel Expense
(Exhibit III), and Apportioned Expenses (Exhibit IV). Flexible formatting means
that the amount of detail to be provided may not fit the space available on the
form. The sequences of items in Exhibit II should be followed to correspond
with the Budget Summary. In those categories where insufficient space is
provided, it is recommended that you expand the space allocated to that
category and begin the next category below the expanded one. The same
recommendation applies to Exhibits III, IV, and V. If additional space is
needed, the format of the sample exhibit should be followed as closely as
possible on any additional pages.

        Current-year data should be projected from the latest available report of
expenditures to date. A projection can be made to the end of the year by
proration or by some other estimate of year-end total costs. Current estimates
serve as a basis for the upcoming request, so all current year projections should
reflect a full-year cost.

        B.    Required Materials

        Exhibits are required to document the standing trustee's office expense
account, the personnel employed by the standing trustee operation, apportioned
expenses, and workload. All figures in the exhibits should be rounded to the
nearest dollar.

Exhibit I. Upcoming Fiscal Year Summary Budget Request.

        This exhibit provides a breakdown of expense categories which are
explained further below. Because most of the categories are used to prepare
annual reports, the requested data should be available from standing trustee
financial records. Where the classification of an expense could, reasonably fall
in more than one category, consistency in classification from year to year is
more important than the category selected.

        Expense Classifications for Exhibits I and II. The following guidance is
provided for preparing cost figures for the trustee's actual and necessary
expenses.

Item 1.    Employee Expense: Regular salaries and wages, including bonuses
and benefits, paid directly to employees, amounts withheld from payments to
employees, and employer's contributions.

Item 2.    Rent: Charges for rental of office space, conference rooms, garage space, and storage space.

Item 3.    Utilities: Self-explanatory.

Item 4.    Bookkeeping and Accounting Services: Charges incurred for
services obtained on outside contracts for all bookkeeping and accounting
charges necessary for the operation of standing trustee office, including charges
for the preparation of payroll, payroll taxes, annual reports, tax returns for trust
accounts, and reconciliation of bank accounts.

Item 5.    Computer Services: Charges for services for the development and
modification of software systems, data preparation and conversion (keying, data
coding, key-to-tape, key-to-disk, and card-to-tape), consulting, and research and
development, including initial processing fees charged by a computer firm.

NOTE: The Executive Office makes no recommendation on the use of a
computer firm. The requirements contained herein must, however, be met.

Item 6.  &nbsp Audit Services: Charges incurred for services of any independent
auditing firm selected by the Executive Office.

Item 7.    Consulting Service: Charges incurred under contract with
individuals for services as attorneys, accountants, and automated data
processing consulting.

Item 8.    Telephone: Charges for local phone service, long distance services,
switchboards, and installation of telephone equipment.

Item 9.     Postage and Mailing: All postal charges, including parcel post,
express mail, rental of post office boxes, mailing machines, and postage meters.

Item 10.   Office Supplies: Charges incurred for pencils, paper, calendar pads,
standard forms, printed forms, envelopes, photocopying paper and supplies, and
other office supplies and property of little monetary value such as desk trays
and pen sets, and including rentals of safety deposit boxes.

Item 11.   Bond Premiums: Fees for premiums on surety bonds, including any
premiums paid to bond an employee.

Item 12.   Clerks Fees: Do not include any fees that are provided to be paid
under the plan.

Item 13.   Dues to Professional Organizations: Charges for membership to
professional organizations in connection with the duties of the standing trustee.

Item 14.   Publications: Charges for subscriptions to and copies of journals
and periodicals, and for books and directories in the standing trustee's library.
The cost of textbooks for training are excluded.

Item 15.   Insurance (other than employee benefits): Charges for insurance to
protect assets of the office of the standing trustee or employees (such as fire,
theft, and accidental injury to property or third persons), and automobile
insurance, if said automobile is owned or leased by the office of the standing
trustee as authorized by the United States Trustee.

Item 16.   Conference Expenses: Charges for training and tuition, including
charges for conference registration, textbooks and supplies, air fare, mileage,
meals, and other costs incurred as related to approved travel in connection with
training activities associated with the duties of the standing trustee.

Item 17.   Maintenance: Charges incurred for the repair and maintenance of
the office suite and office equipment, including all office machines and
furnishings, and including charges for custodial services when not included in
the basic lease agreement.

Item 18.   Photocopy Services for Transcripts: Self-explanatory.

Item 19.   Travel: Self-explanatory.

Item 20.   Equipment/Furniture Rental: Charges for the use of equipment
owned by another, including copying machines, audio and visual aid equipment,
rental of computer systems and software, printers, desks, tables, chairs,
typewriters, calculators/bookkeeping machines, and file cabinets, if total rent
payments are less than cost of purchase.

Item 21.   Equipment/Furniture Purchase: Charges for purchase of movable
furniture, fittings, and fixtures; including desks, tables, chairs, typewriters,
calculators and adding/bookkeeping machines, and file cabinets, and including
charges for services in connection with initial installation when performed under
contract. All equipment/furniture purchased from Chapter 13 funds remain the
possession of the office of the standing trustee, and are to be used for the
administration of all Chapter 13 cases by the trustee and any successor trustee.

Item 22.   Lease Hold Improvements: Charges incurred for space adjustments
(including partitioning), alterations, and improvements to building or office suite
as approved by the United States Trustee.

Item 23.   All Other Expenses: All expenses not otherwise classified. If
several expenses are included, provide a break down of the miscellaneous
expenses.

Exhibit II. Upcoming Year Supporting Estimates.

