A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy trustee is appointed by the court for every Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed with them. These trustees mostly work in favor of the creditors. The prime responsibility is to go over all the paperwork to ensure that they have been submitted in order, to reverse any recently performed financial transactions that may be invalid in the context of bankruptcy and for liquidating viable assets in order to repay the creditors.
A bankruptcy trustee is paid a fee by the court for examining all the associated paperwork. In addition to this, if the trustee is able to find assets that can be liquidated, then he can claim a percentage of it too – the assets under purview include those that have been sold or transferred ahead of the bankruptcy. Hence it indicates that the trustee will be more inclined towards the creditors and not the petitioner who is dealing with the bankruptcy situation.
Here is a sneak peek of the tasks that are generally carried out by your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee
1. Meticulous review of the bankruptcy petition – Every detail in the bankruptcy petition is revisited by the trustee. Verification of your claims is also their responsibility and a part of this job requires them to check if you have recently transacted a valuable asset for a lesser price or no money. The trustee also requests that claims are to be backed up with pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements or a list of all assets expenses. They will also need to know which debts are expected to be discharged
2. Chair of the meeting of creditors – The 341 hearing or the meeting of creditors is presided by the bankruptcy trustee after the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case has been filed. The majority of the questions on your provided paperwork is generally asked by the trustee as the creditors generally do not attend these hearings. If the paperwork is in place, the meeting is generally conducted concisely
3. Evaluating the viable assets for liquidation – A Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee evaluated all assets of the petitioner to understand if there are any that can be liquidated so as to pay the creditors. The advantage is that they enjoy a percentage of the money from this liquidation. It has to be noted that Chapter 7 permits certain properties to be exempted from liquidation – home and car equities are common exemptions. The trustee has to work around these exemptions. As most of the cases are ‘no asset’ cases, which means that there are no properties for liquidation, a trustee has the power to question an exemption given to an asset. In those situations, the judge has the final say to determine whether the debtor can avail exemption or not
The need for a right bankruptcy attorney
Since the bankruptcy laws are complicated, it generally takes time to process a bankruptcy filing. Loss of time eventually amounts to a loss of money – hence the right guidance helps debtors save time. A right law firm like Recovery Law Group puts to use their experience of streamlining and handling of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing cases and in turn, save a lot of time for their clients. They regulate the entire ordeal of filing with the correct paperwork, gaining an exemption for their most important assets and also protecting their properties from liquidation.