Whether you file for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy a Trustee is appointed in your case to ensure the integrity of the bankruptcy system. The role of the trustee differs depending on the type of bankruptcy filed.
In a chapter 7 case the trustee’s job is to carefully review the bankruptcy petition you filed and see if there are assets they he or she can liquidate for the benefit of your creditors. The Trustee is also looking over your paperwork to determine if you have enough income to repay a portion of your creditors. During the administrative hearing you attend as part of the Chapter 7 process you will meet with the Trustee and be asked several questions under oath. Some of these questions are standard while others will be unique to your set of circumstances. The information you provide at the hearing, and in the filed paperwork, is under oath and under the penalty of perjury. It is critical to the success of your case that all answers are complete and accurate. If you fail to disclose any income or assets it is considered fraudulent and subject to criminal penalties.
At Borowitz & Clark bankruptcy is all we do. We know why cases do not work and simply put, we do not file cases that do not work. During your free initial in-depth consultation we will provide you with a full analysis of your case. The last thing anyone wants in a bankruptcy case is a surprise because something was not disclosed. Because of our years of experience helping over 30,000 people successfully complete their bankruptcy case we are able to identify and execute various strategies to make sure your case proceeds through the Chapter 7 process smoothly and stress free.
In chapter 13 cases the trustee reviews your bankruptcy petition, as well as, your income, expenses and property. However a chapter 13 trustee does a lot more than that. First, they do not liquidate your property. The chapter 13 trustee reviews your proposed plan of reorganization and confirms that it conforms to the detailed requirements outlined in the bankruptcy code. One of the main objectives of the chapter 13 trustee is to ensure creditors are getting paid a fair portion of what you can pay. This means you may pay your unsecured creditors anywhere from 0% to 100% of the debt you owe them. The amount you are required to pay back varies from case to case and person to person. Since the Chapter 13 process varies so much from person to person it is even more critical in Chapter 13 cases that you search for the best attorney you can find.
In order for your Chapter 13 case to be approved by the court, you must comply with an ever growing set of court rules and procedures. Failure to comply with these almost always results in the dismissal of your case. This is usually not a problem for our clients, however, because we make great efforts to spell everything out for you in detail through a series of memos regarding your case. In addition, our highly trained staff is regularly monitoring your case to make sure things are progressing as planned. If you comply with the mandatory procedures, and have proposed an honest, feasible plan, the chapter 13 trustee will recommend confirmation of your case to the judge. Confirmation means the judge has approved your plan of reorganization.
Another role of the Chapter 13 trustee is to disburse your plan payments to the creditors. The chapter 13 trustee will pay creditors according to the claims the creditors file in your case. If your attorney successfully objects to your creditor’s claims or is unable to prove its claim, the chapter 13 trustee will not pay it. The chapter 13 trustee is a very important part of your Chapter 13 case. Although the chapter 13 trustee can object to your case, they are reasonable people who understand you are having financial hardship. We enjoy a good relationship with the chapter 13 trustees in Central District of California and are often able to resolve case related issues on an informal basis. As stated earlier, Chapter 13 cases are complicated and the stakes are high. It is important that you seek the advice of attorneys who fully understand all of the nuances of Chapter 13.