The Court considered the issue of whether a liquidating trustee (“LT”), whose sole
existence flowed from the Debtors and their assets, liabilities, and confirmation of their Chapter
11 bankruptcy cases, could avoid payment of post-confirmation statutory fees to the United States
Trustee (“UST”) through administrative closure.
Debtors filed for Chapter 11 and moved to consolidate their cases. After approximately one
year of negotiation, the Debtors and the Unsecured Creditors Committee agreed upon a Joint Plan
of Liquidation, which the Court confirmed in November 2016. Under the Plan, all assets and
claims of the Debtors were transferred to a Trust, the Debtors were deemed liquidated, and all
equity interests in any Debtor were automatically canceled and extinguished.
The LT was appointed, and, beginning in March 2017, initiated 24 adversary proceedings
for recovery of avoidance claims against third parties, moved for several Rule 2004 exams and
asserted various claims objections. Shortly thereafter, the LT moved to administratively close the
Debtors’ cases to stop the accrual of quarterly fees due the UST under 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a)(6).
The UST objected, arguing the LT was attempting to circumvent the fee system mandated by
The Court ultimately agreed with the UST, examining the plain language of the statute
and the Tenth Circuit case of United States Trustee v. CF & I Fabricators of Utah, Inc. (In re
CF & I Fabricators of Utah, Inc.), 150 F.3d 1233, 1237 (10th Cir. 1998). The Court also
distinguished the administrative closure of individual Chapter 11 cases, with a subsequent
reopening to enter discharge once all payments are completed. Further, the Court determined
the LT could not use 11 U.S.C. § 105 to bypass the requirements of Fed. R. Bankr. 3022 to
obtain a Final Decree and case closure. Accordingly, the Court denied the LT’s motion to
administratively close the Debtors’ cases.