In general, the Chapter 13 trustee’s responsibility is to insure that the debtor is making the required payment to each creditor for the required time period, in compliance with the bankruptcy code. The trustee makes her determination based on the debtor’s: bankruptcy petition; financial situation; asset values; income; expenses; pay stubs; tax returns; and, answers to questions.
The trustee or the trustee’s associate asks the debtor questions at the Meeting of Creditors (341A Hearing). The hearing is not held in a courtroom. Typically, no creditors appear at the hearing. The questions relate to the petition, debtor’s asset values and the debtor’s income and expenses.
A chapter 13 bankruptcy in NJ requires the debtor to file a plan, which reflects the debtor’s monthly trustee payments, the length of the plan, and the amount that each creditor is to be paid. The payments are based on numerous factors, including, but to limited to, the estimates due to secured and priority creditors, in addition to the debtor’s disposable income. Each creditor files with the court a proof of claim, indicating the total balance and arrears due to each creditor.
The trustee will carefully reviews each claim. At the Confirmation Hearing, at the courthouse, the trustee will adjust the amount of the monthly plan payments and the total amount due, in accordance with the creditors’ claim’s figures, bankruptcy code, and the debtor’s financial position.
Thereafter, the trustee processes the debtor’s payments and makes monthly disbursements to creditors in compliance with the New Jersey bankruptcy code. Furthermore, the trustee administers the case until completion. The trustee will file various documents with the court, as needed to administer the case. If the debtor is substantially in arrears with his payment, the trustee may file a Motion to Dismiss Case, which may be resolved by the debtor. At the completion of a debtor’s bankruptcy plan, the trustee is responsible for filing with the court and final document which reflects the details of any and all disbursements throughout the entire bankruptcy plan.
Please note that the trustee is not the judge and therefore cannot make final decisions and the entry of court orders. The trustee’s responsibilities are to administer the case and make various recommendations to the judge for the entry of various orders. The debtor may always object and contest the trustee’s recommendations and request to present oral argument before the judge on any matters.
Consulting a New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy laws are very complex – the New Jersey chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Manchel can ensure that your case is handled with care and done in a timely fashion. Contact us for a for a free consultation at 866.503.5655 or via our online contact form.