Will I Get A Jury Trial In Bankruptcy Court?
The idea of having a jury resolve the issues that impact your daily life can be scary. Juries are supposed to be comprised of your “peers”, but many times those that actually end up sitting on a jury are not at all similar to you or have not had similar experiences. When your fate lies in the hands of people who cannot relate to your circumstances, it is hard to reach a satisfactory result. Fortunately, not all cases are decided by a jury, even when the litigant has the choice of putting their case in front of a jury.
Bankruptcy cases are not the types of cases that are tried by a jury. The bankruptcy system works like this:
- Once your case is filed, it will be assigned to a trustee to oversee the administration of the proceeding.
- A Judge is also assigned to a bankruptcy case, but his or her role is much different than that of the trustee.
- The trustee will conduct the initial debtor exam, and make sure that the content of your bankruptcy filing is accurate and complete. The trustee may ask to see copies of your pay stub, deed to your house, car titles, tax returns, and other financial documents. The purpose of this request is to make sure the information you provided about your assets and liabilities when you filed for the protection of bankruptcy is accurate.
- The trustee can also make requests that you turn over certain property, such as a tax refund when applicable or even ask that the character of certain pieces of collateral be changed. For example, if your auto lender failed to perfect their security interest in the vehicle you drive, the trustee can request that your car loan be considered an unsecured debt rather than a secured obligation. The difference is important, because unsecured debt is subject to seizure by the trustee, for the sale and benefit of creditors.
- The Judge will take on other duties, such as ruling on motions and entering orders in your case. In most cases, your involvement in a hearing before the Judge is limited and you can expect to spend more time with the trustee than with the Judge.
This system may sound even more frightening that an actual jury trial, but the majority of cases are completed without significant issues arising. For more information on what to expect during bankruptcy, call us today.
For help with bankruptcy issues, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We can help you regardless of your age or financial position. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our debt management legal professionals.