When you file for bankruptcy here in Arizona your case will be assigned to a bankruptcy trustee.  This person works under the Department of Justice and in a chapter 7 bankruptcy, their job is to review your bankruptcy documents, determine if there are any assets that can be sold, and then distribute the proceeds to your creditors.

If your chapter 7 case is typical you will only see your bankruptcy trustee on one occasion – the Meeting of Creditors.  However, despite not having much face time with your trustee, your bankruptcy trustee can cause you and your bankruptcy attorney a lot of grief.

The good news is there are things you can do to that will keep your case in the good graces of your Arizona bankruptcy trustee.  I recently attended a presentation by one of the local Phoenix trustees and he gave the following tips:

Don’t Lie to the Trustee

The trustee has a job to do.  In order to complete this job they need you to tell them the truth.  There are two times in particular that you need to make sure you are providing nothing but correct information to your trustee: first, when you complete your bankruptcy documents, and second, when you sit before your trustee and answer his questions under oath.

As the trustee I went to listen to said, “lying bespeaks a belief by the Debtor that the Trustee is stupid enough to fall for it – The Trustee feels that the Debtor is trying to play him/her for a fool.  The person being ‘played’ is invariably infuriated by being thought so stupid.”

It is generally in your best interest to not “infuriate” the trustee.  Things will go more smoothly.  I promise.  Just tell the truth.

And in reviewing my notes, that was actually the only tip.  Don’t lie to the trustee.

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John Skiba, Esq. John Skiba, Esq.

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