The trustee in bankruptcy has the powers to object to the claims of creditors. The powers of the trustee further extend to reviewing proofs and claims filed in bankruptcy proceedings. The trustee is assisted in the exercise of his/her duties by the debtor. The debtor has a duty to prepare a list of creditors and forward it to the trustee. In the reviewing of claims by the trustee, he/she frequently objects to claims by the creditors (Parsons, 284).
The procedure of objecting creditor’s claims involves the reviewing of the creditor’s claims and a request to the creditors to provide proof for their claim. If the creditor does not cooperate, then the trustee files an objection which has the effect of taking the matter to the bankruptcy court for determination. The creditors are given 30days notice to an objection of a claim by the trustee. The lapse of thirty days without objecting the creditor’s objection by the trustee may categorize the claim as time barred. However, extension of time can be sought if sufficient cause is shown. Court may entertain the application out of the thirty days lapse though in rare situations when it is for the interest of justice (Parsons, 279).
The right to set off is a common law right. The right to set off is to the effect that a bank is not permitted to set off the money in the debtors account against paying the amounts owed by the debtor to the bank after the bankruptcy petition has been filed in court. The right operates against a bank even when it has acted in good faith without knowledge. The automatic stay continues until the lift of the stay is filed in the bankruptcy court. Set off is not lost by filing a petition, it is simply stayed for a period of the prescribed time (Parsons, 320).
Certain claims in bankruptcy proceedings are given priority over even secured creditors. They include;
The trustees and their attorneys are the first to be considered for payment.
Claims of child support and alimony.
All wages owed to the employees working for the debtor either before or after being declared bankrupt.
Customer’s deposits are also given priorities.
All taxes including income, property and withholding tax (Parsons, 327).
The court has the discretion to revoke the discharge from bankruptcy in certain circumstances. The court may revoke a discharge upon a request by the trustee or the creditor. One of the most fundamental grounds to prove is that the discharge was obtained through fraud. Essentially, that may involve substantial non disclosure of certain information like he/she acquired property which was to be used in the settling the creditors claims (Parsons, 400).
Failure to clearly explain any misstatement in the audit, and deliberate refusal to offer information for the audit case is a valid ground for revocation of discharge of bankruptcy. It is the requirement of the law that the revocation of discharge should be filed within one year after the discharge or barely before the closing of the case. The mandate to revoke a discharge rests with the courts of law. Court takes a close consideration to the allegations made by the petitioners seeking revocation and then decides whether to revoke the discharge. If fraud is proved then the discharge will be revoked (Parsons, 411).
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