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What does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee do?

When Texas residents experience financial difficulties, they often feel as though they lost control of their lives. Choosing to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection can help them regain some sense of control and receive a fresh financial start. However, they may continue experiencing that same stress during the proceedings since their fate often rests in the hands of a bankruptcy trustee.

The first thing to know about this individual is that he or she does not work directly for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. These people are independent contractors, usually accountants or attorneys, who receive their caseloads from the Office of the United States Trustee, which is a division of the U.S. Justice Department. Their duties include reviewing a filer's petition for accuracy and completeness, analyzing the filer's financial situation, and looking for irregularities, such as potentially fraudulent transfers.

Beyond that, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee will determine whether the filer owns any non-exempt property that can be sold to pay creditors. It probably is not surprising to know that this person wields a significant amount of power over the outcome of a filer's case. While the filer may not have a lot of control over how the case proceeds, he or she can help hasten its progress by fully cooperating with the trustee.

The best course of action would be to ensure that everything is done properly from the beginning. The more forthcoming a filer is and how complete the initial paperwork is both have a bearing on how a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case proceeds. Ensuring the smooth progression of the case could be as simple as working with a Texas attorney well-versed in this area of law.

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