A bankruptcy trustee is someone appointed by the U.S. Trustee's Office to administer your bankruptcy on behalf of creditors. Usually an attorney or an accountant, he or she is not a judge, but someone who represents the best interests of creditors.
For this reason the trustee is not on your side, does not look out for you, and as such, you should have an attorney as your own advocate. What a trustee does depends upon the type of bankruptcy you are in.
Chapter 7 Trustees
If it is a chapter 7, then he or she looks to see if there is anything that you own that can be sold to raise money to pay creditors. This is why a chapter 7 is called a liquidation bankruptcy, even though most chapter 7s by individuals do not result in assets being sold due to exemptions.
Chapter 13 Trustees
If you are in a chapter 13, the trustee is charged with making sure that your repayment plan meets the requirements of the bankruptcy code, and administers the plan itself, accepting payments from the debtor and then disbursing payments to creditors.
The Meeting of Creditors
A trustee also conducts a meeting with the debtor about 30-45 days after the bankruptcy petition is filed to ask the debtor questions under oath about his or her financial situation and the content of the petition.
Interacting with a bankruptcy trustee in the course of a bankruptcy is involved and should not be taken on lightly.
So What Do I Do?
If you live in southern New Jersey and are considering filing bankruptcy, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.
If you are looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.