What is the role of a Bankruptcy Trustee?

As we know that in every case of chapter 7 or chapter 13, a trustee is appointed by the US trustee. If there is an estate, there shall be a trustee. The trustee’s basic role is to represent the interests of the unsecured creditors. The trustee’s duties in carrying out this role are provided in the statutes. Invariably, they include collecting property of the estate, invaliding certain transfers made from the estate by the debtors, objection to exemptions, objection to discharge, liquidating any nonexempt property and distributing it to creditors with valid claims. Finally, trustee makes a final accounting of all of the estate and its distribution to the United States trustee. The trustee also sends claims for domestic supports obligations.

The trustee duties are limited in a typical chapter 7 case as there may not be many assets. However, trustee evaluates schedules, statements, and exemption claims.

The trustee also participates and presides over meetings of creditors and determines whether to file objections or discharge. Both chapter 13 and chapter 7 trustees are accountable for the performance of their statutory duties and may generally be held liable for failure to perform them. Bankruptcy trustees are not judicial officers and they cannot resolve disputed issues. The trustee cannot be your friend or a foe, as he is impartial and should decide according to the merits of each case.

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