Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Who Is The Bankruptcy Trustee And What Is His Role In My Case?

Not everyone is familiar with the ins and outs of the judicial system, and going to court is not something most people do every day. So if you find yourself in need of legal assistance it can help to ease any anxiety you feel if you understand who the players are and what to expect after you get involved in a case. Most everyone is aware that legal cases have judges and sometimes juries, but in certain types of matters there are other participants that can have an impact on the case. For example in a child custody case there might be a person appointed to represent the children to make sure their best interests are protected. In bankruptcy court there is a person called the trustee, appointed on every case to look after the administrative functioning of the case. The trustee is not the same person as the Judge, but does have some influence over your case.

The role of the bankruptcy trustee includes doing the following things:

         Making sure the person that filed the case is the person that shows up at the 341 meeting to answer questions about their debts.

         Examines the entire financial picture of the debtor to make sure the chapter of case filed is the appropriate chapter for the financial situation.

         Asks to see copies of all car titles and house papers to make sure the lender has properly noted their security interest in the collateral and if the lender has not done so, might seek to take that property and sell it for the benefit of the unsecured creditors in your case.

         Looks for assets to distribute to creditors.

         Determines whether a proposed Chapter 13 Plan is feasible and accepts the payments under a Chapter 13 Plan.

         Disburses payments to creditors on an ongoing monthly basis for Chapter 13 cases.

The Trustee’s role is much more involved in a Chapter 13 case than in a Chapter 7 and this is due to the nature of a Chapter 13 vs. a Chapter 7. A case filed under Chapter 13 can take up to five years to complete, and the Trustee will be taking payments every month of those five years. If you miss a payment the Trustee might ask that your case be dismissed, so it is crucial to make your plan payments and listen to what the Trustee has to say about whether the plan you have proposed will work. In either type of case you are never alone and left to answer questions posed by the trustee by yourself. We are with you every step of the way and will answer for you while advocating for solutions that make sense.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy or need help deciding what to do about overwhelming debt, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

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