How to “Fire” an Annoying Chapter 7 Trustee

28 Sep How to “Fire” an Annoying Chapter 7 Trustee

Okay, the debtor in a bankruptcy case can’t really fire the chapter 7 trustee, even if the trustee is annoying or is engaging in troublesome litigation with the debtor. After all, the reason the court appointed the chapter 7 trustee is to maximize, within the limits of the law, the return of money from the debtor to creditors. However, there are situations where the court will dismiss a chapter 7 trustee from service, usually after dismissal of the case or conversion to another chapter.

Under 11 U.S.C. section 521(e)(2)(B), the case must be dismissed if the debtor fails to provide the chapter 7 trustee with a copy of the debtor’s tax returns at least seven days prior to the creditors meeting. Also, Interim Rule 4002 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure requires that certain documents be produced by the debtor at the creditors meeting. The trustee might move for dismissal if the required documents are not produced. Section 521(a)(1)(B), and Interim Rule 1007(b)-(c), also require that the case be dismissed if the debtor fails to file with the court his or her last sixty days worth of paycheck stubs (known as “payment advices”). Failure to take the personal financial management course will not, however, get your case dismissed; this only results in the court not granting a discharge.

Converting a chapter 7 case to a chapter 13 case results in the court discharging the chapter 7 trustee from service. The court then appoints a new trustee to serve in the converted case. Because the chapter 7 trustee has been removed by the court, he or she should not even have legal standing to be heard on any issue in the converted chapter 13 case.

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Craig Andresen is a Minnesota bankruptcy attorney who represents both consumers and small business owners in chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. With thirty years experience, Mr. Andresen is a frequent speaker on the topics of stopping mortgage foreclosures, and stripping off second mortgages in chapter 13. His office is located in Bloomington just across the street from the Mall of America. Call his office at (952) 831-1995 for a free consultation about protecting your rights using bankruptcy.
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