What Is A Bankruptcy Trustee?

At this point in your life you have probably watched enough Law & Order or Judge Judy to identify the key parties in the courtroom. You’ve heard of judges, court reporters, bailiffs, the prosecutors and defense teams in criminal cases, and the plaintiffs and defendants in civil actions. But have you ever heard of a trustee? If you are filing for bankruptcy, the trustee is someone you are going to get to know pretty well.

A Bankruptcy Trustee Is The Person Who Makes Things Happen

Bankruptcy trustees are people whose job it is to make sure bankruptcy cases run smoothly. They review debtor filings to make sure they are complete, correct, and not fraudulent; ensure all the parties who may be impacted by a case are aware it is moving forward; identify and investigate bankruptcy fraud. 

They also do a lot of hands-on work to make sure each individual case filed in the court they work for moves forward. Their duties vary depending on which chapter of the bankruptcy code the case they are working on was filed under. 

  • In a Chapter 7 case, the trustee oversees the liquidation of assets and the paying back of creditors.
  • If the debtor files under Chapter 13, the trustee oversees the repayment plan at the core of the case. They collect payments and distribute them to the various creditors. 
  • When a business files under Chapter 11, the trustee helps reorganize a debtor’s business obligations, debts, and assets.

Bankruptcy would be a much more daunting task if trustees did not exist. 

Wisconsin Bankruptcy Trustees 

Bankruptcy filers in all types of cases have far more interaction with the trustee than they do with the judge in the case. 

In Wisconsin, our trustees are currently Mary Jensen and David Asbach. Jensen works in Madison, and Asbach works here in Milwaukee. 

Both are experienced professionals who take their jobs seriously and do them well. Treating them with respect, and responding quickly and accurately to any requests they make goes a long way toward improving your bankruptcy experience. 

Milwaukee Bankruptcy Attorneys You Can Count On

As attorneys, our job is to get the trustees the information they need from our clients so they can do their job and the case can move forward. We also try to persuade the trustee to act in our client’s best interest. For example, the trustee may have the discretion to decide what happens to a particular asset, and we urge them to do whatever it is that puts our client in the best position possible. 

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, or are a creditor involved in a bankruptcy case, Hanson & Payne, LLC is here for you. Our decades of experience working on bankruptcy cases, and with bankruptcy trustees means you can count on us to guide you through even the most challenging bankruptcy cases. Please contact us to schedule an initial consultation.