If you’re considering meeting with a bankruptcy trustee about your debts you probably have a lot of questions about what a trustee does. If you’ve never even heard of a bankruptcy trustee or Consumer Proposal administrator there’s probably even more that you’re not aware of! Read on for some basics as to whom trustees in bankruptcy can help, and what they do:
Who are bankruptcy trustees?
Bankruptcy trustees are individuals who are government-licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to administer both consumer proposals and bankruptcies. There are approximately 1,000 trustees currently licensed in Canada. The Superintendent must be satisfied that individuals wishing to obtain a license meet certain qualifications and have successfully completed a specialized program and gained relevant industry experience before a license will be granted.
How are bankruptcy trustees different?
Bankruptcy trustees are the only people who are legally empowered to shield you from creditors – they are also the only people able to offer a debt solution called a Consumer Proposal. While programs offered through debt consultants or credit counsellors may sound similar, they do not offer the same protections. Furthermore, debts such as income taxes owing to Canada Revenue Agency can only be successfully reduced (or eliminated altogether) by working with a licensed bankruptcy trustee.
Why meet with a bankruptcy trustee?
Because bankruptcy trustees are impartial and will review all your debt options (this includes Consumer Proposals, credit counselling and bankruptcy) with you, you’ll generally be able to walk away armed with a lot of knowledge about how you could resolve your situation.
When should I contact a bankruptcy trustee?
Generally it’s better to speak with a bankruptcy trustee sooner rather than later if your debts are causing you difficulties. Sure signs that you should seek assistance are things like missing payments, collection calls and wage garnishment, but there’s no need to wait until the situation is that pressing. If you know you’re looking at years of minimum payments, never touching the principal balances, or constantly shuffling credit to keep accounts current those are also signs that a chat with a trustee can help.
What does it cost to see a bankruptcy trustee?
Absolutely nothing! A licensed bankruptcy trustee will meet with you at no cost or obligation to review your specific situation and provide you with your legal options.
Where do find a bankruptcy trustee?
Sands & Associates has local offices throughout BC – you can view a list of all our offices here. If you are outside the areas we serve please contact us and we can put you in touch with a trustee in your area.
Whether you’re sure about which debt option you’d like to pursue, or you’re unsure as to what options you’re eligible for, a licensed bankruptcy trustee will be able to help you assess your circumstances and make sure you understand the solutions available to you.