The Role of a Bankruptcy Trustee

Bankruptcy Attorney Capably Assisting Residents of Los Angeles

When you file for bankruptcy, the court will appoint a trustee to oversee and administer your case. Depending on whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the trustee has many responsibilities, including reviewing the petition, asking you questions under oath, and making decisions about your property. The trustee's impression of your case may make a difference in how your bankruptcy will be handled. If you are worried about creditor harassment and facing overwhelming debt, experienced bankruptcy lawyer Devin Sawdayi can help you work with a trustee in the Los Angeles area to reorganize your finances in a way that suits your needs and goals.

Responsibilities of a Chapter 7 Trustee

The first responsibility of a trustee once he or she is appointed is to review all your Chapter 7 papers, including information about your debts, what you own, and your income. The trustee will verify the information in your petition to determine whether your figures are accurate and whether you truly qualify to file for Chapter 7. The trustee's next task is to conduct a meeting of the creditors during which you will be asked under oath about what you claimed in your bankruptcy documents.

In a Chapter 7 proceeding, your nonexempt assets will be sold to pay off some of your debt. You can, however, "exempt" or keep a certain amount of your property. The amount varies depending on which of two California bankruptcy exemption systems you choose. Property owned beyond the exempted amount is a nonexempt asset that the trustee can sell to pay creditors. A crucial responsibility of the bankruptcy trustee in charge of your case is determining the value of nonexempt property and liquidating assets that can be sold so that your creditors can be paid back as much as possible.

In some cases, a bankruptcy trustee will exercise its power to get money back when you transferred property to another person or paid back family members before filing for bankruptcy. The trustee can also avoid improperly created security interests by other parties so that property can be sold free of liens and other encumbrances.

Responsibilities of a Chapter 13 Trustee

Chapter 13 bankruptcies take three to five years to complete. During that period, you will have to make monthly payments in accord with a debt repayment plan that your trustee will review to make sure it complies with the law. As with Chapter 7, the trustee will review your petition and other financial papers to make sure all your calculations are accurate. He or she will also ensure that the repayment plan maximizes the repayment to your creditors. At the end of this process, if the trustee has objections to the amount of your plan payments or needs more documentation, you will need to submit additional information.

The trustee will also run a meeting of creditors and examine you under oath to make sure that the information you submitted about income, assets, and debts is accurate. Later, the trustee will also review creditor claims and object to those creditors' claims that are not properly filed.

The trustee is the person who is responsible for receiving the monthly payments you make under your debt repayment plan and distributing these funds to creditors. The trustee is responsible for keeping proper records of how much you're paying and how the money is being distributed.

Enlist a Los Angeles Lawyer When Reorganizing Your Finances

Bankruptcy can be a confusing process. For many people, keeping particular pieces of property is of paramount importance. In addition to the foregoing duties, the bankruptcy trustee has some discretion over whether to sell property that may not be particularly valuable. Bankruptcy attorney Devin Sawdayi has helped many Los Angeles residents work with their trustees to obtain the greatest possible relief for their dischargeable debts and keep as much of their property as possible. Contact our office at 310-475-9399 or via our online form for help.