The entire bankruptcy process can take some time to occur, sometimes several months. In addition to your bankruptcy attorney, you will likely not be dealing with anyone else during this process with the exception of the bankruptcy trustee. This court official will be overseeing your bankruptcy from start to finish, including the surrendering of property and ruling over the creditor's meeting. To learn more about the role of the trustee in your bankruptcy, read on.
The Creditor's Meeting
This meeting, also known as a 431 meeting, is often the only "court" appearance required during the bankruptcy process. Your trustee will be taking on the role of a judge and presiding over this meeting where you will be questioned under oath about your financial affairs. This meeting normally proves to be brief and uneventful, unless a creditor actually appears to object to being included in your bankruptcy filing.
Many times you will receive a home visit to inspect your property during bankruptcy. This sometimes is done by the trustee, but may be accomplished by a representative instead. You will have plenty of notice about this inspection and you must cooperate or risk having your bankruptcy denied. You should understand that no property will be removed from your home during this inspection; instead photographs and notes will be taken. The purpose of this visit is to verify that you have listed all property and its value accurately on your bankruptcy petition, so the trustee will review the information gathered and determine if there is cause for further investigation.
The trustee is actually compensated based on how much of your property can be seized, sold and given to your creditors. Your property is divided into exempt and non-exempt. Your exempt property normally consists of a certain dollar amount allowed on your major assets like real estate and vehicles. Any non-exempt property seized and sold results in a 25% commission on the first $5000, 10% for $5000-50,000 and 5% for $50,000-1,000,000 for the trustee. As you might imagine, the interest a trustee takes in your case is directly proportional to the amount of non-exempt property that you possess.
It's vital that you be completely honest, accurate and forthcoming about your assets when you complete your initial bankruptcy paperwork. Hiding assets is a federal offense and will result in the closing of your bankruptcy case due to fraudulent activity. A faithful and factual accounting should result in a few uneventful encounters with the trustee, and soon you will be on your way to a better financial future. Consult closely with your bankruptcy attorney, such as D Derk Demaree Attorney at Law, for more information about the role of the trustee.