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Guidelines for Reimbursement to Chapter 7 Trustees for Costs Without Prior Court Order Pursuant to Local Rule 2016-1(A)

     The following “Guidelines for Reimbursement to Chapter 7 Trustees for Costs without Prior Court Order”, issued with the approval of the U.S. Trustee, apply in all chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in the Southern District of Florida.

     These Guidelines do not apply to any expenses relating to, or incurred by, a professional, such as an accountant, attorney, auctioneer, or real estate broker, which requires an order of the court regardless of the amount. All disbursement will continue to be subject to review by the Office of the United States trustee and ultimately the court at any time during the administration of the case. The chapter 7 trustee shall maintain proper documentation in the trustee's case file of all expenses paid pursuant to these Guidelines, and all such expenses shall be paid by a check from estate funds and all such expenses shall be clearly identified as to the nature of the expense on the trustee's semi-annual reports and on the trustee's final report of estate.

     Chapter 7 trustees may pay the following specific expenses in a chapter 7 case without the necessity of seeking a court order prior to making the disbursement or incurring the expense1:

(a)   Changing of locks, up to an aggregate case total of $250.00;

(b)   Retention of emergency security service (one week maximum), however a motion seeking Court approval of such retention should be filed within one week of employment of the security service;

(c)   Towing when necessary, up to an aggregate case total of $200.00;

(d)   Court reporter and transcript fees up to an aggregate case total of $500.00;

(e)   U.C.C. searches and title searches up to an aggregate case total of $75.00;

(f)   Process servers and subpoena fees up to an aggregate case total of $200.00;

(g)  Witness fees, limited to the fee and mileage required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(b);

(h)  Actual clerk's fees and filing fees;

(i)   Necessary insurance on property of the estate (non-operating business), limited to the lesser of one month's coverage or $250.00 maximum;

(j)   Premiums on the trustee's bond;

(k)  Post-petition expenses for non-operating cases (utilities and alarm expenses) limited to the lesser of one month's expenses or an aggregate case total of $250.00;

(l)   Postage for mailing notices to creditors and parties in interest required by of Bankruptcy Rule 2002 when directed by the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court (pursuant to Local Rule 2002-1(B)) and sent by the trustee; and

(m) Advertising expenses in connection with sale(s) of estate assets up to an aggregate case total of $100.00.

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1 The court has waived Pacer fees for all Standing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Trustees.

CG-4 (rev. 12/01/15)