Most people have a vague understanding of what a bankruptcy is. For example, most people know that filing for bankruptcy means talking with an attorney, filling out paperwork, and going to court to have a judge review the file and discharge debts, while liquidating some assets. But that is where the common understanding of bankruptcy cases ends.
In fact, bankruptcy proceedings are quite complex, with several different players and the application of many different federal rules, regulations, and laws. One of the important players in every bankruptcy action is a trustee. The trustee is a quasi-judicial officer who oversees the bulk of the bankruptcy process, particularly when there are a lot of assets to be dealt with.
Trustee Jobs in Bankruptcy
The history of bankruptcy trustees goes back to the 1800s in our country when the federal government passed its first bankruptcy laws. Then, a trustee was a bankruptcy commissioner who was in charge of collecting, liquidating, and distributing the debtor’s property to creditors according to the rules and regulations of the times.
Today, trustees perform the same functions as the bankruptcy commissioners of yesteryear. Once a person files for bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed to be the legal owner of the debtor’s property and handles that property depending on the type of bankruptcy being handled, and distributes what remains to creditors according to established rules.
The trustee in a bankruptcy case wields a great deal of authority over the entire proceeding. For example, if she disagrees with how the debtor wants to protect his property, she can object and ask the judge to make a ruling in the case. A trustee can issue summons and conduct official inquiries about where property is, its nature, and make recommendations about how the entire case should be resolved.
Job of a Bankruptcy Attorney
Most trustees do their job well, and a lot of cases do not devolve into a dispute between the trustee and debtor. When that does occur, it is important to have the right California bankruptcy attorney representing you and your interests. There are many scenarios under California and federal law in which the assets of a debtor can be protected through bankruptcy, including assets like a home, car, or retirement account.
When these types of disputes arise, the resolution will depend on the application of federal laws, and argument before the bankruptcy judge. In our adversarial system of justice, opposing views are presented to a neutral decider, like a judge, and a ruling is made. This is what happens in bankruptcy cases. So, when it comes to filing for and proceeding with a bankruptcy in California, it is important to have the right legal team by your side, representing your interests, and ensuring that you get the best outcome available to you under the circumstances.
California Bankruptcy Law Center
As you contemplate whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you, consider contacting us. At the Bankruptcy Law Center we have the important experience, knowledge, and understanding your case requires, and we look forward to helping you with your situation. Contact us today.
(image courtesy of Joshua Ness)