As you move through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, you will come in contact with the Chapter 7 Trustee, an individual that is appointed to administer your case. You will not communicate with this person regularly, but you will meet him or her at the meeting of creditors and your attorney may need to get in touch or communicate with him or her from time to time.
Reviewing the Bankruptcy Petition
If you decide to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your attorney is required to file a petition, along with a variety of other documents, with the court. These documents are meant to lend an inside look at your personal and financial life, including but not limited to your income, assets, and debt.
Along the way, your trustee will request a variety of information, which can include pay stubs, tax returns, and details pertaining to your assets.The trustee will take on the responsibility of not only collecting this information but also verifying that it is accurate.
A Hearing with the Trustee
Approximately one month after filing, you are required to attend a hearing with your court appointed trustee. Known as a 341(a) meeting of creditors, your trustee will ask questions related to your filing with a focus on asking you if the information which you supplied is true and correct. The trustee may look at whatever he or she feels is necessary to verify that the information which you supplied is true and correct.
Liquidating Nonexempt Assets
Before you ever file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should review with an attorney if all of the assets which you own are exempt. If you have all exempt assets, your property is safe and the trustee should not go after any of your property at all. On the other hand, if you have substantial property which might also include an asset which is not exempt, then the Trustee can go after the nonexempt asset. Your trustee is responsible for selling any nonexempt assets to collect money meant to repay creditors. If that is the case and you may lose property, in many cases your attorney will usually advise you to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or to not file Bankruptcy at all.
In the event you have no property that is not exempt, the trustee will prepare a report that the case is a no asset case noting that there will not be a distribution to creditors. This is the most common situation as over 98% of the Chapter 7 cases which are filed will be reported as a no asset case.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee in Philadelphia: Is this Person on your Side?
Some people believe that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is on their side. Others think that they are working against them. Neither one is true. The trustee has a job to do, and they will move through the process as directed by the law.
If you are concerned about the role of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee in Philadelphia, including how this person will impact your case, speak with an attorney who knows the process and is very familiar with what happens.