If your financial affairs have been causing you concern for some time or a major event, like the threat of foreclosure, has spurred you into action, you may have come to the decision to file for bankruptcy. At first, you may feel as if this route is your last resort, but you may come to find that successful completion of your case has the results you have needed for some time.

During your case, you will work with an individual known as a bankruptcy trustee. This person’s responsibilities throughout your case may differ depending on whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Trustee’s duties in Chapter 7

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the most common form of bankruptcy, your trustee will have the following obligations:

  • He or she will review your bankruptcy documents for accuracy.
  • He or she will ensure that your documents do not show signs of fraud.
  • The trustee will collect your non-exempt assets for liquidation.
  • He or she will obtain the proceeds from the liquidation sale.
  • The trustee will distribute those proceeds to the applicable creditors in order of priority.

The trustee will also have the ability to determine whether a creditor’s claim against you is invalid as well as file a lawsuit against you if he or she believes that you have attempted to hide assets from your creditors.

Trustee’s duties in Chapter 13

Certain duties of the trustee in a Chapter 13 filing are the same as in Chapter 7, such as reviewing documents and validating creditor claims. However, the trustee will also have different obligations, such as:

  • The trustee will review your repayment plan proposal and determine its viability.
  • The trustee will make sure that you use your disposable income to address your outstanding debts.
  • He or she will receive your payments and distribute them to the applicable creditors.

Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, it is important to work with your bankruptcy trustee when it comes to providing necessary information and completing other requests. Complying with any requests could help your case move along more smoothly. If you have questions or concerns about how a bankruptcy trustee may handle your case, you may wish to discuss the topic with a Tennessee attorney who has experience in bankruptcy cases and who can provide reliable information.