Bankruptcy trustees play an important role in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. The U.S. Trustee Program is a division of the U.S. Department of Justice. It is responsible for hiring and appointing individual trustees to administer bankruptcy cases throughout the United States. The program oversees the administration of bankruptcy cases and trustees.
If you are interested in filing a bankruptcy case, it can be helpful to understand the role of a bankruptcy trustee. It can also be beneficial to work with a Jacksonville bankruptcy attorney who has experience working with local bankruptcy trustees and is familiar with the trustees' requirements and preferences for administering Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases in the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Call The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. at 904-248-4482 for a >free consultation with one of our Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyers.
In this article, our Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer discusses:
- What is the role of a Chapter 7 Trustee in Jacksonville?
- What is the role of a Chapter 13 Trustee in Jacksonville?
What is the Role of a Chapter 7 Trustee in Jacksonville?
There are several Chapter 7 trustees for the Middle District of Florida. A trustee is assigned to your case randomly based on the division handling your case. You nor your Jacksonville bankruptcy attorney have a choice in which Chapter 7 trustee will be assigned to administer your bankruptcy case.
Some of the roles of the Chapter 7 trustee include:
- Reviewing the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and statements. Within these documents, you must disclose your assets, income, debts, and financial transactions. The Chapter 7 trustee's job is to review these documents for accuracy, fraud, and completeness.
- Conducting the 341 Meeting of Creditors. In a Chapter 7 case, this is usually the only court hearing a debtor will attend. The trustee presides over the hearing and questions the debtor regarding the information contained in the bankruptcy schedules. The trustee may also ask the debtor other questions regarding the debtor's financial situation. Creditors seldom appear at this hearing, but they do have the right to appear and question the debtor about the money owed to the creditor.
- The trustee also has the responsibility of filing objections to exemptions or objections to discharge if the Chapter 7 trustee believes the debtor is not entitled to a bankruptcy exemption or bankruptcy discharge. The trustee may also file an adversary complaint against a third party to undo a financial transaction or transfer if the transfer was fraudulent or otherwise violates bankruptcy laws.
- A large part of the Chapter 7 trustee's job is to review the debtor's property to determine if any property may be sold to repay some of the debtor's unsecured debts. Debtors are entitled to claim a certain amount of equity in property as exempt. A Chapter 7 trustee is not permitted to use exempt equity to repay creditors. Most of the Chapter 7 cases filed in Florida do not involve the sale of property by the trustee.
The above roles and responsibilities of the Chapter 7 trustee is not an exhaustive list. Your Jacksonville bankruptcy attorney can expand upon this explanation during your free consultation.
What is the Role of a Chapter 13 Trustee in Jacksonville?
There are multiple Chapter 13 trustees that serve the Middle District of Florida. As with the Chapter 7 trustees, you nor your Jacksonville bankruptcy attorney have control over which trustee is appointed to administer your case. The Chapter 13 trustees are assigned cases by the division they serve. Many of the duties of the Chapter 13 trustee mirror the duties of a Chapter 7 trustee.
The Chapter 13 trustee reviews the bankruptcy forms filed with the court and conducts the 341 Meeting of Creditors. However, the main role of the Chapter 13 trustee is to examine the proposed Chapter 13 plan to determine if the plan meets all legal requirements, including ensuring that the proposed monthly plan payment is correctly calculated.
The Chapter 13 trustee also:
- Attends the confirmation hearing and recommending confirmation of the plan or proposed changes to the plan;
- Receives monthly payments and distributes those payments to creditors;
- Checks to ensure that you file your income tax returns as required by law;
- Objects to improper creditor claims filed with the court;
- Investigates your financial transactions to determine if you participated in fraudulent conveyances;
- Reviews your claim exemptions to determine if your assets have non-exempt equity that would impact your Chapter 13 plan payments;
- Reviews and responds to any motions filed during your case;
- Files objections to exemptions or discharge if applicable; and,
- Drafts and files a complete accounting at the end of the Chapter 13 plan.
The Chapter 13 trustee closely monitors your case throughout the term of the Chapter 13 plan. You also have various duties and responsibilities under the confirmed Chapter 13 plan.
Your Jacksonville bankruptcy attorney thoroughly reviews what you must do to complete a bankruptcy repayment plan successfully. Throughout your Chapter 13 case, we encourage you to contact our office if you have questions about any financial matters that could impact your Chapter 13 case.
Call The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. for a Free Consultation with a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are ready to take the first step on the road to being debt free, we encourage you to take advantage of the free consultation with one of our Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyers.
Contact our law firm by calling 904-248-4482 or by using the contact form on our website to schedule your free consultation with our Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer.