What to Know About Your Bankruptcy Judge
You may be wondering why you need to know anything at all about the bankruptcy judge, but you should understand that this person serves as more than just a judge during your chapter 7 bankruptcy process. The role of a bankruptcy judge, who are known as trustees in most places, goes far beyond sitting in judgment over your bankruptcy hearing. Most people are surprised, perhaps even shocked, to learn how bankruptcy trustees are compensated, so read on to learn more about their duties and how the property you own plays a part in how much interest this individual shows in your case.
The Home Visit
For the most part, you may never even meet your bankruptcy trustee in person until the day of your creditor's meeting. In some instances, however, you may encounter the trustee or at least their representative as part of your property inspection. Not everyone is chosen to have their property inspected; some are chosen randomly and some are chosen due to the size of their bankruptcy and amount of property.
The main purpose of the inspection is to verify that you have been completely honest about what you own and how much it is worth. While no property will be taken on that day, the trustee will take notes and photos of your property. This visit is always scheduled well in advance of the day.
The Trustee's Compensation
The main function of the trustee is not just to preside over the creditor's meeting, but to seize property that could be sold to pay off some of your creditors. The trustee, in fact, earns a commission on the sale of such property, so if you have little property the trustee will show little interest in your case. There are strict laws that limit the earnings of the trustee, and they are mainly interested in large estates that will be worth their time. The trustee earns: 25% on the first $5,000.00,10% on $5,000.00 - $50,000.00 and 5% on $50,000.00 - $1,000,000.00.
The Creditor's Meeting
The trustee fills an administrative role during this meeting, the only event that can be equated to a "hearing". It is a more casual affair and does not always take place in a courtroom. You will be questioned briefly about your bankruptcy and it will all be over in no time.
If you have any further questions about the role of the trustee in your bankruptcy, speak to your bankruptcy attorney.