Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is difficult. If you have worked through other options and obtained an experienced legal opinion, bankruptcy is a good choice for getting a fresh financial start.
Once they file, many bankruptcy petitioners wonder what comes next. As soon as your bankruptcy petition and schedules are filed, you benefit from the automatic stay. This halts all collection actions against you for a period of time.
When you file for bankruptcy, an officer of the court is appointed to supervise your case. That officer is called a trustee. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, the role of your trustee is slightly different. Consider the duties of a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee:
- Chapter 7: As a liquidation bankruptcy, your trustee is concerned with gathering non-exempt assets for sale to your creditors. You, your attorney, the trustee and your creditors attend an initial meeting to discuss your petition. All trustees have a duty to watch for fraud and ensure each bankruptcy is carried out to the benefit of the bankruptcy estate and creditors.
- Chapter 13: A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is called a wage earner bankruptcy because the debtor usually has employment and some ability to pay back debt. Your trustee meets with you, your attorney and creditors. Throughout your bankruptcy process, which may take three to five years, the trustee administers your repayment plan to ensure the payment of agreed-upon debt.
The purpose of the trustee in either type of case is to move your bankruptcy petition through the process, marshalling assets and ensuring the payment of creditors and discharge of debt.
When you have questions about bankruptcy or the trustee process in Florida, speak with one of our Jacksonville bankruptcy attorneys.
Bankruptcy attorney Shane Herbert also contributed to this blog post.