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What does a Maryland Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee do?

A Maryland Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee is responsible for the examination of your petition and your proposed repayment plan under a Chapter 13.  The trustee is responsible for handling the court’s end of your case from beginning to end.

Chapter 13 Trustees are appointed by the United States Trustee, who is an officer of the United States Department of Justice. Maryland has three Chapter 13 Trustees:  Timothy Branigan, Rebecca Herr, and Robert Thomas. 

The Chapter 13 trustee plays a critical role in the bankruptcy process.  The trustee’s duty is to manage the process and distribute the property of the debtor (the person or business filing for bankruptcy) in bankruptcy.   The trustee has administrative control of property.  Essentially, the trustee is the  “watchdog over the bankruptcy process. 

When someone files a bankruptcy case, if a trustee is needed, the Trustee Program appoints one to manage the case and the assets, depending on the type of bankruptcy. The trustee monitors the actions of the bankruptcy parties and makes sure the process is run in compliance with applicable laws and the bankruptcy plan.  One of the biggest roles the trustee has is to make sure that the debtor’s bankruptcy is not fraudulent.  The trustee serves the role in several steps, including;

  1. Collects and reduces to money the assets of the debtor
  2. Investigates the debtor’s financial affairs
  3. Examines proofs of claim from creditors (those the debtor owes money to) 
  4. Distributes the money to creditors, according to a specific order
  5. Approves or opposes the discharge of specific debts (allowing the debtor to avoid repaying them)   
  6. Makes periodic and final reports to various government agencies, including tax reports
  7. File objections to the debtor’s proposed plan, if necessary

The trustee serves in a role to examine the debtor’s financial information, assets, debts.  They are must ensure that the debtor can afford the Chapter 13 repayment plan.  Finally, the trustee’s distributes your payments among a designated list of creditors based on priority. 

The trustee is paid a fee for administering the bankruptcy. That fee is part of the debtor’s monthly payment.  In addition, the trustee may be paid for reasonable expenses and also for compensation for their services, based on the bankruptcy type. 

You will go before a trustee for a 341 Hearing, otherwise known as a creditor’s hearing.  Finally, the Chapter 13 trustee makes a decision whether to recommend your bankruptcy to the United States Bankruptcy Court for confirmation. 

Mooney Law represents individuals and businesses in Bankruptcy throughout Maryland and the Eastern and Middle districts of Pennsylvania. Our consultations are absolutely free. Call today to see if bankruptcy is the right option for you. Call us at 833-MOONEYLAW or 717-200-HELP.