If you’re reading about bankruptcy online, there’s a good chance that you’re coming across a lot of terminology that’s new or unfamiliar. In particular, you may be coming across the names of various parties that are involved in bankruptcy and be confused as to exactly who they are. Below is some basic information about the main players in a bankruptcy case and their role. For more information, please call our office today to schedule a free consultation with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in St. Petersburg.
The debtor is the person filing for bankruptcy (the person who owes debts). In Chapter 13, the debtor is always an individual (businesses cannot file for bankruptcy) and is seeking to restructure his or her personal debts. Married couples are able to file for Chapter 13, jointly, however, and will be referred to collectively as “debtors.”
In a bankruptcy case, creditors are the parties to whom debts are owed. Common examples of creditors listed in a Chapter 13 case include credit card companies, healthcare providers, mortgage lenders, utility companies, and banks.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee is the individual who is assigned by the court to administer your case. Some of the responsibilities of the trustee include the following:
- Look at your proposed repayment plan and determine whether it complies with the requirements set forth in the United States Bankruptcy Code.
- Review any claims made by creditors and object to any that lack sufficient documentation or are improperly made.
- Conduct the meeting of creditors, which you are required to attend. At this meeting, you will be placed under oath and asked questions regarding your assets, income, or other relevant information.
- Receive bankruptcy plan payments and distribute them amongst creditors
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Bankruptcies are filed in specialized federal courts known as United States Bankruptcy Courts. These courts only hear bankruptcy cases and have jurisdiction over your case from the moment it is filed to its conclusion.
Your Bankruptcy Attorney
Finally, if you are filing for bankruptcy, it is highly advisable that you do so with the assistance of an experienced lawyer. In fact, on the United States Courts official website, it states that “[i]ndividuals can file bankruptcy without an attorney, which is called filing pro se. However, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes.”
An attorney can review your financial situation, collect any necessary paperwork, prepare the documents that you need to file with the court, represent you at the meeting of creditors, and generally protect your rights along every step of the way.
Call Berkowitz & Myer Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Financial problems can often be alleviated through Chapter 13 bankruptcy—particularly when you have regular income but have fallen behind on your payments. The lawyers of Berkowitz & Myer will review your financial situation at no cost to you and let you know whether we believe that you could benefit from pursuing bankruptcy. To schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers, call Berkowitz & Myer today at (727) 344-0123 or send us an email through our online contact form.