trol them, along with an adequate fee
schedule to reflect these additional
Still, the receivership/bankruptcy
business can be lucrative—
especially after you develop systems to
handle multiple cases and have a
list of successfully closed cases on
your resume. Hourly rates for receiv-ers/trustees can range from entry
level rates just above $100 per hour
to rates for seasoned veterans with
extensive resumes in the $300 plus
While these rates are attractive, I
would add that the single largest paycheck of my career was working for a
bankruptcy trustee by providing support and management services, and
relying heavily on my CPM training
Even if you’re not interested in
becoming a receiver or bankruptcy
trustee, opportunities for real estate
managers exist in the marketplace.
In recent cases, I have hired on-site
managers, property managers and
asset managers. I have also hired
IREM Members to prepare due diligence studies, as well as market surveys and risk management sensitivi-ties. I have hired IREM Members to
perform detailed inventories of assets
and equipment as required in every
receivership or bankruptcy case.
These opportunities certainly
answer Jimmy Buffet’s lyrical inquiry, “How I Ever Got Here.” I hope I
have given you enough information
to determine if the career path I’ve
taken might be right for you. n
networking is more
than half the Battle
Becoming a receiver or bankruptcy trustee is more a function of network-
ing, finding work and being selected to do the work, than the result of a
formal application process. In fact, no jurisdiction in the united states cur-
rently requires an application process to become a receiver.
however, if you are interested in serving as a bankruptcy trustee, contact
your regional office of the u.s. trustee Program ( www.justice.gov/ust) and
inquire about their requirements to serve as a trustee. Despite the fed-
eral venue, the procedures are inconsistent nationwide and practices vary
somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
also know that most of the work available today is in the receivership
world, and landing work as a bankruptcy trustee often hinges on your expe-
rience and the length of time you’ve been on the receivership and bank-
networking is critical to generating new business. Key targets are banks
and insolvency lawyers. While the court still has to approve your appoint-
ment as a receiver or trustee after lenders or lawyers have asked you to
take a case, networking is more than half the battle.
Contact banks’ pre-owned distressed real estate or asset management
groups—sometimes referred to as real estate owned (reo) or other real
estate owned (oreo) divisions—and inquire about their “impaired” assets,
which are the same as upside down assets.
Log on to your state/circuit court Web site and search for “receivership.”
once you get down to an actual case caption, take note of the law firm or
lawyers and plaintiff (bank) who filed the case. these individuals and entities most likely have other properties or cases.
For information on bankruptcy cases, log on to Public access to Court
electronic records (PaCer) at www.pacer.gov. You will gain direct access
to any federal bankruptcy case including the banks and lawyers. Make contact with them to express your interest in taking on receivership and bankruptcy work.
You may want to actually attend a hearing involving a receivership or
bankruptcy to get a better feel for what really happens inside the courtroom.
Consider making your first case a “stipulated case,” where both the plaintiff
and defendant agree on the process and you as receiver. Prior to building
your resume with successful cases, it is easier to get started with a stipulated appointment instead of one where adversarial parties are at odds with
additionally, consider aligning yourself with an attorney specializing in
insolvency work because inevitability you will need legal guidance or interpretation on a legal matter.
Lastly, when it comes to courts selecting receivers and bankruptcy
trustees, having the CPM designation and adhering to the IreM Code of
Professional ethics is a great selling point. I always include the Code with
my other related background, education, training and certifications. the fact
that I live and work by the IreM Code of Professional ethics has secured
my appointment in multiple cases.
J. Benjamin McGrew, CPM®, CCIM, ( email@example.com), is president of Managewest, Inc., a full service
property management firm based in sacramento, Calif., and currently serves as IreM region 11 vice President.
When Ben is not travelling to a remote courtroom piloting his small airplane or helicopter, he can be found compet-
ing in the annual escape from alcatraz triathlon in san Francisco Bay.