Tulsa Bankruptcy Attorneys-Bankruptcy Trustee Information

by Meagan Kania on January 28, 2014

 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee In Tulsa Oklahoma,

Bankruptcy Trustee in Tulsa | EZ Oklahoma Bankruptcy

 It is safe to say that your assigned bankruptcy trustee in Tulsa will likely have the most influence over your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Yet, who a trustee is, and what they do, may be a mystery to you.  This article seeks to provide you some basic information about trustees, and their role in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

 At EZ Oklahoma Bankruptcy, our bankruptcy attorneys have handled hundreds of Chapter 7 liquidations. We know how to work with trustees to best protect your interests.  We utilize our vast experience to ensure your trustee has the right information to expedite your case and minimize negative consequences on you.

 A Brief History

 Until the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 (the “Act”), judges possessed the power to appoint and supervise trustees, who were charged with converting property in a bankruptcy estate into cash for fair apportionment to creditors. Many feared judges would not be able to impartially preside over bankruptcy cases because they were personally involved in making trustee appointments.  As such, the Act delegated supervision and appointments to The United States Department of Justice, which in turn created The United States Trustee Program that is divided into various regions across the United States.  Oklahoma is in Region 20. Each region has its own panel of Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees ready for assignment to specific bankruptcy cases.

 Appointments

 The qualifications for serving on a trustee panel are no less stringent than the qualifications to be the Attorney General of the United States.  Each member must pass a background investigation, which is repeated every five years to weed out unqualified panelists.  Trustees are not employed by the government; they are private individuals who are often practicing lawyers or accountants.

 Debtors do not get to choose their trustee.  They are randomly selected to handle particular cases based on geography and a rotation schedule.  Each trustee handles numerous cases every year, so the trustee assigned to your case is not likely working exclusively on your case.

 Compensation

 Trustees are paid a small set sum for each Chapter 7 case they handle, but more importantly, they are also working on a commission basis.  The compensation system is set up to reward maximizing the total dollar amount of assets martialed by the trustee for distribution to creditors.  Compensation is always subject to a reasonability review by the bankruptcy judge presiding over your case.

 Trustee Duties

 The main duty of a trustee is to collect and liquidate the property of the bankruptcy estate, so proceeds can be passed on to creditors. Depending on the amount of your property, this can be a simple or complex task.  The trustee is charged with reviewing your petition and schedules to see what non-exempt assets are eligible to be distributed.  The trustee also examines you under oath and conducts your 341 hearing.  The trustee has many practical duties to accomplish, such as arranging sale or auction of assets and recovering assets wrongfully conveyed.  If needed, trustees can hire accountants and attorneys and order appraisals in order to carry out liquidations. The trustee handles many notices required to be served on your creditors and assigns a priority level to all creditors, which determines how they will all be paid.  Trustees requests approval of the bankruptcy court to close your case after all distributions are made, and they also have the power to request dismissal of your case if you fail to cooperate with proceedings.

 As you can see, trustees have significant powers in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. That is why it is highly recommended that you retain experienced legal counsel to advocate for your interests.  If you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or need additional advice on bankruptcy options in Oklahoma, please contact the knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys at EZ Oklahoma Bankruptcy for a free consultation at (918) 637-1546.  You may also complete our online form and someone will respond to you promptly.  We provide our services in both English and Spanish. 

 

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