People that file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be assigned a panel trustee, and although your panel trustee may be an attorney, he or she is not to be confused with your bankruptcy attorney and can't be seen as a substitute for hiring your own attorney.
Who is Your Panel Trustee
Your panel trustee for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy will most likely be selected from a panel of people, who are often lawyers. They are assigned the duties of reviewing your assets and debts and then determining which, if any, assets should be sold and how they will then divide the proceeds amongst your creditors.
Panel Trustee's Duties
As mentioned above, your panel trustee will be overseeing your debts and assets. They are not there to take your things, and they are not there to protect you from your creditors. Their job is to be as fair and equitable as possible to both sides. This is why you still need a bankruptcy attorney on your side, this gives you the legal representation you need.
While the panel trustee's job is to be fair and equitable to both sides, they do get paid based on how much money they collect. This is why having legal representation that is dedicated to your situation and representing you is a good idea. Contact a bankruptcy attorney so you know you're well represented as you head into your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.