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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 37808
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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can a person file a chapter 13 if they are trustee/manager

Resolved Question:

can a person file a chapter 13 if they are trustee/manager of a trust or small business
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
Only an individual may be a debtor in Chapter 13.

A small business that is a separate legal entity must be represented by a lawyer.

Only a sole proprietorship business (IRS 1040 - Schedule C) may be represented by its owner.

This has nothing to do with the Chapter of bankruptcy. It has to do with the unauthorized practice of law. A person may represent him/herself in court. Any other legal entity must be represented by a lawyer.

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
understood! however if i am the trustee of a single member trust, it is viewed as a sole proprietorship and not a corporation correct? i believe i should be able to file a 13 on my entity and file it myself and have an attorney represent me later in the process. i need to file it in the morning and dont have money for an attorney until 2 wks from now. do you have any suggestions as to how to best accomplish this pro se temporarily\?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
I'm a bit confused by your description of your business relationship, but I will try to cover the possibilities.

There are estate trusts and business trusts. A business trust legally formed under state law is a separate legal entity, and must file either Chapter 7 or 11. Bankr. Code § 101(41). (An estate trust cannot file bankruptcy under any Chapter, because the trust is neither a legal entity, nor even a legal person.

If you have a business trust, then you need a lawyer -- otherwise you cannot file bankruptcy. If you have an estate trust, you cannot file bankruptcy, whether or not you have a lawyer.

If you are the owner of a small business and you are personally liable for the business' debts, then you can file personal Chapter 7, 11, or 13 (i.e., in your own name), without a lawyer, and then schedule all of the debts of the business.

Hope this helps.

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