Liens in Bankruptcy
Not Sure What the Bankruptcy Trustee Does?
After your bankruptcy case is filed, it is assigned a bankruptcy trustee. What does the bankruptcy trustee do? Depending on if the case is Chapter 7 or 13, the trustee will inspect your case for accuracy and compliance with Federal Law. In a Chapter 7 case, if there are assets to distribute, the trustee contacts creditors and distributes funds. In a Chapter 13 case, the trustee also receives your monthly payments and distributes money monthly to creditors.
What Information Does a Trustee Have Access To?
In short, just about anything they want. All debtors have a duty to cooperate with their trustee, and the trustee has power compel, through the courts if necessary, you to turn over all kinds of detailed financial records. I have seen trustees force debtors to produce YEARS of financial records. This doesn’t happen often. Trustees operate based on rules set out by the Department of Justice.
What Information are You Required to Give to The Trustee?
In the Southern District of Ohio, there is a complete list of the documents debtors much provide, in advance, to the trustee in every bankruptcy case filed. These are court orders, called local rules. At a minimum, you’ll have to provide bank records, car titles, deed and mortgage, retirement account info, life insurance information, and at least 6 months of income proof, as well as tax returns. There could be more required of you once the trustee sees this information.
In my office we have an elaborate system of checklists and inspections to be sure we have all of this information. We carefully review it, to see if there is anything present that might create a problem for our clients. Sometimes we spot things that raise questions. You never want to go into the meeting with the trustee unprepared!
Does the Bankruptcy Trustee Check Your Bank Account?
Do Bankruptcy Trustees Investigate?
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Here are two helpful calculators for managing your debt repayments and Chapter 13 commitments.