        Several categories of expense on Exhibit I are asterisked to indicate that
supporting detail is needed to substantiate the total expense. The supporting
details are to be provided in Exhibit II, according to the following guidelines:

        Business transactions involving the standing trustee or a related party:

        The United States Trustee system discourages the transaction of business
between the trustee operation and the standing trustee or a related party where
the existence or appearance of a conflict of interest may arise. However, where
fair-market or even favorable rates are obtained by the trustee operation, each
such transaction may be judged on its merits not to involve a serious conflict.
Documentation in support of dealings between the trustee operation and the
trustee or a related party may be required by the U.S. Trustee.

        The expenses itemized in the Supporting Estimates should agree with
figures entered in the same categories of the Budget Summary Exhibit (Exhibit
I).The United States Trustee staff will verify agreement between figures in the
two exhibits
.

        All expense items should be listed within the categories requested in the
Supporting Estimates Exhibit. If the number of entries exceeds the number of
lines provided, then additional lines should be inserted before proceeding to the
next category. Expense items of less than $50 each may be grouped together in
a single entry, "all other", just before the subtotal entry within each category.

Exhibit III. Upcoming Year Detail of Personnel Expense.

        The Detail of Personnel Expense (Exhibit III) is the supporting material
needed for Item 1 of Exhibit I. To assist in the United States Trustee's review
of this exhibit, the list of standing trustee employees should be prepared in
descending order (with highest-paid employees listed first).

        For each employee, Exhibit III requires individual data on salary benefits,
average number of hours worked per week, and average hourly wage. The
position description for each employee itemizing all of the duties performed
must accompany Exhibit III. Only three sample blocks are provided on Page 7
of the sample forms. If more are needed, they should be repeated in the same
format on supplemental pages. Note that the trustee is not an employee and,
under the UST system, payroll taxes and benefits for the trustee are personal
expenses of the trustee. As of this report, therefore, no line item is provided for
the trustee.

Exhibit IV. Apportioned Expense Exhibit.

        On this exhibit, list all costs apportioned partly to the standing trustee
and partly to another business entity, e.g., , law practice, or Chapter 12 cases.
The basis for apportionment may be a proration of total cost, an actual figure
based on standing trustee records, or some other method. However, for each
separate apportionment, approval must be obtained in advance from the U.S.
Trustee. In the previous, current, and upcoming year columns, the total cost
apportioned to the standing trustee operation is in parentheses. An example
appears below if time spent is 50% on law practice and 50% on the standing
trustee operation:

 PreviousCurrentUpcoming
  Actual Full-Year Budget
  Expenses Estimate Request
Item and Basis for Apportionment:  
1. Item: Personnel Expenses $50,000 $58,000 $64,000
    Basis for Apportionment: (25,000) (29,000) (32,000)
    (Time spent on law practice: 50%  
    and Chapter 13 operation: 50%)  

        In this example, the basis for apportionment is 50% of staff time devoted
to the standing trustee's activities. Using the previous year column to illustrate,
the total cost of personnel is $50,000, and $25,000 of the cost is allocated to the
standing trustee's expenses. The current and upcoming year columns are
prepared with estimates for those years in the same manner that actual previous
expenses are shown.

        If all apportionments are made on the same basis, then only one basis for
apportionment should be shown. If more than one allocation basis is used, a
separate item should be used for each differing allocation basis.

        For other exhibits in the budget submission, only the amount apportioned
to the standing trustee office will be shown.

Exhibit V. Workload Exhibit.

        The Workload Exhibit is divided into two parts. The first part covers
receipts and percentage fees. Receipts reported in Item 1(a) should be net
receipts ie., after refunds to debtors. Item 2(a) is the actual (previous year) or
estimated (current/upcoming year) percentage fee needed to cover all expenses
itemized in the Budget Summary and Supporting Estimates (Exhibits I and II
and the trustee's compensation). In Item 2(b), indicate the dollar yield of the
percentage fees from 2(a) in each year.

        The second part of the Workload Exhibit examines the Chapter 13 cases
assigned to the standing trustee. Instructions below will assist you in
completing the caseload portion. (Items 3-7) of the exhibit.

3.     Cases active, start of period - Enter the number of active cases as of the
year indicated.

4.     New cases assigned during the year - Enter the number of new cases
received. Petitions should be recorded when received, as of the date they are
received from the Bankruptcy Court.

5.     Adjustments during the year - This section will be used to adjust the
caseload for changes in the status of active cases:

  1. Cases transferred in (+) - Cases transferred from other offices to your
    office will be added.

  2. Cases converted to Chapter 13 (+) - Cases converted from another
    chapter will be added.

  3. Cases transferred out (-) - Cases transferred from your office to
    another office will be subtracted.

  4. Conversions to another chapter (-) - A change from Chapter 13 to any
    other chapter will count as a conversion. Conversions will be
    subtracted.

  5. Dismissals(-) - Cases dismissed will always be negative entries, to
    be subtracted.
6.      Cases closed by the Court on completion of the plan or hardship discharge
(-)
- Enter the number of cases that the Bankruptcy Court has closed on
completion of the repayment plan or upon entry of a hardship discharge. Cases
closed will be subtracted.

7.      Cases active, end of period. - This figure represents the total of active cases
at the end of the period arrived at by adding the figures in Items 5 and 6. The
entry for "Cases active, end of period" should be carried forward as the number
of "Cases active, start of period" for the next year.

Exhibit VI. Computation of Amount Available for Upcoming Fiscal Year.

Item 1.    The amount to be inserted should be the total projected surplus estimated to be on hand at the end of the current year, including the balance of the operating reserve carried forward from the prior year and any additional amounts of surplus accumulated during the current year. This figure should equal the estimated expense account balance at the end of the current year.

Updated May 7, 2015

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Yes No