Every consumer bankruptcy case that is filed, both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7, is assigned to a Trustee. The Trustee is in charge of the administration of the bankruptcy estate. A bankruptcy trustee is usually either an attorney or a certified public accountant that has been appointed to the position of trustee.
A person that has filed a consumer bankruptcy will first meet her trustee at the initial hearing or §341 meeting of creditors. It is called the §341 meeting as this is the section of the Bankruptcy code that mandates this hearing. The Trustee or a representative of the Trustee will conduct the hearing.
Duties of the Bankruptcy Trustee
One of the primary duties of a bankruptcy trustee is to insure that creditors are being treated fairly. In a Chapter 7 or “liquidation” bankruptcy, it is the trustee’s job to review a debtor’s bankruptcy petition and schedules to determine if there are any assets above a debtor’s allowed exemptions that could be liquidated in order to generate funds to pay the unsecured creditors. In a chapter 13 or debt consolidation bankruptcy, the Trustee receives the Debtor’s Chapter 13 plan payments every month and, in turn, will distribute the payments proportionally to all claims that have been timely filed by creditors in the case. The Trustee will also review a Debtor’s petition and schedules to insure that the debtor is paying all of her disposable income into the Chapter 13 plan, thereby making certain that the creditors are receiving all that the debtor can afford to pay. The Chapter 13 Trustee will act on behalf of a debtor to insure that both the Debtor and the creditors are treated fairly. Most attorneys work very closely with the districts Trustee’s to assist clients in getting through the complicated bankruptcy process.
If you are currently having financial difficulty and are considering filing for bankruptcy please take the next step by contacting one of our offices that is most convenient for you to set up a free consultation with one of our licensed and experienced attorneys.