Assignment of a Trustee and a Judge?
By: Julie Koenig
The Trustee and Judge:
On the date that you file you will be assigned a Trustee and a Judge. We have 4 Judges, but you will probably never meet them. We currently have 9 Trustees on panel - we know them all! The Trustee’s job is to examine you under oath concerning the information on your schedules and statement of financial affairs to make sure all of the information is true and correct. Their job is also to administer any non-exempt assets that you may have for the benefit of your creditors.
You will have to attend a creditor’s meeting within 30 to 40 days after you file. This is where the Trustee examines you under oath to make sure that the information set forth on your schedules and statement of financial affairs is true and correct. You are required to show your picture identification and social security card to prove that you are the Debtor in bankruptcy and that the information regarding your social security number matches that on the Court records. This is to ensure that when you receive your discharge, it is properly recorded on your credit reports. The meeting lasts approximately 10 minutes and the Trustee will ask questions regarding the information on your schedules and statement of financial affairs. The creditor’s meeting is also referred to as your "341" meeting - a reference to the particular section of the Bankruptcy Code that sets up the meeting. Ms. Koenig will, of course, attend the 341 meeting with you!
By law, the Judge is not allowed to attend the creditor’s meeting. Therefore, in most cases, you will never meet the Judge that is assigned to your case. The exception is for Chapter 13 cases, some of the Judges require that you attend your Chapter 13 Plan Confirmation Hearing and any subsequent hearings. If you are assigned to a Judge with this requirement, you will have plenty of advanced notice of the date and time of the hearing to arrange to take off from work. For married couples filing jointly, only one of the spouses has to attend.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.