As a Chapter 7 filer you will only on the rarest of occasions come before an actual bankrutpcy judge. The bankruptcy court exercises its control over your case through a person called a trustee who is appointed by a branch of the Department of Justice called the Office of the United States Trustee.
The chapter 7 trustee’s primary duties are as follows
- Make sure that you comply with the bankruptcy laws;
- Make sure that your unsecured creditors get their fair share in the extremely unlikely event that there are unprotected assets available for distribution;
The trustee may be a local bankruptcy attorney or someone who is just very knowledgeable about Chapter 7 and local procedure.
A few days after you file your bankruptcy petition, you will receive a Notice of Filing from the court, giving you the name, address and phone number of your trustee. In the weeks to come before your Meeting of the Creditors, the trustee may contact you or your attorney with a list of any documents that will be needed at the hearing such as bank statements, car or home appraisals and the like.