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Debtor Compliance Programs
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act sets out all the rules and procedures for the administration of bankruptcy in Canada. Most of the actual administration for a bankruptcy is carried out by a Bankruptcy Trustee, a licensed body of educated professionals who report to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB).
A debtor assigned into bankruptcy has certain obligations and standards of conduct. If they fail to comply with these requirements it can result in consequences, such as stay of discharge or a conditional discharge. The OSB has in place Debtor Compliance Programs, to review cases, identify non-compliant debtors and mete out consequences
According to the June 2013 newsletter circulated to Trustees from the OSB, updating debtor compliance programs is a top priority. The Debtor Compliance Referral Program was set up in 2011. It allows Trustees to refer cases for review directly to the OSB by filling out an online application. The program is meant to help identify cases of possible non-compliance that might have been missed. However in 2012 the OSB conducted approximately 2000 investigations, only 10% of which were Trustee identified cases.
The goal the OSB has set is to perform an analysis to see which kinds of cases are best identified by the OSB and which are best identified by Trustees, who are on the ground and dealing with debtors hands on. Once this has been accomplished they hope to improve the numbers of reports from the Debtor Compliance Referral Program.
To date the referral program has resulted in 500 total files being recommended for review. The OSB hopes that their analysis and findings will be able to increase this number and promote cooperation between different members of the insolvency community.
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