After filing for bankruptcy, your case will be assigned to a trustee. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee is a representative that will act as a middle man between you and your creditors.
What Do Bankruptcy Trustees Do?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustees have a wide variety of duties, including the following:
- They review your financial situation. When you file bankruptcy, you have to send information regarding your income, assets, and expenses. The trustee will review this information and verify its accuracy. They are responsible for going through your financial life in detail to make sure that nothing is left out or hidden.
- The trustee will use your income and expenses information to determine if your proposed payment plan is best, and will work with you to make changes and optimize if necessary. If there is a disagreement between you and your trustee about how much your monthly payments should be, then you may have to meet with a judge to settle it.
- They work as a mediator between you and your creditors at the meeting of the creditors. They are tasked with asking questions about your income, bills, assets, etc.
- The trustee collects monthly payments from you according to your payment plan and distributes it among your creditors. Since a Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually takes about three to five years, you will be in contact with your trustee for at least that long.
- The trustee also keeps track of all the money you pay, and where it goes over the course of the repayment plan. They should keep detailed records in case there are any disputes.
- They are there to protect you as well. A trustee is an objective party and will fight against wrongful claims and seizures from your creditors. Creditors have to file a “proof of claim” in order to get money from you. The trustee verifies this amount and rejects it if they see that it is wrong.
The trustee is charged with working as a middle man who ensures both you and your creditors are treated fairly. They should be objective in their decisions. While the trustee is supposed to be fair, and normally is, it’s best to have someone who is wholly in your corner for these situations.
Garland & Mason, L.L.C. – New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers