The Chapter 13 Trustee Represents Creditors – Never Contact Them!
Never contact the Chapter 13 trustee’s office during your case. That is your Chapter 13 attorney’s job! In fact, even Chapter 13 attorneys rarely call the Chapter 13 trustee’s office. This is because the entire Chapter 13 trustee process takes place through communication within the court system.
Although the Chapter 13 Trustees will have their phone number or contact info available on their website, debtors who are represented by counsel should never call the Chapter 13 trustee.
This contact info is made available primarily for debtors’ attorneys, creditors, or the very rare event when a Chapter 13 filer does not have an attorney.
The Chapter 13 Trustee will sometimes ask at the end of the bankruptcy meeting, “Do you have any questions?” The trustee is only referring to questions about the bankruptcy meeting. Never contact the Chapter 13 trustee’s office later. They will immediately be irritated and confused because you are supposed to ask your attorney any questions. Almost 100% of the time your attorney can answer your question WITHOUT contacting the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office. This is because the laws and formulas that govern Chapter 13 are very exact and never change. There are only certain things you can or cannot do with Chapter 13. Your Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will know these rules very well. You will not get a different outcome by contacting the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office. In fact, on rare occasions, you may actually start something in motion that will work against you!
The Trustee Represents the Creditors and Court System
Did you know that the Chapter 13 Trustee actually represents the creditors and the Chapter 13 system itself? This makes them to some extent the opposing side of your case. They are not even allowed to answer many of your questions or give you legal advice for this reason.
Although we have wonderful Chapter 13 Bankruptcy trustees that operate their offices efficiently and effectively, remember that their offices are not advocating for your side. If anything, their main focus is to protect the side of the law and the creditors. Your attorney is your advocate. Your attorney is the person who is on your side. Your attorney navigates you through the legalities of the Chapter 13 system. By law and design, your attorney is the one who has been designated to answer all of your bankruptcy questions.
Make sure to read and understand all of the materials provided by your attorney. Chapter 13’s are simple in nature: you just have to make the monthly payments. If you have a pressing question that is not covered within your attorney’s materials, make sure to only contact your attorney’s office. The Trustee will feel awkward and out of place if you call to ask them a question you should be directing to your attorney. They also will likely just direct you right back to your attorney.