Wellington Trustee Representation Attorney
Being a bankruptcy trustee is a significant and serious job, where potential mistakes can have serious consequences. Even experienced trustees may need legal advice, however; if you have been asked to be a trustee in a particularly complex matter, it may be a good idea to obtain knowledgeable legal assistance from our Wellington trustee representation attorneys to increase your odds of conducting yourself appropriately during the proceedings.
Why Do I Need An Attorney?
As a trustee, one might wonder why you need an attorney when you (at least in theory) act on behalf of the bankruptcy court. However, therein lies the answer – acting on behalf of the court is a heavy burden, and the cost of misconduct can be hefty. It is not uncommon for trustees to be denied fees in response to misconduct, as well as facing potential complaints from the U.S. Trustee’s Office. In some cases trustees engaged in misconduct may even experience professional issues if they are CPAs or attorneys. A trustee who is adequately represented may be able to try and head off such problems if given enough advance notice.
Alternatively, any perceived misdeeds may wind up landing you on the receiving end of a lawsuit for alleged breach of fiduciary duty. A fiduciary is someone who is tasked with acting in another person’s best interests, and a breach of their duty is when that does not happen. While the law is unsettled on a bankruptcy trustee’s personal liability, the Eleventh Circuit has stated in the past that a trustee may be liable for “wrongful conduct or negligence,” meaning that it is not out of the realm of possibility that you as a trustee could be found in breach. An attorney representing you can at least advise on such possibilities.
An Attorney Can Help In Any Role
The role of a case trustee will vary depending on the type of bankruptcy filing at issue. In a Chapter 7 filing, for example, the trustee’s role is much more hands-on, involving reviewing your assets to determine which may be non-exempt (and thus able to be sold to satisfy debts). In a Chapter 13, the trustee’s role is to manage your payments that you have agreed to make under a reorganization plan. Both of these jobs can be extremely complex and it is easy to make an error if one is not careful. Having someone familiar with the relevant law – even as a second set of eyes, if you are an attorney yourself – can be invaluable.
It is also common that a trustee may need additional help on a particularly in-depth bankruptcy filing, especially if they are not an attorney themselves. Much of the purview of a trustee involves gathering information. This can sometimes involve in-depth legal research, into issues such as reviewing creditors’ claims and determining the precedence order, ensuring the enforceability of creditor agreements and ensuring that the debtor is complying with the bankruptcy procedures. As such, an attorney representing the trustee may be able to advise the trustee on how best to perform these duties.
Seek Experienced Legal Help
Bankruptcy cases are complex for everyone involved, up to and including the trustee. If you need experienced representation, contacting our business minded attorneys at Markarian & Hayes is a good idea. Our knowledgeable Wellington trustee representation attorneys are happy to try and assist you with your questions. Contact us today to set up an appointment. We serve Vero Beach, Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens.