Filing for bankruptcy can be an overwhelming undertaking, but one that will give you a chance at a fresh start financially. Completing the paperwork, attending a meeting of creditors, and dealing with the courts is not something to do alone. Levine Law Office recommends that you hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to guide you along the way and give you sound advice. Along with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, there will also be other parties, including the Chapter 7 Trustee and, of course, the bankruptcy court judge who has been appointed in your case. Let’s take a closer look at the role of the Trustee that will be handling your case:
What role does the Chapter 7 Trustee play in a bankruptcy case?
- The Trustee reviews all of the paperwork in your case including information about your debts, your property, your income, and the state of your financial affairs. It is the responsibility of the Trustee to review your bankruptcy petition and verify the information and calculations using your financial documents and other independent sources. For example, s/he will confirm your income through pay stubs and other tax filings. S/he will confirm the value of your house if you own one and other matters that can be confirmed.
- The Trustee conducts the Meeting of Creditors (Section 341 Meeting). During this meeting, held approximately a month or so after filing, the Trustee will discuss the state of the debt owed. The Meeting of Creditors is s misnomer because it has been decades since creditors have shown up at these meeting. The Trustee runs this meeting and will confirm that you are who you claim to be and then will ask questions about the bankruptcy petition and schedules you have filed.
- The Trustee can determine if you have nonexempt assets and allow them to be sold to pay off creditors (though the Trustee will generally offer to sell your equity back to you under certain circumstances.
- The Trustee also has certain powers to avoid any preferential transfers or improperly executed security interests. For example, if you transferred property to someone else or paid back certain creditors you prefer over others before filing bankruptcy, the trustee may be able to avoid these and get the money or property back to distribute among all your creditors.
For more questions about the role of the Trustee in your bankruptcy case call Levine Law Office at (978) 922-8440 or visit our website.