When you file for bankruptcy, the court appoints a bankruptcy trustee to administer your case. Many trustee duties overlap, but trustees also carry out responsibilities specific to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 trustees review the bankruptcy petition and compare the disclosures to the figures in the 521 documents provided after filing the bankruptcy case (tax returns, paycheck stubs or profit and loss statements, and bank account statements). They also conduct the 341 meeting of creditors—the hearing all Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filers must attend.
Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 trustees also review proof of claim forms submitted by creditors requesting payment from bankruptcy assets and file bankruptcy motions and adversary proceedings (bankruptcy lawsuits) when required.
But differences exist, too. The Chapter 7 trustee’s primary responsibility is to identify and liquidate (sell) property you can’t protect with a bankruptcy exemption before distributing the funds to creditors. By contrast, a Chapter 13 trustee doesn’t liquidate assets. The Chapter 13 trustee’s primary job is dispensing monthly repayment plan payments to creditors. The Chapter 13 trustee also takes part in the confirmation hearing at which the judge decides whether the proposed Chapter 13 repayment plan is feasible (meets all bankruptcy requirements).
The articles below explain the duties and responsibilities of bankruptcy trustees, as well as the differences between the U.S. Trustee and the bankruptcy trustee appointed to your case.