The different kinds of bankruptcy trustees

Russell DeMott is a bankruptcy attorney in South Carolina, and he has posted a hilarious article on the internet outlining the differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees and Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustees.

Attorney DeMott’s thesis is that Chapter 7 trustees act like voracious wolverines, chewing through all the debtors they come across in a desperate search for “food” — that is, assets that canbe sold.

Chapter 13 trustees on the other hand, are sort of like koala’s, sitting in one place content to eat the abundent food (leaves) found around them. For a Chapter 13 trustee, this means sitting around collecting the monthly plan payment checks that debtors send them.

In Massachusetts (and to some extent New Hampshire) on the whole, most debtors are likely to find that meeting a Chapter 7 trustee is nowhere near as painful as a bite from a wolverine. They will aggressively go after unquestionably unprotected assets, to be sure, but by and large they aren’t litigating close cases.

As for the koalas, the Chapter 13 trustees in Boston and Manchester, N.H. fit the profile nicely, but the 13 trustee in Worcester (which handles Lawrence, Methuen, and Haverhill bankruptcies among others) often takes an active role in trying to broom cases out of her court. What kind of koala stays healthy turning down a nice meal of leaves?

If you are not sure where your bankruptcy case would be filed (and which trustee gets assigned) you can find out here.

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