Once the court accepts your bankruptcy petition, it will assign your case to a trustee. Trustees within the system work independently of the bankruptcy court and under the U.S. Trustee Program, which is part of the Department of Justice.
Your trustee is the person with whom you will most likely interact during your case. You probably will never see the judge. The trustee will handle all the details and investigation work involved.
The trustee will monitor your financial actions during the case. He or she can order you to do certain things, such as telling you to not spend any tax refund you get. If you try to do something that qualifies as fraud, the trustee can stop you and report you to the court.
The main duties of the trustee are administrative in nature. He or she will go over your bankruptcy petition and ask you for additional information if needed. The trustee will meet with you at the 341 Meeting to ask you questions to clarify information in your petition. He or she may also conduct investigations to find additional information.
The trustee may not be a member of the court, but he or she does uphold the rules of the court and bankruptcy law. He or she has the power to file criminal charges against you or to get your case dismissed if you do not meet the requirements for filing.
You must cooperate with the trustee assigned in your case. If he or she makes a request, you should act quickly. Not doing so could slow down your case or result in a dismissal.