Chapter 13 Trustees - Duties

All Chapter 13 trustees have specific duties and obligations in connection with their authority

The first time debtors meet the Chapter 13 Trustee is normally during the Meeting of Creditors (11 U.S.C. Section 341). During this meeting, the trustee questions each debtor about documents, schedules and forms filed, financial history, and the proposed plan. Chapter 13 trustees also must advise debtors of certain rights provided by the Code. By way of example, consider 11 U.S.C. Section 1302, which addresses the duties of a trustee.

During the course of administration of a Chapter 123 cases, the trustee must appear in court and object to confirmation if discovering any one of an extensive list of plan attributes required by the Code. Additionally, suspicious or unfounded appraisals of property value, failure to fully disclose assets, and the failure to make payments must all be timely reported to the court. In practice, Chapter 13 trustees go much further than the minimum Code requirements suggest. Virtually all US Chapter 13 trustees conduct a financial analysis of the integrity of the plan, and most importantly, provide their recommendation to Court regarding a grant or denial of confirmation based on an extensive review of legal compliance. Over time, Judges develop a level of confidence in trustee recommendations.

Working with a Chapter 13 trustees

In practice, attorneys representing debtors call Chapter 13 trustees on a regular basis. Objections may be resolved by agreement, working with the Chapter 13 trustee to resolve deficient plans, and consequently avoid a contested court hearing. Chapter 13 trustees are paid a fee (usually monthly) from the debtor's plan payments.

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