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What is the Role of the Trustee?

During the bankruptcy process, you’ll be working very closely with your bankruptcy lawyer. However, another person you’ll meet is your bankruptcy trustee.

The main duty of the trustee is to represent all of your creditors collectively and to administer your estate. Early in your case, the trustee will hold a meeting of creditors, during which the trustee (and creditors) will ask you questions about your finances. This meeting is like a mini-deposition that allows the trustee to investigate in hopes of uncovering assets that can be sold to pay creditors.  The trustee also investigates to uncover fraud.

Selling non-exempt estate property is the easiest and most common way for a trustee to convert your assets to cash.  Trustees can only sell non-exempt properties. They can sell houses or cars, take the proceeds of bank accounts, and sell stocks and bonds, if these are all non-exempt. If you’re entitled to receive money from someone, say from the settlement of an accident, the trustee can collect that money as well.

There are several steps included in the asset sales process, such as:

  • The trustee gives notice (usually 20 days) of intent to sell.
  • A claims bar date is scheduled setting a deadline for creditors to file claims with the court.
  • Parties have the chance to object to sale.
  • Sales are made, either privately or by public auction.
  • The trustee must preserve sales proceeds until making payment on claims.

After reviewing creditor claims and checking that they are all proper and within the law, the trustee later distributes the money to creditors, following the order for payment set out in bankruptcy law.  If there’s more money than necessary to pay everyone you owe, after all expenses have been taken out, the remainder of the money is refunded to you.

Call us toll-free today at 1-800-260-1402 for your complimentary initial bankruptcy consultation or visit one of our 100 offices across the United States.  We will analyze your financial situation and offer advice on how to legally protect your property from sale!  You can also read our many informative articles on our website,  For the best advice on filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, trust the experienced and caring attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy Law.

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