Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
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No, you should not assume that the trustee has abandoned this claim. Instead, the trustee is likely waiting to see if you get any money out of it, because until then, there is no asset.
Thus, if you settle the claim, you will have to report the settlement to the trustee because this is income from a claim you had before filing bankruptcy, so it is subject to bankruptcy trustee's governance.
Usually, the court orders you to proceed with your case in civil court and report the findings back to the court and trustee when the case is over - that's how it has been done in any bankruptcy I've been involved in.
But, the bottom line is that if you don't have an abandonment of claim from the trustee, you should not assume he has abandoned it.
Yes, you should be able to use your wildcard exemption to protect all or part of the settlement. As for the movin expenses, you may be able to categorize this as an expense, not income, and keep it from the trustee.
I would recommend that you have your attorney speak with the trustee to see what agreement you can reach.