Every bankruptcy case has a trustee appointed to manage and administer it. It is important for you to understand the role of the trustee in your personal case. One of the trustee’s most important jobs is to collect any assets to be included in the bankruptcy estate. If you have filed a Chapter 7 case, the trustee must determine if any assets can be liquidated to pay your creditors. To learn more about exempting your assets, please read our blog titled “Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions Protect Your Assets.” If you file a Chapter 13, the trustee will review your repayment plan to determine whether it is feasible and that the creditors are being treated fairly and equitably. You make your monthly plan payments to the Chapter 13 trustee who distributes the proceeds according to the terms of the plan.
While it may seem that the trustee is on the creditors’ side, their primary goal is to administer each case as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thus, it is important to cooperate with the trustee and assist with keeping your case moving along. This includes being open and honest in your financial disclosures. In most cases, the cost of pursuing a non-exempt asset is not worth it for the trustee. In other words, unless you have a highly valuable non-exempt asset (which should be considered well in advance of your filing), the trustee is unlikely to spend the time and money to pursue liquidating it.
In sum, the trustee does not represent you and he/she cannot take protective action on your behalf. It is imperative to have a seasoned bankruptcy attorney on your side to not only safeguard your best interests, but also to foster a professional relationship between you and the trustee and help ensure your case goes smoothly.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection or you need assistance with your student loans, call DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC, at (414) 377-0518. We believe that each client should receive the individual attention necessary to reach their financial goals. Recognizing the needs of working clients, we maintain a flexible schedule and offer evening appointments. Initial consultations are always free, and phone inquiries are always welcomed. Find us on the Internet and on Facebook.