Bankruptcy is a legal process that can help qualifying individuals find relief from their overwhelming debt. As you consider this option, you may come to realize that it is a very involved process. Before becoming intimidated, however, you may want to gain more information on specific aspects of bankruptcy proceedings.
An important aspect to look into relates to the individuals involved in your case. Certainly, you and your legal counsel will play important parts, as will a judge. Someone you may not have considered as having a vital role in your case is a bankruptcy trustee.
Who is a bankruptcy trustee?
Bankruptcy involves the creation of a new legal entity to which you as the debtor have no attachment. This entity is known as the bankruptcy estate, which consists of your property. However, because you have no control over this estate, a third party controls it. This person is known as the bankruptcy trustee and the court will appoint him or her.
What are the trustee's duties?
You may find it important to remember that the trustee is an unbiased third party. This lack of bias is important because the trustee will make a number of decisions during your bankruptcy proceedings and must act impartially so not to show favor toward you or your creditors. The exact duties your trustee will carry out will depend on whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but some examples of responsibilities include the following:
- Gathering your property
- Liquidating that property under Chapter 7 guidelines
- Challenging unwarranted creditor claims
- Distributing liquidation proceeds for Chapter 7 or payments for Chapter 13 to creditors
- Reviewing a Chapter 13 repayment plan
- Objecting to the repayment plan or debt discharge if necessary
The trustee essentially takes steps to move your case forward and ensure that you and your creditors stay in line with the stipulations of bankruptcy.
Can you learn more about bankruptcy trustees?
If you have questions or concerns over how a bankruptcy trustee will play a role in your case, you may want to speak with your legal counsel. A Wisconsin bankruptcy attorney can provide you with information on this person's part in your proceedings and explain any other factors of your case about which you would like clarity. Finding the right answers to your questions may be a good place to start on your journey to financial freedom.