In Anticipation Of Your Meeting Before The Bankruptcy Trustee

Trustee’s Meeting With Debtor

Once your bankruptcy case is filed, the clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court will send a notice of your upcoming 341 meeting of creditors. The notice will be sent to all creditors, the debtor and the debtor’s attorney. This meeting of creditors is an opportunity for the panel trustee to examine you under oath with regard to your income, assets, expenses and debt. It is also an opportunity for creditors to appear and ask questions if they so choose. In order for the meeting to be held, the trustee must have received in advance of your meeting your most recent federal tax return as well as your most recent two months’ worth of pay advices. The problem is that there is no uniformity on how those items are to be received by the trustee.

47 Different Trustees

There are a total of 47 panel trustees that operate out of the Northern District of Illinois. Those include 29 trustees in Cook County, 4 trustees in DuPage County, 2 trustees in Kane County, 3 trustees in Lake County, 4 trustees in Will County and 5 trustees in Winnebago County. Each of these trustees can express how they would like to receive the taxes and pay advices from the debtor. The bankruptcy court’s website for the Northern District of Illinois does list in detail how each trustee would like to receive the documents. However, wouldn’t it make more sense if there was a clearinghouse for the trustees to receive such information? For example, what if there was a liaison between the panel trustees and the US trustee’s office? If that were to happen, all of the 47 trustees would be able to have their information delivered in accordance to their wishes by the US trustee’s office. As it stands now, each trustee receives the information directly from either the debtor’s attorney or from the pro se debtor.

Failure To Receive

Many trustees become rightfully frustrated when they do not receive the documents in a timely manner. My office has seen on numerous occasions information which was sent where the trustees claim they never received. In those cases, we quickly hand-deliver another set otherwise the meeting of creditors for our client would not be held. By having one clearinghouse for all of the trustees, the system would operate incredibly smoothly. Perhaps a system like that can be implemented in the upcoming years to increase the efficiency of the document flow from debtor’s counsel to trustee.

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