Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
There are Nine Chapter 7 Trustees and Two Chapter 13 Trustees covering all Long Island Bankruptcy Cases
As a Long Island bankruptcy attorney, my clients often ask me questions like, “What does the bankruptcy trustee do?”
When a debtor files for bankruptcy relief, the Office of the United States Trustee (the governmental agency that monitors all bankruptcies in this country) appoints a trustee to examine the debtor.
The examination, which typically consists of asking the bankruptcy debtor questions in a hearing room at the Long Island Bankruptcy Court in Central Islip, usually lasts no more than 15 minutes. This is called the “meeting of creditors”. Most of these hearings are finished in much less than 15 minutes although some complicated cases may last as long as half an hour.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, it is the trustee’s role to also determine if there are any non-exempt assets. If there are any, it is the trustee’s obligation to liquidate them. However, about 95% of Chapter 7 cases are “no asset” cases in which the trustee does not administer any assets.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, which is a payment plan bankruptcy, the trustee collects the payments from the debtor and distributes them to the creditors. It is the trustee’s obligation to make sure the debtor has properly calculated the payment plan.
Trustees will not come to your home and will not check your safe deposit box, if you have one.
In most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, the only interaction the debtor will have with the trustee is the brief meeting of creditors at the bankruptcy court.