October 22, 2015 Decisions made by Bankruptcy Judges, District Court Judges, Bankruptcy Panel Judges or Circuit Court Judges may have interpreted a particular matter one way, while another court in a different judicial area may have ruled on the same issue differently. Bankruptcy attorneys are most often bound to comply with a court’s ruling when that decision was made by their court or a higher court within the judicial territory they practice. Controlling case law has a major impact on how bankruptcy is practiced in any given area. The U. S. Trustee Program is a component of the Department of Justice which seeks to promote the efficiency and integrity of the bankruptcy system. The Program is responsible for monitoring the meetings required in all consumer bankruptcy cases in accordance with §341 of the Bankruptcy Code. These §341 Meeting of Creditors are conducted by a Standing Chapter 13 trustee or a Panel Chapter 7 trustee. All bankruptcy trustees are appointed by the U.S. Trustees Offices and each consumer bankruptcy case filed is appointed a trustee to exercise their statutory duties in accordance with the U.S. Trustee Guidelines, the Bankruptcy Code, Local Rules, local practices, case law, local policies and procedures. The U.S. Trustees’ Office is also responsible for maintaining §341 Meeting of Creditors meeting rooms at various locations within the Region they’re responsible to serve. There are over 380 §341 Meeting of Creditor meeting room locations throughout the country. Each Regional U.S. Trustees’ Office has specific locations they’re responsible for providing these meeting rooms. Seeme for a listing of all §341 Meeting locations. Each §341 Meeting of Creditors location services a specific geographical area. Sometimes these areas encompass a few zip code areas other times they’ll included numerous counties. It depends on the density of population and the volume of consumer bankruptcy filings in any given area. Any debtor filing a Bankruptcy Petition must attend their §341 Meeting of Creditors at the designated date and time and at the specific location which is assigned them based on their residence as listed in the Bankruptcy Petition.The petitioners’ attorney of record or their legal representative is also required to appear with the debtor at the designated date, time and location. Many §341 Meeting of Creditors meeting room locations serve rather large geographical areas. Consequently most bankruptcy attorneys limit their practice to only one or two §341 Meeting of Creditors meeting room locations. In this manner, the attorneys practice doesn’t require extensive traveling and the accompanying cost and loss of time better spent practicing law. Learn more at http://infospeak.org/?p=95 and http://bnkut.com.When an attorney limits their practice to just a few §341 Meeting locations they also become very familiar with ‘how bankruptcy is practiced in that area’. It also allows them the advantages of having an on-going working relationship with the local practice and players including the Bankruptcy Judge(s) and the trustees as they too are usually located in areas that are geographically convenient as well.All of these ‘localized practices’ develop into “the way we do things here” operation. In fact, there are over 200 different versions of a Chapter 13 Plan Form. Most often the Local Rules which dictates the local bankruptcy practice requires their local version of a Chapter 13 Plan Form be used when filing a Chapter 13 cases in that area.