You may have heard the word “trustee” come up in a lot of different contexts. In bankruptcy, a trustee is a person with a very specific role. And that role is, for the most part, to be a watchdog for the case.
One of the first things that happens in a bankruptcy case after you file is that you go and meet with the trustee. Among other things, a trustee has the power to object to aspects of your bankruptcy filing. That’s why pre-bankruptcy filing preparation is so important.
However, don’t be confused. A trustee is not a judge and does not have the same powers as a judge. It’s also worth noting that the trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is different from the trustee in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee
A trustee in a Las Vegas Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually a bankruptcy lawyer who has been selected from a panel of other bankruptcy lawyers who have agreed to act as a trustee. When a bankruptcy case is filed, a trustee is assigned to the case at random.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
By contrast, there are just two designated Chapter 13 trustees for Southern Nevada (i.e., Las Vegas). These two trustees (Katherine Leavitt and Rick Yarnall) are regular bankruptcy lawyers who have been designated as Chapter 13 trustees and handle all of the Las Vegas Chapter 13 trustee work.
Trustees can make or break your case. But they also typically have large caseloads and mostly are interested in efficiently and effectively working through the process. They know what to ask, what to look for and where the red flags are.
For that reason, it’s very important to work with an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer who knows how to prepare your bankruptcy filing as well as how to prepare you for the bankruptcy process.
Please contact Haines & Krieger at 702-880-5554 for a free initial consultation and to ask any questions you may have.