When you file for bankruptcy in New York, multiple parties are involved in the process. You may never even see some of them, but their role remains an important part of your debt relief journey. Let’s take a closer look at who they are and what they do after you file.
The bankruptcy judge
Although a judge is assigned to each bankruptcy case, you likely won’t meet the one involved with yours. Bankruptcy judges only play an active role in a typical Chapter 7 case if a dispute arises. They are more involved in a Chapter 13 filing because they oversee your payment plan approval, resolve any objections to it, and adjudicate any developments during the course of the bankruptcy.
The U.S. Trustee
The U.S. Trustee is commonly regarded as a behind-the-scenes entity that ensures compliance with applicable laws and investigates cases of bankruptcy fraud and abuse. Administrative responsibilities include:
- Assigning Chapter 7 trustees to new cases
- Overseeing the actions of bankruptcy files and private estate trustees
- Ensuring compliance with applicable procedures and laws
When you file with the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, you likely won’t hear from the U.S. Trustee.
The Chapter 7 trustee
When you file for Chapter 7, the U.S. Trustee assigns a Chapter 7 trustee to your case. Their job is primarily to determine if you have any nonexempt assets. You will meet them at the brief “meeting of creditors,” where a determination will be made on the matter of exempt vs. nonexempt property.
If, like most Chapter 7 filers, everything you own is exempt, the trustee’s role in the case is mostly ended. In the cases where nonexempt assets are identified, the trustee will take possession of them, sell them, and distribute the proceeds among your creditors.
The Chapter 13 trustee
Chapter 13 trustees are assigned to geographic areas and are not randomly appointed to a case like their Chapter 7 counterparts. In other words, you will have the same trustee as other Chapter 13 filers in your region. They will review your proposed repayment plan, preside at your “meeting of creditors” and, once the plan is approved, oversee the distribution of your payments to the creditors.
Once you have completed all of the required payments, your Chapter 13 trustee will notify the court, so that your remaining debts can be discharged and the case closed.
Filing for bankruptcy has given thousands of New York residents the clean slate they need to start afresh and enjoy greater financial prosperity. A New York bankruptcy attorney can advise you on which chapter is the best solution to your debt problems and guide you as you fulfill your duties and work toward completion of your case. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, New York attorney handling personal bankruptcies. He has more than 34 years of personal experience and has helped many clients gain a fresh financial start. He offers free initial in-person consultations. Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment or visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.