Role of Chapter 7 Trustee
When a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, a bankruptcy trustee is assigned to manage the case. The obligations of the Chapter 7 trustee can seriously impact how a person’s request for protections from creditors is handled. The Chapter 7 trustee has the authority to sell petitioner’s assets, including assets that had been recently transferred to other parties. This of course is something that the Montgomery bankruptcy lawyers and Selma bankruptcy lawyers at The Sellers Law Firm can assist and guide you through. The first and primary job of the Chapter 7 trustee is to review the bankruptcy petition.
Petitions for bankruptcy must, by law, include facts about your financial status. This information must include accurate amounts as to your income, expenses, debts, property, and general state of your financial affairs. It is the trustee’s job to ensure the accuracy of this information. In order to, do this the trustee may request documentation of details in a bankruptcy petition. The trustee examines the usual documents that are filed with a petition for bankruptcy such as check-stubs, tax returns, and statements regarding source of income such as social security award and veteran’s administration award letters. Additionally, the trustee may request documents on property the petitioner owns, bank statements, property appraisals performed on real property, and financial statements given for the purposes of obtaining loans. Usually, this much information isn’t required. One issue to point out is that the trustee is compensated for these actions by a small fee for petitions that have no assets to sell and a portion of any money from properties that are turned over and sold to pay toward creditors. This means that the trustee’s goals may not be aligned with that of the person filing bankruptcy. The Sellers Law Firm as your Montgomery bankruptcy attorneys and Selma bankruptcy attorneys can deal with these issues in your best interest. If you need assistance, call or text us now at 334-LAWYERS (529-9377) or use the Contact form on the website! We are waiting on you to contact us!
The Chapter 7 trustee also holds hearing during which the trustee will question you regarding your bankruptcy documents and any other information about your case. The trustee will put a person under oath and ask many of the same questions that we do during your interview and signing of bankruptcy documents. However, he or she is not limited to those areas. Creditors may also participate in the hearing and question you regarding your filings, the location and or value of assets that may secure their loan, or other assets that may be used to repay some or all of your debt to that creditor. However, these hearings are usually very quick and last only 5 minutes or less!
In describing the ability of a trustee to sell property we need to look at several issues. Simply put, individuals requesting bankruptcy protection can keep different kinds of property up to a certain money value under state or federal law. In Alabama, the personal property exemption, for things such as vehicles, clothing, electronics, and household furniture is $7,750 for per person. The homestead exemption, which exempts property that the bankrupt individual lives in and has ownership to, is up to $15,500 value in equity, Of course, these are not all the exemptions that apply to Alabama based bankruptcy cases and The Sellers Law Firm can advise you of other exemptions that may apply to your case. The two other categories of properties in bankruptcies are properties that secure loans and those that individuals own out right. Values of properties securing a loan must be applied to that particular debt for that lender before any amount over the debt can be protected under an exemption or used to pay other creditors. If you own real property, that you live in, valued at $100,000 with a mortgage of $50,000, and you wish to surrender the property, the trustee can sell the property, take their percentage, pay $50,000 to the creditor, $15,500 toward a single individual’s exemption or $31,000 if two persons own the property, and use the remainder of the funds to pay to other creditors. The trustee cannot do all of this without your attorney protecting your interests, and if there is a dispute between your interests and the trustee’s plan then the process will be overseen by a bankruptcy judge.
Also, as previously mentioned the trustee may seek to claim property transfers that were made shortly prior to filing for bankruptcy or during the bankruptcy process. These transfers are usually to family members and/or friends of a petitioner for less than the full value of the asset. The time frames for which the trustee can operate are set by bankruptcy law and are ones that your we can assist you with and protect you from during your bankruptcy case.
At The Sellers Law Firm, we represent and protect our Chapter 7 clients and fight to eliminate your debt. We have offices located in Montgomery, Selma, Greenville, and Troy. All consultations are free, and we can usually meet with you within 24 hours! Call or text us at 334-LAWYERS (529-9377) or us the Contact Form on this website. Our phone lines are answered 24 hours a day! You may even email us a firstname.lastname@example.org! Remember that doing nothing changes nothing so act now and let us develop an immediate plan of action to solve your financial issues!
The Sellers Law Firm is designated a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress and the President of the United States. We have proudly assisted people seeking relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for four decades.