What is a bankruptcy trustee bond?
When a person or organization files for bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court appoints someone to act as a trustee. The bankruptcy trustee represents the debtor’s estate in a bankruptcy proceeding. They marshal assets, evaluate and make recommendations about various debtor claims, and handle the disbursement of the estate per the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
A bankruptcy trustee bond is a type of court and probate bond. It guarantees that the person appointed as trustee in a bankruptcy matter will perform their duties faithfully, honestly, and in accordance with the law.
If the trustee commits fraud, misappropriates funds, or negligently manages the estate, a legitimate debtor can file a claim against the bond for compensation. The surety (the organization that issues the bond) will evaluate and pay the claim if warranted.
Get Your Bankruptcy Trustee Bond:
- A bankruptcy trustee bond protects creditors of an estate.
- If a bankruptcy trustee acts fraudulently or negligently, a bankruptcy trustee bond covers the loss to the estate and pays the affected creditors.
- Bankruptcy trustee bonds are limited in scope to the duration of the bankruptcy.
Who needs a bankruptcy trustee bond?
If the bankruptcy court has appointed you to serve as a trustee, you must obtain a bankruptcy trustee bond. This kind of surety bond protects creditors from fraud, error, or other negligence by a trustee.
How do bankruptcy trustee bonds work?
In a bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the assets of a person or business are compiled and liquidated to pay off their debts. In a Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a company or individual creates a plan to pay off their debts over a scheduled period. Bankruptcies can also be filed under Chapter 12 (for family farmers or family fishermen).
Regardless of the filing type, the bankruptcy court appoints a trustee to oversee and manage the process. The trustee helps gather the debtor’s existing assets, determine the debtor’s liabilities and obligations, and make payments in accordance with the liquidation or reorganization plan.
If the trustee negligently or fraudulently fails to make the appropriate payments to creditors, the aggrieved creditors may file a claim on the bankruptcy trustee bond. The surety on the bankruptcy trustee bond will investigate and, if warranted, pay the claim. It will then recover its costs from the trustee. A bankruptcy trustee bond helps assure creditors they will be paid promptly and according to the bankruptcy plan.
Bankruptcy trust bonds cost a small fraction of their value or coverage amount. Bonds for liquidations under Chapter 7 usually have annual premiums of no more than a few hundred dollars. Trustee bonds for reorganizations can cost slightly more.
The exact cost of the premium will depend on the creditworthiness of the named trustee and their company or organization, if applicable. The premium cost must be paid annually until the bankruptcy proceeding is completed. These costs are usually recoverable from the estate funds.
To obtain your surety bond, you must provide the surety company with the court order appointing you as trustee and information about your personal finances. You may be required to provide a personal indemnity guarantee, collateral, or business financial information (if appropriate).
How to Get a Bankruptcy Trustee Bond in Your State
If you’ve been appointed as a bankruptcy trustee, we can help you find the right surety bond for your situation. ZipBonds offers the fastest and most secure option for getting bonded. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply online or call us at 888.435.4191 to speak with an agent directly.
Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for ZipBonds.com when they realized how overly complicated it was to help clients place surety. The frustration of being unable to incorporate the technology they’d used in other insurance-focused projects left them thinking “there has to be a better way.”
Fast forward a couple of years, and that better way is the impetus of everything we do at ZipBonds. We constantly look for innovative ways to improve the bonding process for our clients and agents. Our team comprises individuals who understand all angles of surety – for companies, agencies, and individuals. Incorporating everyone’s point of view to improve the process while simultaneously integrating cutting-edge technology is what sets our business apart.