What is the role of the trustee in the case?

The trustee is appointed by the United States Trustee to administer the case.  The primary functions of the trustee are to examine the assets of the estate, if any, liquidate non-exempt assets, and serve as the disbursing agent to the creditors.  The trustee technically becomes the temporary owner of  the debtor's non-exempt property.  The creditors are paid by selling non-exempt property of the debtor's estate.  If there are no non-exempt assets in the estate, the case is referred to as a "no asset" case.  Creditors need not file a proof of claim in a no asset case.  Creditors must file a proof of claim if assets are later recovered.