Although tens of thousands of Canadians proceed with formal debt solutions each year, many others who struggle with financial challenges don’t know where to turn for support when it comes to dealing with debt. It is important for consumers to not only be aware of the various debt laws that can impact them, but also to know about potential strategies to address debts, and that Canada has only one government-regulated and endorsed debt help professional – Licensed Insolvency Trustees.
Various consultants and advisors may offer debt support of varying kinds, but Licensed Insolvency Trustees alone are the designated professionals exclusively empowered to provide a range of debt management services enshrined in Canadian law. From providing free, confidential debt advice to assisting with Consumer Proposal and personal bankruptcy administration and more, Licensed Insolvency Trustees help people to understand their options to deal with debt and make informed decisions on how to move forward.
In Canada Licensed Insolvency Trustees are legally authorized to assist people in managing and resolving virtually all types of consumer debt – including government debts – as well as debts related to business operations.
Although many people Licensed Insolvency Trustees connect with are already experiencing serious difficulties such as collection calls and even wage garnishments, there’s no need to wait until your situation has reached such a critical and stressful point. We can (and do) help many others who are managing regular debt payments but ultimately realize at their current repayment pace they will be in debt for years, or even decades, to come.
“I would get two steps ahead and something else would happen and I’d be another three steps back, it felt like I was taking more steps back than I was forward.” – Meet Tammy
When to Contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Whether you are facing a debt problem and want to explore options for debt forgiveness, or are seeking solutions to pay off your consolidated debt with a guided debt-free plan, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee will be there to help you every step of the way. Although it is always preferable to be proactive and seek support right away, there is no wrong time to consult with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
It is crucial that individuals (and business owners) make informed choices on how to resolve their financial difficulties, and that starts with getting reliable and trustworthy debt advice. Licensed Insolvency Trustees specialize in debt management advice and have the complete expertise and understanding needed to help guide you through whatever challenges you are facing – including, but not limited to:
- General debt advice, answering questions about debt and/or addressing concerns with specific creditors
- Assessing your personal (or business) financial situation
- Explaining all the debt management options available to you, including the pros and cons of each
- Calculating an appropriate debt settlement / consolidation proposal to your creditors
You do not need to meet any ‘qualifiers’ or get a referral, and Licensed Insolvency Trustees can offer you no-cost assistance and planning regardless of your credit score. At Sands & Associates consultations to talk about your situation, discuss your questions, and assess all your options are always free and confidential.
If after consulting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee you decide a formal proceeding is the best way to manage your debt, we can continue working with you, dealing directly with your creditors on your behalf to:
- Consolidate and cut debt with a Consumer Proposal
- Settle debt with a Division I Proposal
- Declare personal bankruptcy
- File a business bankruptcy
Licensed Insolvency Trustee Qualifications & Regulations
Many consumers are unaware that although provinces and territories are meant to oversee debt settlement companies operating within their jurisdictions, in BC the debt repayment industry is generally unregulated. Licensed Insolvency Trustees are unlike other agents or organizations however as they are part of a federally-regulated industry, and operate as neutral independent parties, ensuring that rights of involved participants are respected and protected.
The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (“OSB”) is part of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and is the government body responsible for supervising all matters relating to the Federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act as well as components of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Amongst other charges, the OSB:
- Licenses and regulates Insolvency Trustees
- Oversees supervision of Consumer Proposals, commercial reorganization and bankruptcy administration
- Upholds regulatory compliance to protect the integrity of the insolvency system
- Monitors compliance, conducting regular inspections and audits
- Handles complaint investigations
Before being invited to apply for a license, Licensed Insolvency Trustees must satisfy the Superintendent of Bankruptcy that they meet qualifications, including:
- Having successfully completed the Chartered Insolvency Restructuring Professional Qualification Program and National Insolvency Exam
- Having successfully completed the Insolvency Counsellor’s Qualification Course (or Practical Course on Insolvency Counselling)
Following this, if a candidate has proven competent in examination by an oral board panel, and deemed to be of good character and reputation, a license may then be granted.
In addition to OSB licensing and regulation, many Licensed Insolvency Trustees also hold a designation with the Canadian Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP) which speaks to additional abidance by professional standards, conduct and code of ethics.
Benefits of Working with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
In addition to knowing that you are getting advice from a fully qualified debt expert, there are other advantages in choosing to move forward with a debt solution through a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, including:
- Consultation from an impartial accredited professional
- Licensed Insolvency Trustees receive no funds or commissions from creditors
- Having debt fully settled while cut down to what is affordable
- Reduced repayment (debt proposal); or
- Debt forgiveness (bankruptcy)
- Protection from creditors
- All fees and administrative costs are set by law and usually tariff-based
- Considerable consumer safeguards are in place, such as standard professional reviews and built-in dispute mechanisms
What is an Insolvency Estate Manager? | What is a Qualified Insolvency Counsellor?
When you connect with one of the roughly 1,000 Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Canada for debt help you can feel confident that you are in the right place. Additionally, many firms have other certified debt service professionals working alongside their Licensed Insolvency Trustees, including:
Insolvency Estate Managers / Insolvency Administrators
- These highly trained and qualified professionals may also assist consumers and businesses in assessing their options and support them throughout the implementation of legal debt solutions such as a Consumer Proposal or bankruptcy.
- Professionals providing financial credit counselling services as part of the Consumer Proposal or bankruptcy processes are required to complete specialized training, qualifications and registration with the OSB.
It is not uncommon for individuals within the specialized insolvency profession to hold certification as both Insolvency Estate Managers and Insolvency Counsellors.
Sands & Associates is proud to have a diverse team of highly skilled Licensed Insolvency Trustees, Insolvency Estate Managers and Qualified Insolvency Counsellors offering local debt help services to residents across BC.
Sands & Associates Licensed Insolvency Trustees | “Debt Smart with Heart”
Since founding in 1990 Sands & Associates has grown to become an industry leader and we are proud to be BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees exclusively providing debt help services to individuals and small businesses. We believe that our non-judgmental, caring and empowering approach has helped us to become the firm of choice for consumers across the province.
Treating each person with respect and taking time to understand an individual’s unique situation and needs is important to us. Our team is deeply committed to providing people the resources and support they need to take charge and move forward, free from debt and its often-overwhelming impact on our daily lives.
Although dealing with a debt problem can feel overwhelming, it’s important to know that there are solutions – and you have support. You are not alone; Sands & Associates is here for you.
In-person and virtual consultations are available, and BC residents can access complete Consumer Proposal and bankruptcy services from the comfort of home. Connect with a friendly and non-judgmental Sands & Associates representative to get debt advice and a plan to be debt-free – book your free confidential debt consultation today.