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Who is the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee?

Deciding whether to file for bankruptcy can be a challenging process. Not only does one have to come to terms with their inability to repay their debts, but they must also decide which type of bankruptcy best suits their needs. Yet, even once a path is chosen, navigating the process can be challenging. With creditors looking for any way they can to recoup their losses, any slipup can result in a failed bankruptcy and even more financial hardship for a debtor.

One way this can occur is when a debtor fails to work with his or her bankruptcy trustee. The trustee is automatically appointed in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and he or she is essentially in charge of overseeing the bankruptcy plan. Therefore, he or she will review any filings made by a debtor, and he or she will participate in the meeting of creditors. Here, the debtor is placed under oath and asked questions related to his or her assets, debts, and income. The testimony should match the information that has been provided to the trustee.

Yet, the trustee's role doesn't stop there. He or she is also in charge of collecting and disbursing payments, identifying any filings that may have been initiated in bad faith, and review creditor claims to see if they are valid and therefore applicable to the bankruptcy at hand.

The trustee is not there to look out for a debtor's best interests. Instead, he or she is there to ensure the bankruptcy process unfolds in a legal fashion. Therefore, debtors should not expect to obtain legal advice from these individuals. With this in mind, those who think they may need assistance with their bankruptcy case may want to speak with a legal professional who may be able to help them obtain the debt relief that they need and deserve.

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