Whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to your case and closely involved throughout the process. While your trustee will probably be a lawyer, it is important to remember that he or she is not your lawyer. More importantly, his or her goal is going to be to reclaim as much money as possible for your creditors.
After reviewing your initial bankruptcy petition and paperwork, he or she will conduct a further personal investigation of your financial affairs. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases will involve a 341 Meeting of Creditors, which I discussed last month. The trustee will be responsible for swearing you in at this meeting to question you about your property and your finances.
Trustees in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases are responsible for:
- Examining and objecting to proofs of claim, which tell the court what you owe the creditor at the time your case was filed
- Sending required notices and provides relevant information to related parties
- Opposing your discharge on the basis of fraud
What a trustee is looking for when conducting a close examination of your case will depend on whether you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Tomorrow, I will discuss some of the key differences between a trustee’s responsibilities in those two scenarios. It is important to remember that a trustee in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 has a goal of maximizing the value of your estate to convert into cash for your creditors. You will be grateful to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney looking out for your interests from start to finish.