That @#$% Trustee

I am Kimberly R. Lentz, Chapter 7  Bankruptcy Trustee for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division, and this is how my desk looks on any given day:

I stay busy.

My role as a Chapter 7 Trustee is  (1) to investigate the financial affairs of Chapter 7 debtors, (2) to obtain possession of and sell all of the debtors’ non-exempt properties, and (3) to distribute the proceeds to the debtors’ creditors.

The estate administration process is complex and time-consuming.  I review the bankruptcy petitions and schedules filed with the Bankruptcy Court and the debtors’ tax returns, pay stubs and other information.  I may also look at publicly available information to make sure all financial information has been fully disclosed.  I preside at the §341(a) Meetings of Creditors where the debtors testify under oath about their schedules and financial affairs.

In most cases, there are no non-exempt assets to administer and I advise the Bankruptcy Court accordingly. However, if the equity value of a debtor’s property exceeds the available exemptions, I physically take possession of and sell the non-exempt property.  All sales are consummated only after approval of the Bankruptcy Court.

In an asset case, after all non-exempt property has been sold, I file a Final Report containing a proposed distribution to creditors.  When the Final Report is approved, I send checks to the creditors. Due to notice requirements  inherent in the system, it often takes more than a year to fully administer and close an asset case.  Complex cases may remain open for years.

This is a brief description of how I view my role as a Chapter 7 Trustee.   The statutory duties of a Chapter 7 Trustee are fully set forth in Section 704 of the Bankruptcy Code.   The American Bankruptcy Institute’s website contains an updated, searchable version of the full Bankruptcy Code.


3 thoughts on “That @#$% Trustee

  1. Jason is just looking for “brownie points”…..
    How in hell do you find the time to keep this site updated, lively, and so relevant?

    By the way…I know what the @#$% stands for!!!!



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