ROLE OF THE
CASE TRUSTEE (Page
Commencement of a bankruptcy case creates an
“estate.” The estate technically becomes the temporary legal
owner of all the debtor’s property. It consists of all legal or
equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the
commencement of the case, including property owned or held by
another person if the debtor has an interest in the property.
Generally speaking, the debtor’s creditors are paid from
nonexempt property of the estate.
The primary role of a chapter 7 trustee in
an asset case is to liquidate the debtor’s nonexempt assets in a
manner that maximizes the return to the debtor’s unsecured
creditors. The trustee accomplishes this by selling the debtor’s
property if it is free and clear of liens (as long as the property
is not exempt) or if it is worth more than any security interest
or lien attached to the property and any exemption that the debtor
holds in the property.