The trustee’s role in a Chapter 13 case is different than that of a trustee’s role in a Chapter 7 case. The Chapter 13 trustee’s first job is to review the debtor’s bankruptcy schedules and repayment plan. The trustee is also looking out of the best interests of general unsecured creditors. This means that the Chapter 13 trustee is reviewing the debtor’s schedules and plan to see if these documents are in compliance with the law and to see if the debtor is paying back the maximum amount that is required under the law. Throughout the Chapter 13 process the debtor’s Utah bankruptcy lawyer is there to help the debtor in dealing with Chapter 13 Trustee.
The trustee can file an objection to the debtor’s plan prior to the confirmation hearing. Typically, the debtor’s Utah bankruptcy lawyer will work through any issues with the trustee in order to ensure that the plan is in compliance with bankruptcy laws and that the plan qualifies for confirmation. Sometimes this requires amending certain things in the debtor’s schedules or amending the debtor’s plan. If the trustee and the debtor cannot agree or reach a compromise, certain issues may need to be decided by a bankruptcy judge at a confirmation hearing. The judge will hear arguments from both sides and then make a ruling.
Another part of the Chapter 13 trustee’s role is to conduct the 341 Meeting (Meeting of the Creditors). At this meeting the debtor will provide proper identification proving the debtor’s identity and then the trustee will ask the debtor questions. Generally, at this meeting the trustee will bring up any concerns that the trustee may have with the debtor’s plan or case in general. Aside from the IRS and state taxing authorities, most creditors do not bother to attend this meeting. Often the only people present are the debtor, the debtor’s Utah bankruptcy lawyer and the Chapter 13 trustee.
Once the plan is confirmed by the judge, the trustee administers the repayment plan. The debtor makes the monthly plan payment to the Chapter 13 trustee. The trustee takes the debtor’s payment and distributes it to the debtor’s creditors according to the provisions set forth in the debtor’s plan. The trustee may also object to any improper claims filed by creditors. If the debtor files any motions or tries to change the plan after the case is confirmed the Chapter 13 trustee can file objections if the trustee disagrees with what the debtor is attempting to accomplish.