What Is a Bankruptcy Trustee?
If you are considering Bankruptcy, you need to understand the significant individual who would be with you throughout your Bankruptcy – the bankruptcy trustee. The trustees must manage the entire process, evaluate your assets, and determine how to utilise them.
Let’s look at how the bankruptcy trustee can play a significant role during your bankruptcy process.
Who Can Be a Trustee?
In Australia, there are two types of Bankruptcy Trustees.
The Official Trustee is part of the Australian Financial Security Authority, the Government agency for dealing with Bankruptcy. The Official Trustee is often referred to as the Trustee of last resort and primarily administers bankruptcies with little or no assets. Often, where the Official Trustee identifies a bankrupt administration under its control has assets or requires investigations, the administration will be transferred to a Registered Trustee.
A Registered Trustee is an accountant who has satisfied the Official Trustee. They have the requisite knowledge and skills to administer a bankrupt estate and have been licenced accordingly.
It would be best to deal only with the Official Trustee or a Licenced Registered Trustee.
When you are submitting the bankruptcy form, you can elect to have a Registered Trustee; otherwise, the Official Trustee will be appointed. If you wish to have a Registered Trustee administer your Bankruptcy, you should approach that Trustee before submitting the forms and seek their agreement.
What Are Bankruptcy Trustees’ Duties?
A usual bankruptcy case begins when you submit a petition for Bankruptcy that includes all your financial information, including liabilities, assets, existing expenditures, current income, leases, debts, and other details.
To fully understand what a bankruptcy trustee is and their responsibilities and role during the bankruptcy process, you must be aware of the bankruptcy estate concept. A bankruptcy estate includes all the debtor’s property when a bankruptcy case is submitted. The bankruptcy estate is considered a separate legal entity from the debtor.
Since the bankruptcy estate isn’t a person, a bankruptcy trustee needs to step in and take control of the bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy trustee gets to administrate control of your personal or business property and assets. They are obliged to administer the property of an individual impartially.
Depending on the individual bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy trustee performs multiple tasks as the law specifies.
How a Bankruptcy Trustee Can Help
Once a bankruptcy trustee has been assigned to your bankruptcy case, they become the contact for your bankruptcy estate. All your assets and property under the bankruptcy estate will come under their control.
Typically, a bankruptcy trustee is responsible for the following:
- Gathering the assets of the individual or business to sell off
- Investigating the financial affairs of the debtors
- Examining any proofs of creditor’s claims, if any
- Distributing the money gathered after selling off the debtor’s property to the creditors, as per a particular order
- Opposing or approving any discharge of certain debts
- Creating final and periodic reports, considering extensions to your bankruptcy period, and even potential prosecution in more serious cases.
- Aside from selling your assets, the Trustee also has the authority to conduct any investigation regarding the bankruptcy conduct before approving your bankruptcy case. Any transactions that could place the assets out of the creditor’s reach could be set aside, depending on the individual case and circumstances.
This might include the transference of assets for low value or even nil value to a relative or spouse when you suspect you might be insolvent and attempt to protect your assets. This could also include money paid for assets given to third parties.
Bankruptcy trustees have the authority to stop transactions and recover funds to be distributed to the creditors.
Smaller and simpler bankruptcies don’t usually recover extensive costs or complex investigations, but it is still essential to be aware of the bankruptcy trustee’s investigation rights.
The bankruptcy trustee is more like a guide to help you through the bankruptcy process. Your case will go more smoothly if you collaborate efficiently with your bankruptcy trustee, provide all the relevant information regarding your finances, participate in all meetings, and promptly respond to their requests.
Our Experience As Bankruptcy Trustees
Our Team are AFSA registered trustees in Bankruptcy, with more than 30 years of experience assisting individuals through Bankruptcy and also companies in insolvency.
Along with our qualified professionals who specialise in different areas of business and personal debt and have the relevant expertise and knowledge, the team can identify problems and create the best solutions, depending on your case. Using the proper professional bankruptcy assistance, you would be able to make an informed decision and come out of your financial problems.
Schedule Section of the Bankruptcy
“Our clients come to us because we approach their needs uniquely, looking at every aspect of your debt issues to find a workable solution to your financial hardship with a tailored approach designed specifically to your situation. For our team, it’s not just about the numbers. We understand what you’re going through and want to help you, and we can bring together a solution that will work for you, whether it’s Bankruptcy, Personal Insolvency or creditor Debt Agreements.
Andrew Bell Bankruptcy Advisor
With over 30 years of experience in debt solutions and bankruptcy in Australia Andrew can find a solution for you.
“Nothing is more satisfying to me than knowing that I’ve helped someone get back on their feet by guiding them through the Bankruptcy Process. Rest assured, you’re in good hands with me as we solve your financial problems together.”