I am the Trustee for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I have asked your attorney to provide this letter to you. We will meet at your first meeting of creditors to review your financial affairs. I am not your attorney, and neither my staff nor I will give any legal advice on how you should proceed. Such questions must be directed to your legal counsel. My role is to administer the case and liquidate assets for the benefit of your creditors. I will usually advise you at the first creditors meeting if there are assets for administration. Bankruptcy provides an orderly process to resolve these debts. This may require turnover, or the sale, of some of your property.
You will be asked to verify the accuracy of your schedules. Do not omit an item because you feel there is no equity or it is exempt. Please note that an Â“assetÂ” case is not closed with your discharge order. It frequently takes one to two years to complete an asset case administration, and I may call upon you to provide further information or turn over property. Lack of compliance may be met by revocation or denial of discharge and contempt proceedings. Willful deceit under oath and hiding assets are crimes, and suspected instances will be referred to the United States Attorney for further investigation.
All property rights held by you as of the filing date are now under my control. This does not mean that I will take and sell everything you have. The law protects certain types of property from the claims of creditors. However, you must claim the proper exemptions, or protected status may be lost. If I feel an exemption claim is improper, I will object.
Finally, let me say that I know that most of you are honest, hardworking people who have encountered financial difficulty leading to your decision to file bankruptcy. These situations are stressful, and I will attempt to be sensitive to your needs. However, if there are non-exempt assets for administration, I expect cooperation and prompt surrender or redemption. In the case of personal property, I will usually allow you an opportunity to make a redemption offer, but if I have not received that within thirty (30) days of the first creditors meeting, I will instruct my liquidator to take possession. I will provide further instructions in each case as needed.
I am enclosing a checklist. Please provide this information to my office one week before our meeting at PO Box 510, Edwardsville, IL 62025. Send copies of the information to me. Retain the original documents in your personal file.
Failure to comply with my request for information one week before the meeting of creditors will result in a continuance of your meeting of creditors to a future date. If your meeting is continued, you will be required to appear at the continued meeting of creditors.
Robert T. Bruegge, Trustee