There are multiple actors in any legal case, and Bankruptcy Court is no different.
The Debtor is the filing individual, or entity, who creates a Bankruptcy Proceeding by the filing of a Bankruptcy Petition in the United States Federal Court.
These are the individuals or entities that are owed money by the Debtor. A creditor is any entity, natural or corporate, that has a claim against the Debtor.
The Trustee is the individual who administers the Bankruptcy Estate during the Bankruptcy Proceeding. The Trustee may be an individual appointed by the United States Government, or may be the Debtor who filed the original case. In a Chapter 7 matter, the Chapter 7 Trustee’s job is to determine whether there are any assets that belong to the Debtor that can be liquidated for the benefit of the creditors. In a Chapter 13 matter, the Chapter 13 Trustee’s job is to determine if the debt payment plan proposed by the Debtor is truthfully and appropriately the best plan that could have been filed, In a Chapter 11 matter, the Trustee may be the Debtor, known as a Debtor in Possession in this case, or third party or an entity appointed by the Courts.
The Judge is a Federal Bankruptcy Judge who is given authority in this matter under Article I of the constitution. The Federal Bankruptcy Courts are supervised by the Federal District Courts, or Article III courts.