Many people who consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin approach the decision-making process frustrated and overwhelmed. If you are in a similar situation, you may still be trying to decide which type of bankruptcy is right for you.
If you have already determined that a Chapter 7 filing is the right path forward, you may be wondering how to file and navigate the bankruptcy process itself.
You may find it helpful to gain a thorough understanding of what is involved in the process of filing before taking the first steps toward debt forgiveness. This article will answer questions about the role of a bankruptcy trustee in order to give you a better idea of what to expect if you decide to file for Chapter 7 in Wisconsin.
To learn more about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin, read the following articles by The Fitzgerald Law Firm:
- “Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know”
- “5 Ways to Get Rid of Income Tax Debt with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy”
- “Using Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to Stop Wage Garnishments in Beloit”
How is a Bankruptcy Trustee Chosen in Wisconsin?
When you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin, there are two important individuals you will work with the most: your bankruptcy lawyer and your bankruptcy trustee.
It is important to choose an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you through this process, beginning with your filing.
As for your bankruptcy trustee, this person will be appointed to your case by the United States Trustee once you and your attorney submit your bankruptcy filing.
This trustee will review your petition for bankruptcy to identify the maximum amount of money your unsecured creditors can collect, while also checking your documents and accounts for any red flags or possible indications of fraud.
What Documents are Requested by Bankruptcy Trustees?
The trustee overseeing your bankruptcy will take a thorough look at your Chapter 7 filing to determine a method and how much to pay your creditors.
In addition to the financial information you submit in your inital Chapter 7 filing, your bankruptcy trustee may request additional information to review, such as:
- Tax Returns
- Pay Stubs
- Other information regarding your assets
What are the Duties of Bankruptcy Trustee in Chapter 7?
If you’re wondering what a bankruptcy trustee does, the answer depends on which chapter of bankruptcy you file, as well as your specific case.
For Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, the main role of the bankruptcy trustee includes the following responsibilities:
• Paying Your Creditors
Your bankruptcy trustee will determine which of your nonexempt assets can be liquidated in order to pay your creditors. It is up to your bankruptcy trustee to determine the value of these assets and how to distribute the proceeds among your creditors.
• Heading Up Your 341(a) Meeting
One important function of your bankruptcy trustee is to run and preside over your required creditor meeting, called a 341(a) meeting of creditors. You will be required to attend this meeting, which is held so creditors can request questions your bankruptcy trustee will ask you under oath to make sure you aren’t hiding any assets.
• Avoid Undesirable Transfers
Another significant role your bankruptcy trustee has is to make sure there has been no preferential transfers made prior to your Chapter 7 filing. In other words, if you took measures to pay back preferred creditors or transfer property or assets to someone else before you filed for bankruptcy, your trustee may have the power to essentially undo these transfers in order to get the money or property back for distribution among your creditors.
If you are getting ready to file for bankruptcy, it would be in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer before transferring any property.
• Remove Improper Liens
Your bankruptcy trustee may also take measures to remove liens if your creditors did not follow proper procedure in creating a lien or security interest in your property or assets prior to your filing. Being able to avoid such circumstances allows the bankruptcy trustee to then sell the property free and clear of liens.
A bankruptcy trustee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing in Wisconsin will have different responsibilities specific to the scope of that type of filing.
If you have already filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but are having difficulty keeping up with payments, you may want to convert to Chapter 7.
What are the Next Steps in Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
If you are interested in filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin and still have questions about your options or the process, contact a Wisconsin bankruptcy attorney to discuss your specific case, help you determine if you meet the requirements of the Chapter 7 Means test and explore your options.
FREE 15-Minute Consultation
The Fitzgerald Law Firm, dedicated to helping clients with their bankruptcy filings, is happy to offer to you at no obligation a FREE 15-minute consultation to help you determine your options for bankruptcy in Wisconsin. Click below for your free consultation today.