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Don’t Call the Bankruptcy Trustee, “Your Honor”

Don't Call the Bankruptcy Trustee, Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
After hearing so many debtors at the meeting of creditors address their trustee as, “Your Honor,” we need to set the record straight.  The trustee is not a judge, nor is the trustee a judicial hearing officer.  Do not call the trustee, “Your Honor.”
 
I usually tell my clients about this in advance of their hearing, but I see so many clients of other attorneys address the trustee with more respect than the trustee deserves.
 
Only judges should be referred to as, “Your Honor”; not trustees.
 
Interestingly, many of the trustees do not correct the debtor when so addressed, although some certainly  do.
 
Judges have come a long way to ascend the bench and deservingly warrant a certain degree of respect.  Chapter 7 Trustees, on the other hand, are simply bankruptcy attorneys who have sought to be placed on the panel of  trustees.  There are nine Chapter 7 trustees on Long Island.  There are two Chapter 13 trustees. See What Is a Bankruptcy Trustee? [1]
 
For a list of all Long Island bankruptcy trustees, please see my earlier post Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees [2]or Brooklyn Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees [3].
 
Although all New York trustees are bankruptcy attorneys, in some other parts of the country, there are non-attorney trustees.
 
So when addressing the trustee, simply call them by their name:  “Mr. Smith”, for example.
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