The Role of the Bankruptcy Trustee in Chapter 7
If you have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, The United States Trustee’s Office, a division of the Justice Department, will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to oversee and administer your case. Your bankruptcy attorney in Oceanside will tell you that the main role of this individual is to realize which assets you’re not entitled to keep, then sell them and distribute the funds to your creditors.
When filing personal bankruptcy, you should be certain that your paperwork is accurate and in accordance with the law before the trustee reviews your petition. That is where bankruptcy Chapter 7 lawyers come into play! A skilled bankruptcy attorney will make sure that your filing is in order and walk you through this complex process.
Read on to gain insight into the duties of a trustee in a bankruptcy case and alleviate any concerns about their function.
Examining the bankruptcy petition
When filing for bankruptcy, you need to disclose financial and personal information about your income, assets and debts. A trustee assigned to your case will review the information provided in your bankruptcy paperwork to find out more about your financial affairs and history.
The trustee’s duty is to make sure that your case complies with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. They will closely examine your petition to determine if it is complete and verify the accuracy of the information contained in the documents.
Conducting the meeting of creditors and questioning the debtor
About a month after you file your bankruptcy petition in Oceanside, you will be obligated to attend the mandatory Meeting of Creditors, a hearing before the trustee that is also called a 341 meeting or trustee’s meeting.
Another trustee’s duty is to act as a negotiator between you and your creditors and can oppose their invalid claims. The creditors are not likely to attend the hearing unless they suspect that you are concealing assets.
The trustee will conduct the meeting and ask a variety of questions as a way to review your bankruptcy petition. You will be asked about your taxes, income, property, etc. Apart from the general questions they ask all debtors, the trustee may ask some follow-up questions depending on the complexity of your case.
Keep in mind that your testimony will be recorded and made under oath. The best advice bankruptcy Chapter 7 lawyers can give their clients is to breathe, listen to the questions and answer truthfully.
Selling or distributing any debtor’s non-exempt assets
The trustee’s main goal is to administer the bankruptcy estate and distribute any non-exempt assets to creditors or sell them for the benefit of creditors. This appointed individual will determine whether you own more than you are permitted by law.
It is uncommon for debtors to have non-exempt property of significant value but if your assets have value, the bankruptcy trustee will collect and distribute the funds.
The trustee can also bring previously transferred assets into the bankruptcy estate. The trustee is paid a certain percentage of any assets and funds they can find for creditors. When a debtor has no non-exempt property, the bankruptcy trustee receives just a nominal amount.
The best bankruptcy Chapter 7 lawyers Oceanside
If you live in Oceanside and have any questions about the trustee’s role or you are considering your debt relief options, reach out to the San Diego and Riverside County bankruptcy law firm of Chang & Diamond, APC, and seek guidance from your trusted bankruptcy Chapter 7 lawyers.
Dealing with a bankruptcy trustee can be tricky, especially in a complicated case. Only an experienced and well-versed bankruptcy attorney as your advocate will be able to navigate this complex process smoothly. Call us at (619) 312-4900 or (800) 718-8118 for a free initial consultation!