The examiner's main role is to file statements of misconduct and perform other investigatory functions that a trustee would generally perform. An examiner may be appointed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, although this does not frequently happen. If an examiner is appointed their role is similar to a trustee's role but more limited. . The examiner may also (if authorized by the bankruptcy court) perform any other duties of a Trustee that the Debtor in possession has been barred from performing (11 U.S.C. § 1106).
Duties of the examiner may vary by bankruptcy case and is determined by the authority of the Bankruptcy Court. The bankruptcy court may, in some cases, have the examiner file the bankruptcy reorganization plan, assist with negotiations of the bankruptcy plan, and ensure all the debtor's claims have been properly categorized on the bankruptcy schedules.
Examiners can also determine if certain causes of action are valid and necessitate legal action or if objections to proof of claims should be filed. The bankruptcy examiner may not function as the trustee whose role is to operate the business of the debtor by taking their assets, selling them and distributing the money to repay the creditors in priority order.