The filing of a bankruptcy case creates an “estate” comprised of all of the debtor’s property which is not subject to the debtor’s allowable exemptions. The estate is overseen by the Trustee.

The Trustee is usually a lawyer appointed by the bankruptcy court to review and verify that all the information you provided on your bankruptcy petition is true. They are also charged with a duty to protect your creditor’s interests.

If the Trustee determines that the debtor has nonexempt property with value, they can motion the Court for an order to sell that property in order to pay creditors. Also, if he finds that the debtor has lied or hidden assets, the trustee can move to dismiss the bankruptcy case or deny a discharge.

It is important to have an understanding of bankruptcy law. Knowing the law allows you to take full advantage of the allowable exemptions and prepare a bankruptcy petition which will survive the scrutiny of the Trustee.