In your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy process there will be 3 main characters: you, your attorney and the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee.
The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee is the person who oversees your Bankruptcy Case.
There is currently only one Chapter 13 Trustee in the State of Connecticut, who is appointed by the United States Trustee. The Trustee Program is a part of the Department of Justice.
|“The United States Trustee Program is a component of the Department of Justice that seeks to promote the efficiency and protect the integrity of the Federal bankruptcy system. To further the public interest in the just, speedy and economical resolution of cases filed under the Bankruptcy Code, the Program monitors the conduct of bankruptcy parties and private estate trustees, oversees related administrative functions, and acts to ensure compliance with applicable laws and procedures. It also identifies and helps investigate bankruptcy fraud and abuse in coordination with United States Attorneys, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies.” –The U.S. Department of Justice|
Upon filing of your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition you will be assigned to the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee by the Bankruptcy Court’s computer system. I will deliver the name, address and payment instructions of the Chapter 13 Trustee to you in person or by email the day you sign and I file your Petition, and a few days later an official Notice from the Bankruptcy Court will be mailed to you with this and other pertinent information about your Bankruptcy case.
The primary duties of the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee are to:
- Examine your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition, Schedules and Plan;
- Conduct a 341 Meeting of the Creditors (a Hearing you must attend and testify at under oath);
- Review your Plan and suggest any changes prior to the Confirmation Hearing and;
- Administer your Plan by collecting your payments and making disbursements to your Creditors.
The Chapter 13 Trustee Administrative expenses are built into and paid out of your Plan. Additionally, the Trustee has the power to refer cases to higher authorities to be investigated for Bankruptcy Fraud and/or other crimes, if appropriate. Therefore, it is imperative that you fully disclose all of your income, assets and liabilities to me during your Bankruptcy process so I may properly prepare your Bankruptcy Petition to avoid any improprieties.
After your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition and Plan are filed, but before you attend your 341 Meeting, we will mail to you a Questionnaire provided by your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee. The questions are simple and you should be able to answer them all without assistance, but of course, I am always here to guide you. An example of one inquiry on the questionnaire would be “have you ever filed bankruptcy before?” If the answer is “yes,” there will be a few follow-up questions like “What was the case number?” and “Did you receive a discharge?”
Your Chapter 13 Trustee will also provide to my office a list of required documents that the Trustee will examine in conjunction with your Bankruptcy Petition. The list of requested documents will include such things as Tax Returns, Bank Statements and Paystubs. Usually I will already have everything that is requested, but I may ask you to provide additional documents to satisfy the requests of your Chapter 13 Trustee.
The next part of my Chapter 13 Bankruptcy series will take you through your Chapter 13 Section 341 Meeting of the Creditors so you are fully prepared to attend the Hearing.
Contact Attorney Theresa Rose DeGray at 203-713-8877 for more information on this and other Bankruptcy related topics.