ST LOUIS CHAPTER 7: $675 ST LOUIS CHAPTER 13: $300 upfront
The Bankruptcy Trustee is one of the main players in the bankruptcy process. He or she is charged with the duty of determining whether or not you have any assets that can be liquidated. A few common examples of an asset that can be liquidated are a bank account that has a lot of money in it on the date of filing (usually in the neighborhood of several thousands of dollars), or if you have a vehicle that is paid in full (with no loan against it) that your attorney cannot fully exempt, or if you have recently been awarded a judgement in which you receiving a large amount in damages (like a personal injury suit).
The reason why the Trustee is looking for assets to liquidate is because that is his/her job to do so. For instance, in a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the government is essentially cutting a deal with you: we will discharge all of your unsecured debt (such as credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.), but if you have an asset that has a good deal of equity (such as a newer vehicle that is unencumbered by a loan, and cannot be exempted by your attorney), then the Bankruptcy Trustee will take the asset and sell it (and divvy out the proceeds those very same unsecured creditors).
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Most of the time, however, your attorney will have fully exempted your assets (in other words, he or she will protect those assets from the Trustee). So usually there is nothing to worry about. But if in fact you do have an asset that cannot be protected by way of state exemptions, then you can either part with the asset, or you can do a St. Louis Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 is described as a repayment plan over the course of three (3) to five (5) years during which certain debts are paid back. But the real bonus of the Missouri Chapter 13 is that your assets (regardless of what kind of equity is found within them) will be protected.
If the manner in which the Bankruptcy Trustee goes after an asset seems confusing, then you are not alone. But this is why it is so terribly important to hire a good, experienced lawyer to help you through the process. Otherwise, you could very easily end up losing the asset (and you certainly do not want that to happen!!)
The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken have been saving and protecting people’s assets for years. Our goal is to make sure that you keep the assets and property you want, discharge the debts that you want to get rid of, and do it all at an affordable cost to you. All phone conversations and office consultations are free of charge.