If you routinely file bankruptcy cases, it’s a good idea to develop a relationship with your trustee. A trustee’s role in bankruptcy is to ensure that both debtor and creditor are treated fairly. This requires the trustee to work with you and creditor attorneys. The benefits of knowing your trustee and developing a relationship could be critical to the survival of your case.
Earning Trust and Rapport
Sometimes a Chapter 13 case teeters on the edge of survival. Perhaps you have a plan in place for the success of your case, but you need more time to develop it and the deadline for confirmation is fast approaching. Having a professional relationship with your trustee and a proven record of follow through will go a long way when a trustee is deciding on approving a legal path a little outside of the box.
A Well of Legal Knowledge
If anyone knows bankruptcy inside and out it’s the trustee. If you’re stuck and not sure how to proceed, the trustee may be able to steer you in the right direction, provide legal resources to research, or give you legal options to think about. Remember, the trustee’s role is to help the debtor and the creditor. Take advantage of their knowledge.
The Difference between a Dismissal and a Reprimand
Trustees have a set of rules and regulations they have to follow, but their main goal is to see the debtor succeed and creditors made as whole as possible. As an attorney you can only do so much to control your client’s responsibility in getting documents to the trustee. Some trustees will dismiss immediately if a document isn’t on time. However, if you have a relationship with the trustee’s office, it could be the difference between a dismissal being filed or a friendly call from the trustee’s office to let you know the documents haven’t been received yet. That being said, get to know and treat the trustee’s staff with respect. Often support staff can help you get what you need faster than the trustee and odds are, the trustee probably won’t take your call out of the blue.
If you’re new to bankruptcy and want to meet more attorneys in your practice area, the trustee is a great way to do that. Trustees tend to work with the same attorneys and have developed long-term relationships. They are often happy to make introductions. Law is a social practice. Use your networking skills to grow contacts. It makes you a better attorney. You’ll have a wider knowledge base to draw from and build resources to help you and your clients succeed.
Virtual Paralegal Services also has a team of paralegals with professional client service skills. VPS assists law firms with bankruptcy proceedings and petition preparation. Let our experienced team of paralegals do the hard work for you so you can do more.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you.