On Wednesday, June 25th I was a panelist at a Bankruptcy Forum on What Judges and Trustees Want Bankruptcy Lawyers To Know.

This full day program was organized by the National Business Institute. On the panel were Bankruptcy Judges Judith Wizmur(ret) and Michael Kaplan. Also participating were Isabel Balboa, the Chapter 13 Trustee in Camden, New Jersey presenting the views of a Chapter 13 Trustees and myself representing the perspective of Chapter 7 Trustees. This unique program was designed to give lawyers the opportunity to learn about bankruptcy from the view of decision makers who work in the field every day.

As you may know I have served as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for 29 years. I was appointed by the United States Department of Justice to supervise Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases filed in the Southern part of New Jersey. Less than 1% of people filing Chapter 7 will be required to appear before a bankruptcy judge. But 100% of those people will be required to appear before a bankruptcy trustee.

What does a bankruptcy do? A trustee has three primary responsibilities:

  1. A trustee will examine documents supplied by the person filing for bankruptcy(debtor) to verify the things they reported on their bankruptcy petition are true.
  2. In the rare instance that a Chapter 7 debtor cannot exempt all of their assets, a bankruptcy trustee will sell the non- assets. In addition a bankruptcy trustee can sue others to recover money or property of the debtor that should not have been paid or given to others or are owed to the debtors.
  3. When appropriate will ask the Court to not cancel a debtors`s debts; this typically only happens when a debtor has not been truthful in their bankruptcy case.

Contact John Hargrave and Associates

We have provided comprehensive counsel to individuals in and around Barrington, New Jersey, since 1977. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office by e-mail or call us at 856-547-6500.

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