A successor trustee is a bankruptcy trustee who takes over a bankruptcy case when the original trustee who was appointed to that bankruptcy case resigns or is removed.
The reasons for the original trustee’s resignation or removal should have no effect on your bankruptcy case. The successor trustee steps into the shoes of the original trustee and picks up the case where the original trustee left off. The successor trustee has exactly the same rights and duties as the original trustee and does not get any automatic extensions of time.
For example, the time allowed for a trustee to pursue preferential or fraudulent transfers under the bankruptcy laws is generally two years from the date that the case was filed. If the two years have passed by the time the successor trustee is appointed, the successor trustee, like the original trustee, can no longer pursue those actions. The same is true for other time limited actions under the bankruptcy law, such as objecting to exemptions or objecting to discharge.
Under the bankruptcy law, the original trustee must file a final accounting detailing the administration of the case and the money collected and disbursed. Any property or funds held by the original trustee must also be turned over to the successor trustee. This process is closely supervised by the Office of the United States Trustee, a division of the Department of Justice.
To learn more about bankruptcy trustees, including their role in your case, see the articles in our Bankruptcy Trustee area.