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The role of the bankruptcy trustee

Pursuing personal bankruptcy can provide a Missourian with the fresh financial start he or she needs and deserves by discharging many debts. However, in order to succeed on a bankruptcy petition, an individual has to closely follow the law. This requires a thorough understanding of the bankruptcy process and the ability to represent one's best interests, when the need arises.

This week we will briefly look at the role of the bankruptcy trustee. When a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed, the court assigns a trustee who is tasked with overseeing the process. This individual is supposed to be unbiased to ensure that the bankruptcy proceeds in a manner that is fair, and in accordance with the law. To start, the trustee assesses an individual's assets to determine which assets can and should be sold off in order to repay creditors.

The bankruptcy trustee also spearheads the meeting of creditors. During this meeting, the bankruptcy petitioner's creditors are allowed to ask questions of the debtor and the trustee to obtain a clear picture as to the debt owed, the debtor's financial resources and the debtor's assets. It is hoped that after the meeting of creditors it is absolutely clear which property is exempt from liquidation, assets that will likely be sold to pay off debts and the debts that will be discharged upon completion of the bankruptcy process.

The bankruptcy process can be complicated, and missteps along the way can threaten a favorable outcome. Those who want to ensure that they are taking appropriate steps toward achieving a second chance need to fully understand bankruptcy law.

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