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Bankruptcy Law Blog

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Judge, Administrator, Trustee & Attorney: Who Are All These People?

One of the confusing things about filing for bankruptcy, or getting involved in any lawsuit for that matter, is the number of people involved whose role is never really explained. You are the person whose livelihood is at stake, you are the person who is paying for everything, yet you are the one who feels out of the loop. 

We understand how frustrating that can be, which is why the Padgett and Robertson team takes the time to carefully explain the bankruptcy process and the people involved in it to each and every one of our clients. In this blog post, we are going to outline the roles of a few key players in the bankruptcy process, just like we do for our clients. 

The Judge 

The judge that your case is assigned to is a federal judge. It is unusual for a bankruptcy judge to do anything other than oversee bankruptcy cases, so your judge is basically an expert in this area of law. 

You will have very few interactions with the bankruptcy judge. Most of the action takes place outside of the courtroom. 

The Bankruptcy Administrator 

Bankruptcy Administrators are only found in Alabama and North Carolina. They are court employees who are tasked with administering the bankruptcy cases in their state. They liquidate debts, pay off creditors, and oversee Chapter 13 repayment plans. 

They monitor the bankruptcy system to ensure things run smoothly, and they flag and report suspected financial fraud. 

Administrators also approve and maintain a list of approved credit counseling agencies and debtor education providers in each district. 

You will see the bankruptcy administrator in your case more often than you will see the judge your case has been assigned to. 

The Bankruptcy Trustee 

In states other than Alabama and North Carolina, a Bankruptcy Trustee rather than a Bankruptcy Administrator oversees the day to day activity in any given case. 

Trustees are appointed by the Attorney General of the United States and are therefore employees of the Department of Justice. 

Your Attorney

If you choose to hire an attorney to assist you with your bankruptcy case, it will be their job to guide you through the entire process. 

They will let you know which chapter of the bankruptcy code it would be best for you to file under, help you get your petition and other paperwork in order, and ensure you comply with all of the applicable laws as your case proceeds. They will work with the administrator to ensure your case goes smoothly, and appear with you, or on your behalf, in court. 

Who Works For You?

The judge, the administrator, and your attorney will all want your case to run smoothly, but for very different reasons.

The judge and the administrator both work for the government. They want to rush your case through as quickly as possible because it is one of hundreds of cases they must oversee this year. The sooner they are done with your case, the sooner they can move on to the next, and the better their case management statistics will look at the end of the year.

Your attorney works for you. It is their job to make sure your case gets the attention it deserves. Your attorney is your guide, your advocate, and the only person on your side during the bankruptcy process. 

If you are looking for an experienced bankruptcy attorney that will have your back when you file for bankruptcy, please contact the Padgett and Robertson team to schedule an initial consultation.

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Padgett and Robertson assist clients with Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and The New Bankruptcy Law in Mobile, Alabama and throughout southern Alabama. Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”



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Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”