If you are like most people, you never thought that there may come a time when you needed to talk to someone about your financial problems. Something in your life has happened that had made what used to be manageable debts into something too much to handle for one person.
Only a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can offer the support you need during this process. All bankruptcy trustees in Canada are licensed by the Federal Government. They are highly qualified to deal with your situation and know their stuff.
Your lawyer cannot file for bankruptcy on your behalf. Neither can any of the many “debt consulting” companies that have popped up in the last few years. Do not be fooled. While only a licensed trustee can provide you with protection under bankruptcy law in Canada, the good news is that you are not alone.
Technically, any Licensed Insolvency trustee in your province can help you file for bankruptcy, but should they?
All Licensed Insolvency Trustees follow the same set of Federal Laws but ultimately this is someone who you are going to spend the next 9 to 36 months with so you want to make sure you feel comfortable. If you don’t feel comfortable you can always speak with more than one trustee and then make a choice.
Also, below are a sample of five questions you could ask the trustee when you see them.
How do I know which bankruptcy trustee to choose?
Interview your prospective bankruptcy trustee by asking them the following questions:
- Are you licensed by the Federal Government? This is a trick question. The answer to this question should be easy: it should be yes. As stated above, all trustees in Canada must be licensed by the Federal Government. It’s important to confirm that you are dealing with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and not an unlicensed debt consultant who advertises information about personal bankruptcy. You could be wasting time and money you don’t have by skipping this question. In fact, it might be the most important thing you ask your prospective trustee. Do not get sucked into dealing with a middleman that will eventually have to refer you to a real trustee to get the job done. Also all trustee advertising will say they are a Licensed Insolvency Trustee as this is required by law.
- What information should I bring to my consultation? When you have your consultation with a trustee, you want them to be able to give you specific advice on your situation right away. It is a good idea to bring information and documentation about your debts, assets, and monthly income. You want to know the information your trustee needs so they can find out the most about your situation and allow you to make the best possible decision. If you have any doubt you can always bring more information then you need and the trustee can help you sort through what is relevant.
- When will I meet a licensed bankruptcy trustee? Often, at the trustee’s office you will meet with a Counsellor before you meet with the trustee. They will talk with you and get all of the information so your options can be reviewed. It is important to feel comfortable that the decision you have made is the right one. A trustee will always meet with you before you complete a filing of a bankruptcy or proposal to ensure you understand your options, the option you have chosen, and your duties in the process.
- Once I file, who will I be dealing with at your firm? You don’t want to jump off the deep end and get stranded once your decision has been made. Will there be anyone there to support you once you have filed for bankruptcy? When you call, will you talk to a live person or an automated voice? Can you meet with your trustee to discuss your file? These are important things to know ahead of time.
- What assistance will you give me to get me back on track once I’m discharged? All trustee offices will provide two credit counselling sessions during your bankruptcy or consumer proposal process which can help prepare you for life once you no longer need your trustee. However, you may want to ask for extra tips on rebuilding credit in the future during these sessions.
If you are struggling with debt, contact Kevin Thatcher & Associates for a free consultation today. Don’t worry, we won’t limit you to five questions—you can ask as many as you want!