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What is the Role of the Bankruptcy Trustee in Chapter 7?

If you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to your case. What is the role of the bankruptcy trustee? How do they oversee your estate? These are all common questions for those who are pursuing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indiana. In this article, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, Chris Arrington, will discuss the role of the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. 

What is a Bankruptcy Trustee?

A bankruptcy trustee manages the property of a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, your property becomes part of the bankruptcy estate. While you can protect some of your property, the role of the trustee is to represent the interests of your creditors. For that reason, the bankruptcy trustee will oversee the bankruptcy estate, determine if there are any items of value that can be liquidated, and repay creditors with the proceeds from the liquidated assets. While your case remains open, the bankruptcy trustee will hold your property in a bankruptcy estate. 

The Duties of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee

The primary duty of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is to locate and sell assets to repay your creditors. To accomplish this, the trustee reviews property that is listed in your bankruptcy paperwork. This includes assets that you exempt from liquidation. Any assets that are not exempted will be liquidated by the trustee to repay creditors. The majority of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers do not have significant assets to liquidate, and thus, the trustee may not find any property that is subject to liquidation. 

In addition to liquidating property, the bankruptcy trustee has other duties. These include:

  • Checking the debtor’s identification
  • Interviewing the debtor
  • Locating undisclosed assets
  • Paying the creditors
  • Reviewing the bankruptcy filing paperwork
  • Reviewing the creditor’s proof of claim forms

The Meeting of Creditors

A month after you file your bankruptcy case, you are required to attend the 341 meeting of creditors before the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee’s job is to conduct the meeting and ask questions regarding the information you supplied in your filing while you are under oath. Creditors can ask questions during the hearing, but they rarely attend these meetings unless they believe that you are hiding assets or otherwise committing some form of fraud in the bankruptcy process. In other cases, they may attend the meeting to ask the court to find your debt non-dischargeable. 

The bankruptcy trustee may also evaluate items that you sold off before you filed for bankruptcy. The trustee may be able to recover assets that were sold off up to 90 days prior to the bankruptcy being filed. These assets would then be applied to the creditors’ claims against your estate. 

Talk to a Dansville, IN, Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Chris Arrington represents the interests of those who have to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Dansville, Indiana. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your path to financial wellness immediately. 

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