Understanding the Bankruptcy Players: Part 2: The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Trustee Skip to main content

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Understanding the Bankruptcy Players: Part 2: The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Trustee


@font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "MS 明朝"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math"; }@font-face { font-family: "Georgia"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in It’s that time of year again: baseball season. The smell of freshly-cut grass, the crack of the bat, the seventh inning stretches to the sound of the organ and the smell of a hot dog.

It’s also time for another great bankruptcy metaphor.

A personal bankruptcy can be just like a baseball game. Bankruptcy is ultimately an adversarial process during which there are many players on the field competing to achieve a fair and balanced result. In the process, it’s important to understand all you can about each one—including their individual roles—in order to feel confident that you can win the game.

In the series, “Understanding the Bankruptcy Players,” we’ll identify a few of bankruptcy’s Most Valuable Players—players that it’s best to know before stepping up to the bankruptcy plate. In Part 1, we scouted the Bankruptcy Judge. Now let’s take a look at the most visible player in a Chapter 7bankruptcy filing: the bankruptcy trustee.

Unlike a baseball draft, the trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is randomly selected for your particular bankruptcy case. Your first encounter with this player occurs at what is known as the 341 meetings, a huddle among the trustee, creditors, your attorneys, where you respond to inquiries about your assets and other parts of your specific financial situation.

The Chapter 7 trustees main role in the liquidation bankruptcy game is to sell non-exempt assets and distribute the proceeds to your creditors. This includes money received within six months of your bankruptcy filing from life insurance, inheritance, or distributions of property stemming from a divorce, as well as some transfers and payments made prior to filing. Like a player bonus, your case trustee gets a commission based on how much money is retrieved.

While it may sound like the case trustee is your adversary, trying to strike you out with every liquidation of your property, most are just reasonable people trying to follow the rules of the game. And keep in mind, in most—almost all—Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases no assets are actually liquidated because they all fall under state exemptions and aren’t worth the trustee knocking out of the park.

If your Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee doesn’t chase after a specific asset, it’s yours to keep once the bankruptcy case is closed and the game, for all intents and purposes, is called. But be forewarned, this exemption status is based on a stiff set of rules that you accurately described all property during your bankruptcy filing. As a result, you score the most points in the whole bankruptcy game by making sure your paperwork is accurate and complete, no matter how many creditors you’re playing against. Doing so can keep your case on track and moving as smoothly as possible.

As a result of the nuances and intricacies of bankruptcy law game, if you find yourself facing insurmountable debt, it is essential to begin the bankruptcy process with a few MVPs of your own. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can be the most important player in the bankruptcy game; he not only knows how to match up to your opponents and can provide some great assists throughout your case, no matter who your creditors are, but he is also the only person responsible for looking out for your best interests. Contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt in North Carolina TODAY for a totally FREE debt consultation. Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654, or make your appointment online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.



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