The court appoints an impartial third party referred to as the trustee. It is the trustee's job to examine your case, determine if you are eligible for relief according to the chapter under which you filed and determine if there are any assets available to pay creditors, including any assets you may have that are not otherwise exempt. For example, your equity in homestead is exempt property up to a certain value. If there is any value beyond that figure, that excess equity is considered an asset. A trustee who locates assets has the right to seize and sell them to use the proceeds to repay a portion of your debt. It is rare for you to not be able to exempt your assets and if you do have assets beyond your exemptions, the trustee usually will allow you to pay a sum to keep the assets.