When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not only will you be working with an attorney, you will also work with bankruptcy trustee. While you will be working closely with your attorney throughout the whole filing process, you will not meet the trustee until the meeting of the creditors (also known as your 341 hearing).
The trustee is a third party, appointed by the United States Trustee, she herself is not a government employee. She does not represent you and she does not represent your creditors. The trustee represents the bankruptcy estate, and has several duties in doing so.
The trustee’s duties include:
- Conducting the meeting of creditors;
- Investigating your assets and claimed exemptions;
- Checking for fraud or inaccuracies and making objections when appropriate;
- Reviewing your right to a discharge;
- Sending any required notices related to domestic support obligations;
- Determining whether there any non-exempt assets to liquidate and distribute amongst your creditors;
- Gathering, protecting and preserving any non-exempt assets of the estate, or
- Ensuring statement of intention provisions are followed;
- If applicable, filing a report stating that no assets have been found