Title 11 of U.S. Code Section 321 describes eligibility of a person to serve as Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee. A bankruptcy trustee should be a person residing in the judicial district in which the bankruptcy case is pending and should be competently licensed. There are also corporations acting as Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustees. These corporations must be authorized by its own charter and/or bylaws to act as a trustee. They should also have an office in the judicial district in which the case is pending.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee should be educationally well qualified. S/he should possess a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree in a business-related field. Certified public accountants and lawyers are often considered appropriate candidates for Chapter 13 trustees. Candidates from other equally qualified professions can also apply to work as certified bankruptcy trustees.
A Chapter 13 trustee should have substantial case administration experience. They must submit to a five-year background and fingerprint check. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee also must have a proper tax returns filing history. The IRS also checks for any civil penalties for fraud or failure to pay taxes on penalties. A bankruptcy trustee should not have a criminal history.
A person applying to be enrolled as a bankruptcy trustee should not have any relatives (first cousins or closer–including spouses) employed by the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees of the Department of Justice; or in the Office of the U.S. Trustee in the home district. A Chapter 13 trustee should also be a person of good moral character and integrity; and should not demonstrate prejudice to a particular person, class or creed. They should also act with courtesy and be accessible to stakeholders.
A bankruptcy trustee represents the creditors in a case. The debtor meets the trustee in the creditors meeting where the trustee takes an oath and furnishes a bond to protect the estate beneficiaries. Any person who has acted as an examiner in a bankruptcy case cannot later serve as a trustee in the same case.