Is My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee My Friend?

27 Feb Is My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee My Friend?

YourChapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee may be very nice and friendly, but he or she is not your friend. The trustee’s job is to collect your Chapter 13 monthly payment and distribute it to your creditors. The trustee also makes sure that your proposed plan fulfills all of the requirements of the bankruptcy code … in other words he or she will make sure that that it is proposed in good faith, that you pay all of your disposable income to the plan payments, and that your plan is feasible (works).

Many Chapter 13 Debtors believe that since the trustee was nice to them at the meeting of creditors, that they should feel free to call or write the trustee any time they have a question or concern. The fact is, that the only party you should be asking your questions to, or relay your concerns to, is your bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney should be the one there for you when you need advice or answers to your questions.

Most Chapter 13 Trustees require that you send them your tax return each year. They want to see if you had a significant increase in income, or if you are getting a tax refund. You should send your tax returns, and any other items the trustee requests of you to your attorney, not directly to the trustee. Your attorney should review the material before sending it on to the trustee. That way, your attorney can discuss with you any issues that come up, and properly advise you as to your options.

Remember, your Chapter 13 trustee is not supposed to be your friend. Their job is to be sure that your creditors are being treated properly and you do what you are supposed to do to comply with all the bankruptcy laws.

It is your attorney, and only your attorney whose job it is to look out for your interests.

By doing that, your attorney is really being your friend.

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Peter Orville is a bankruptcy lawyer in Binghamton, located in the Southern Tier of New York. He is a member and New York co-chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
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