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The bankruptcy trustee explained

When people in Cook County file for bankruptcy, the court will appoint a trustee. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, every judicial district has a panel of private citizens who are appointed to serve in this capacity. They are referred to as panel trustees in matters concerning Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The trustee is essentially the person who handles the process of paying creditors after handling the liquidation, or sale of the filer’s assets. The trustee is also in charge of assembling the assets that are to be sold.

The National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees states that trustees are also required to submit reports to the Office of the U.S. Trustee as well as the court. Other roles of the trustee include the following:

  •          Preparing for liquidation by arranging the transfer of assets from the debtor
  •          Taking an in-depth look at the debtor’s overall situation
  •          Identifying all assets that would be eligible for liquidation
  •          Classifying debts as secured or unsecured
  •          Verifying that exemption claims are accurate

Additionally, the trustee oversees the meeting of creditors and will choose the questions concerning income, assets, expenses and liabilities that the debtor will need to answer during that meeting.

It should be noted that the trustee must withdraw from a bankruptcy case if the person has a connection with the case on a nonofficial level. While trustees are members of a panel, they are chosen by random when appointed to oversee a personal bankruptcy. To become a member of the panel, people must post a bond and pass a background check. Trustees often have a career as an accountant or attorney, and are not considered employees of the government. 

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