Bankruptcy trustee


Bankruptcy trustees administer a client’s bankruptcy case, investigate legal documentation for fraud possibilities and manage the money received from the sale of non-exempt property so as to distribute it to the owed creditors.

A bankruptcy trustee typically does the following:

  • Collects and reduces to money the assets of the business
  • Investigates the debtor’s financial affairs
  • Examines the proofs of claims of creditors (those the debtor owes money to)
  • Distributes the money to creditors, according to a specific order
  • Approves or opposes the discharge of specific debts (allowing the debtor to avoid repaying them)
  • Makes periodic and final reports to various government agencies, including tax reports

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to bankruptcy trustee:

insolvency practitioners
bankruptcy analyst
insolvency practitioner
bankruptcy analysts
trustee in bankruptcy
insolvency trustee
trustees in bankruptcy
insolvency trustees

Minimum qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, business administration, mathematics, or a related field is generally required to work as a bankruptcy trustee. Some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in these fields..

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Bankruptcy trustee is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Bankruptcy trustee career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to bankruptcy trustee.

actuarial consultant
personal trust officer
venture capitalist
insurance rating analyst
securities analyst

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of bankruptcy trustee.

  • Fraud detection: The techniques used to identify fraudulous activities.
  • Debt classification: The different classifications of debt such as public and publicly guaranteed debt, private non-guaranteed credits, central bank deposits, etc.
  • Insolvency law: The legal rules regulating the incapacity to pay debts when they fall due.
  • Debt systems: The processes needed to obtain goods or services before payment and when a sum of money is owed or overdue.
  • Business loans: Loans which are intended for business purposes and which can either be secured or unsecured depending on whether a collateral is involved. The different types of business loans such as bank loans, mezzanine finance, asset-based finance, and invoice finance.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of bankruptcy trustee.

  • Collect property financial information: Collect information concerning the previous transactions involving the property, such as the prices at which the property had been previously sold and the costs that went into renovations and repairs, in order to obtain a clear image of the property’s value.
  • Advise on bankruptcy proceedings: Guide and advise clients on the formalities, procedures and the actions that can ameliorate the losses in case of bankruptcy.
  • Analyse loans: Examine and analyse the loans provided to organisations and individuals through different forms of credit such as overdraft protection, export packing credit, term loan, and purchase of commercial bills.
  • Examine credit ratings: Investigate and look for information on the creditworthiness of companies and corporations, provided by credit rating agencies in order to determine the likelihood of default by the debtor.
  • Obtain financial information: Gather information on securities, market conditions, governmental regulations and the financial situation, goals and needs of clients or companies.
  • Revise legal documents: Read and interpret legal documents and proofs about happenings in relation with the legal case.
  • Perform debt investigation Use research techniques and tracing strategies to identify overdue payment arrangements and address them
  • Handle financial transactions: Administer currencies, financial exchange activities, deposits as well as company and voucher payments. Prepare and manage guest accounts and take payments by cash, credit card and debit card.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of bankruptcy trustee. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Banking activities: The broad and continuously growing banking activities and financial products managed by banks ranging from personal banking, corporate banking, investment banking, private banking, up to insurance, foreign exchange trading, commodity trading, trading in equities, futures and options trading.
  • Financial statements: The set of financial records disclosing the financial position of a company at the end of a set period or of the accounting year. The financial statements consisting of five parts which are the statement of financial position, the statement of comprehensive income, the statement of changes in equity (SOCE), the statement of cash flows and notes.
  • Liquidity management: The theory and practices around the management of liquidity in a company with the aim of facilitating meeting obligations with thirds parties without compromising the smooth functioning of the company nor incurring in substantial losses.
  • Investment analysis: The methods and tools for analysis of an investment compared to its potential return. Identification and calculation of profitability ratio and financial indicators in relation to associated risks to guide decision on investment.
  • Actuarial science: The rules of applying mathematical and statistical techniques to determine potential or existing risks in various industries, such as finance or insurance.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of bankruptcy trustee. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Trace financial transactions: Observe, track and analyse financial transactions made in companies or in banks. Determine the validity of the transaction and check for suspicious or high-risk transactions in order to avoid mismanagement.
  • Maintain client debt records: Preserve a list with the debt records of clients and update it regularly.
  • Protect client interests: Protect the interests and needs of a client by taking necessary actions, and researching all possibilities, to ensure that the client obtains their favoured outcome.
  • Administer debtor’s assets: Manage the property owned by a debtor in the case of bankruptcy and exert the power of disposition if necessary.
  • Maintain records of financial transactions: Collate all the financial transactions done in the daily operations of a business and record them in their respective accounts.
  • Communicate with banking professionals: Communicate with professionals in the field of banking in order to obtain information on a specific financial case or project for personal or business purposes, or on behalf of a client.
  • Value properties: Examine and evaluate land and buildings in order to make valuations about their price.
  • Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
  • Consult credit score: Analyse the credit files of an individual, such as credit reports which outlines a person’s credit history, in order to assess their creditworthiness and all the risks that would be involved in granting a person a loan.
  • Provide financial product information: Give the customer or client information about financial products, the financial market, insurances, loans or other types of financial data.
  • Handle financial disputes: Handle disputes between individuals or organisations, either public or corporate, which deal with financial matters, accounts, and taxation.

ISCO group and title

2411 – Accountants

  1. Bankruptcy trustee – ESCO
  2. What Is a Bankruptcy Trustee? – The Balance
Last updated on August 28, 2023