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Elizabeth Prentice
Elizabeth Prentice, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 174
Experience:  Managing Attorney for one of the largest consumer bankruptcy firms in America.
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What are a Chapter 7 debtors options to have her exempt funds

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What are a Chapter 7 debtor's options to have her exempt funds released if they have been frozen by her bank and sent to her trustee following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing?
I am a bankruptcy attorney and I would be happy to assist you! I have dealt with this problem many times before, on behalf of my clients. If the funds are in fact exempt, then you should be able to contact the trustee directly and ask when they will be released.

Many times the trustee waits until after the 341 Meeting (also called the creditor's meeting where you are interviewed by the trustee under oath), after he has made a determination whether you are an asset or no asset case. He files a determination with the Court after the meeting and will typically return the exempt assets. Sometimes how fast you will receive a return a refund of exempt funds/assets depends on how the trustee runs his office. I would call as soon as possible and ask that the exempt assets be released as soon as possible, and if it would speed up the process if you could come and pick them up at the trustee's office in person (since he may want you to sign for the check).

I hope my answer has assisted you and that you will leave me a positive rating! Please feel free to request me directly if you have any other bankruptcy questions.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Also, can the debtor file something called a Motion for Release of Funds, or something to that effect, if the funds are in fact exempt?

I would not recommend filing a such a motion, unless the trustee requests you do so. If the trustee is going to turn over the money to you anyway, it will only upset the Trustee that you filed the motion and the Judge might not be too happy that you are wasting the Court's time either. Motions of that sort are only if the Trustee is refusing to release the exempts funds to you. Trustees are usually very helpful. They also usually are required to follow a certain protocol when releasing funds. The Trustee may request that a Motion be filed in very rare circumstances, but this is more typical in a Chapter 11 corporate reorganization, not a personal bankruptcy. I would suggest you chat with the Trustee or his office assistant first. Any Motion for Turnover should be a very last resort.