Bankruptcy Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is always considered a huge decision to make. It indeed helps you eliminate your debts, but one must not forget that it has a confusing process. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, you are somehow surrendering the properties you own and the debts you owe under the control of the trustee. But the question still remains: what is the role of the trustee in bankruptcy and why is it important to know it? 

It is totally normal to have many questions underlying a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, especially when it is your first time filing. Questions like these have to be answered, and throughout the process, everyone deserves competent guidance from an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy Attorneys is an affordable bankruptcy law firm in Phoenix that you can trust. For over 18 years, we have been helping families and individuals in the state of Arizona get debt relief and have a fresh start. If you have confusion with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, ask us now by scheduling a free legal consultation

The Role of the Bankruptcy Trustee in Chapter 7 Arizona

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee has numerous duties and responsibilities. Below are the roles of the bankruptcy trustee in Chapter 7 Phoenix AZ.

Bankruptcy Trustee Duty to Verify if the Debtor is Qualified to File for the Chapter

 the role of the bankruptcy trustee in chapter 7 arizonaThe trustee will evaluate the schedules and statements filed by your bankruptcy attorney, if any, to check if you meet the eligibility requirements. Your income-to-expense ratio, for instance, will be assessed to make sure it is correct. Your assets and bankruptcy exemptions will be evaluated to see if there is anything that can be seized from you by your creditors. In the Statement of Financial Affairs, the bankruptcy trustee will thoroughly evaluate your answers to whether there are inappropriate transfers, suspicious behavior, or questionable positions.

Bankruptcy Trustee on Means Test

Trustees will also look over Means Test to see if it was properly filed, though not all Chapter 7 debtors are required to file one. The bankruptcy trustee will text or call you and obtain verification of your assets and liabilities. The trustee will go over your bank statements, business records, pay stubs, income tax returns, and other supporting documents to look for issues and pursue them against you. 

Trustees work on behalf of the creditor. The gist of their role is to conduct the necessary verifications to determine whether or not you are able to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and to possess your assets and claims for the benefit of your creditors.

Bankruptcy Trustee on Validation of Identity

The bankruptcy trustee will also need to validate your identity by comparing other identification cards, such as your driver’s license, to your social security card. A creditors’ meeting will be held, and the trustee will preside over it. However, the judge will not be present at this meeting; instead, the trustee will question the debtor about the bankruptcy documents and other financial paperwork.

Your creditors could sue the bankruptcy trustee if they did not perform their duties properly in Chapter 7. There are trustees who are difficult to work with and those who are not. In most cases, bankruptcy trustees are either attorneys or CPAs.

It is usually much easier to work with an attorney as a bankruptcy trustee. They are less likely to pursue minor claims against you for this reason. 

How do Bankruptcy Trustees Get Paid?

Every Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee receives around $60. Furthermore, by selling a property and distributing the profits to creditors, the bankruptcy trustee may receive commissions based on the amount disbursed. These fee policies were enacted to drive the bankruptcy trustee to scrutinize each Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, particularly when the debtor appears to have more valuable properties.

What Will Happen To Your Property?

Every policy enables debtors to keep certain types of property, including the equity in them. The available exemptions will differ depending on where you live. You will be asked in your bankruptcy documents which items of your property you want to exempt.

If any of your properties are not exempt, you must either surrender them to the trustee or pay them the equivalent amount in cash after the meeting of creditors.  There is a slim chance that the bankruptcy trustee will seize or inventory your property, but it does happen from time to time. Instead, you must voluntarily surrender the nonexempt properties listed on your means and schedules. If you do not turn them over, the bankruptcy judge will issue a court order compelling you to do so. You can be contemptuous if you don’t. Worst could happen, the bankruptcy court has the authority to dismiss your bankruptcy petition.

If it is difficult to sell your nonexempt properties, the trustee may legally abandon them. This could mean that you can keep them even if they are not exempt. When a debtor has a large amount of home equity, cash, luxury goods, or rental property, most of the debtor’s property is insignificant to creditors.

Call our Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorney Now!

The process of filing bankruptcy is somewhat overwhelming. You must ensure that every endeavor you undertake complies with the pertinent bankruptcy laws. Even if your bankruptcy case has no serious complications, it is best to seek legal help. You are not only paying extra fees to take charge of your case, but you are also paying to relieve stress. A Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer can make things less complicated for you by educating you on how the entire bankruptcy procedure works. 

Choosing Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy Attorneys to assist you with debt problems is a wise decision. We have gained substantial experience in the field, and you won’t have to worry about paying fees because we are willing to negotiate. We assist hundreds to thousands of people in Arizona who are struggling with debt, and each of them receives exceptional legal services. With our strong dedication, we will help you restructure your life after dealing with unsurmountable debts. 

Other than Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we also cater services on Chapter 13. If you need help on any of the bankruptcy chapters, schedule a free, no-obligation, stress-free financial analysis now!