SEC. 33. Creation of Two Offices. - a. The offices of referee and trustee are hereby created.
SEC. 34. Appointment, Removal, and Districts of Referees. - a. Courts of bankruptcy shall, within the territorial limits of which they respectively have jurisdiction, (1) appoint referees, each for a term of two years, and may, in their discretion, remove them because their services are not needed or for other cause; and (2) designate, and from time to time change, the limits of the districts of referees, so that each county, where the services of a referee are needed, may constitute at least one district.
SEC. 35. Qualifications of Referees. - a. Individuals shall not be eligible to appointment as referees unless they are respectively
(1) Competent to perform the duties of that office; (2) not holding any office of profit or emolument under the laws of the United States or of any State other than commissioners of deeds, justices of the peace, masters in chancery, or notaries public;
(3) Not related by consanguinity or affinity, within the third degree as determined by the common law, to any of the judges of the courts of bankruptcy or circuit courts of the United States, or of the justices or judges of the appellate courts of the districts wherein they may be appointed; and
(4) Residents of, or have their offices in, the territorial districts for which they are to be appointed.
SEC. 36. Oaths of Office of Referees. - a. Referees shall take the same oath of office as that prescribed for judges of United States courts.
SEC. 37. Number of Referees. - a. Such number of referees shall be appointed as may be necessary to assist in expeditiously transacting the bankruptcy business pending in the various courts of bankruptcy.
SEC. 38. Jurisdiction of Referees. - a. Referees respectively are hereby invested, subject always to a review by the judge, within the limits of their districts as established from time to time, with jurisdiction to
(1) Consider all petitions referred to them by the clerks and make adjudications or dismiss the petitions;
(2) Exercise the powers vested in courts of bankruptcy for the administering of oaths to and the examination of persons as witnesses and for requiring the production of documents in proceedings before them, except the power of commitments;
(3) Exercise the powers of the judge for the taking possession and releasing of the property of the bankrupt in the event of the issuance by the clerk of a certificate showing the absence of a judge from the judicial district, or the division of the district, or his sickness, or inability to act;
(4) Perform such part of the duties, except as to questions arising out of the applications of bankrupts for compositions or discharges, as are by this Act conferred on courts of bankruptcy and as shall be prescribed by rules or orders of the courts of bankruptcy of their respective districts, except as herein otherwise provided; and
(5) Upon the application of the trustee during the examination of the bankrupt, or other proceedings, authorize the employment of stenographers at the expense of the estates at a compensation not to exceed ten cents per folio for reporting and transcribing the proceedings.
SEC. 39. Duties of Referees. - a. Referees shall
(1) Declare dividends and prepare and deliver to trustees dividend sheets showing the dividends declared and to whom payable;
(2) Examine all schedules of property and lists of creditors filed by bankrupts and cause such as are incomplete or defective to be amended;
(3) Furnish such information concerning the estate in process of administration before them as may be requested by the parties in interest;
(4) Give notices to creditors as herein provided;
(5) Make up records embodying the evidence, or the substance thereof, as agreed upon by the parties in all contested matters arising before them, whenever requested to do so by either of the parties thereto, together with their findings therein, and transmit them to the judges;
(6) Prepare and file the schedules of property and lists of creditors required to be filed by the bankrupts, or cause the same to be done, when the bankrupts fail, refuse, or neglect to do so;
(7) Safely keep, perfect, and transmit to the clerks the records, herein required to be kept by them, when the cases are concluded;
(8) Transmit to the clerks such papers as may be on file before them whenever the same are needed in any proceedings in courts, and in like manner secure the return of such papers after they have been used, or, if it be impracticable to transmit the original papers, transmit certified copies thereof by mail;
(9) Upon application of any party in interest, preserve the evidence taken or the substance thereof as agreed upon by the parties before them when a stenographer is not in attendance; and
(10) Whenever their respective offices are in the same cities or towns where the courts of bankruptcy convene, call upon and receive from the clerks all papers filed in courts of bankruptcy which have been referred to them.
b. Referees shall not (1) act in cases in which they are directly or indirectly interested; (2) practice as attorneys and counselors at law in any bankruptcy proceedings; or (3) purchase, directly or indirectly, any property of an estate in bankruptcy.