11 U.S. Code § 326 - Limitation on compensation of trustee
Section 326(a) of the House amendment modifies a provision as contained in H.R. 8200 as passed by the House. The percentage limitation on the fees of a trustee contained in the House bill is retained, but no additional percentage is specified for cases in which a trustee operates the business of the debtor. Section 326(b) of the Senate amendment is deleted as an unnecessary restatement of the limitation contained in section 326(a) as modified. The provision contained in section 326(a) of the Senate amendment authorizing a trustee to receive a maximum fee of $150 regardless of the availability of assets in the estate is deleted. It will not be necessary in view of the increase in section 326(a) and the doubling of the minimum fee as provided in section 330(b).
Section 326(b) of the House amendment derives from section 326(c) of H.R. 8200 as passed by the House. It is a conforming amendment to indicate a change with respect to the selection of a trustee in a chapter 13 case under section 1302(a) of title 11.
This section is derived in part from section 48c of the Bankruptcy Act [section 76(c) of former title 11]. It must be emphasized that this section does not authorize compensation of trustees. This section simply fixes the maximum compensation of a trustee. Proposed 11 U.S.C. 330 authorizes and fixes the standard of compensation. Under section 48c of current law, the maximum limits have tended to become minimums in many cases. This section is not intended to be so interpreted. The limits in this section, together with the limitations found in section 330, are to be applied as outer limits, and not as grants or entitlements to the maximum fees specified.
The maximum fee schedule is derived from section 48c(1) of the present act [section 76(c)(1) of former title 11], but with a change relating to the bases on which the percentage maxima are computed. The maximum fee schedule is based on decreasing percentages of increasing amounts. The amounts are the amounts of money distributed by the trustee to parties in interest, excluding the debtor, but including secured creditors. These amounts were last amended in 1952. Since then, the cost of living has approximately doubled. Thus, the bases were doubled.
It should be noted that the bases on which the maximum fee is computed includes moneys turned over to secured creditors, to cover the situation where the trustee liquidates property subject to a lien and distributes the proceeds. It does not cover cases in which the trustee simply turns over the property to the secured creditor, nor where the trustee abandons the property and the secured creditor is permitted to foreclose. The provision is also subject to the rights of the secured creditor generally under proposed section 506, especially 506(c). The $150 discretionary fee provision of current law is retained.
Subsection (b) of this section entitles an operating trustee to a reasonable fee, without any limitation based on the maximum provided for a liquidating trustee as in current law, Bankruptcy Act § 48c(2) [section 76(c)(2) of former title 11].
Subsection (c) [enacted as (b)] permits a maximum fee of five percent on all payments to creditors under a chapter 13 plan to the trustee appointed in the case.
Subsection (d) [enacted as (c)] provides a limitation not found in current law. Even if more than one trustee serves in the case, the maximum fee payable to all trustees does not change. For example, if an interim trustee is appointed and an elected trustee replaces him, the combined total of the fees payable to the interim trustee and the permanent trustee may not exceed the amount specified in this section. Under current law, very often a receiver receives a full fee and a subsequent trustee also receives a full fee. The resultant “double-dipping”, especially in cases in which the receiver and the trustee are the same individual, is detrimental to the interests of creditors, by needlessly increasing the cost of administering bankruptcy estates.
Subsection (e) [enacted as (d)] permits the court to deny compensation to a trustee if the trustee has been derelict in his duty by employing counsel, who is not disinterested.
1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–394 substituted “25 percent on the first $5,000 or less, 10 percent on any amount in excess of $5,000 but not in excess of $50,000, 5 percent on any amount in excess of $50,000 but not in excess of $1,000,000, and reasonable compensation not to exceed 3 percent of such moneys in excess of $1,000,000” for “fifteen percent on the first $1,000 or less, six percent on any amount in excess of $1,000 but not in excess of $3,000, and three percent on any amount in excess of $3,000”.
1986—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–554 amended subsec. (b) generally, substituting “under chapter 12 or 13 of this title” for “under chapter 13 of this title”, “expenses of the United States trustee or of a standing trustee appointed under section 586(b) of title 28” for “expenses of a standing trustee appointed under section 1302(d) of this title”, and “under section 1202(a) or 1302(a) of this title” for “under section 1302(a) of this title”.
1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–353, § 430(a), substituted “and three percent on any amount in excess of $3000” for “three percent on any amount in excess of $3,000 but not in excess of $20,000, two percent on any amount in excess of $20,000 but not in excess of $50,000, and one percent on any amount in excess of $50,000”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–353, § 430(b), amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows: “The court may deny allowance of compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses of the trustee if the trustee—
“(1) failed to make diligent inquiry into facts that would permit denial of allowance under section 328(c) of this title; or
“(2) with knowledge of such facts, employed a professional person under section 327 of this title.”
Amendment by Pub. L. 103–394 effective Oct. 22, 1994, and not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before Oct. 22, 1994, see section 702 of Pub. L. 103–394, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Effective date and applicability of amendment by Pub. L. 99–554 dependent upon the judicial district involved, see section 302(d), (e) of Pub. L. 99–554, set out as a note under section 581 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Until the amendments made by subtitle A (§§ 201 to 231) of title II of Pub. L. 99–554 become effective in a district and apply to a case, for purposes of such case any reference in subsec. (b) of this section—