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What does a trustee do in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

If you have assessed all your debt relief options and arrived at the conclusion that you want to initiate Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, you need to understand the details of the process. One of the most important people who will be involved in your case will be your trustee. Your trustee comes into the picture after the court accepts your Chapter 13 filing. And moving forward, the trustee plays a key role in helping make your Chapter 13 a success.

First, understand that when you file for bankruptcy, your property will comprise what is termed a "bankruptcy estate." A trustee is assigned as the overseer of the bankruptcy estate. Because in a Chapter 13, you will be able to retain your property, the trustee's responsibilities are focused on helping make sure that the approved payment plan is followed. Specifically, your trustee will do the following:

  • The trustee will review your proposed repayment plan.
  • If necessary, the trustee will raise objections to your proposed repayment plan.
  • The trustee will receive your payments in accordance with your repayment plan.
  • The trustee disburses payments to the creditors.

As you likely noticed, the trustee could object to your proposed repayment plan, which would likely create the need for you to alter the plan's details. Since you want to expedite the process as much as possible, it is best to have an acceptable plan from the start. Of course, your best resource for explaining all the ins and outs of a Chapter 13 will be an experienced bankruptcy attorney who could help you create a plan that meets your needs.

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