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Bankruptcy Trustees: Your Questions Answered
If you are struggling to keep up with your debt and are looking for a solution you have probably come across a lot of references to Bankruptcy Trustees and Consumer Proposal administrators. This post aims to provide a basic overview and answer the most common questions.
Who are trustees?
Bankruptcy Trustees are individuals who are licensed to administer bankruptcies and consumer proposals. They have completed specific educational requirements and are federally licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, and as such they are subject to government regulation and audits. There are currently approximately 1000 bankruptcy trustees across Canada.
How are trustees different?
While there are many people out there who offer debt solutions, only trustees are federally licensed and granted powers by legislation. Only a trustee has the power to shield you from creditors, bind creditors to a repayment schedule or draw up a consumer proposal. While many programs offered through debt consultants or credit counsellors sound similar they do not offer the same protections as a plan administered by a licensed trustee.
Why meet with a trustee?
Trustees are impartial and their fees are regulated by the government. It makes little difference to them which path you chose so they are likely to present you with all of your options and relevant information. Many credit counselling agency are funded by creditors and as such push options that benefit the creditor and may not necessarily be the best choice for you. There are good credit counselling agencies out there, but since they are not regulated by anyone there is nobody to hold them accountable and their fees can vary widely.
When should I contact a trustee?
A stitch in time saves nine. When you start to see warning signs that you cannot keep up with your debt you should seek help. Leaving it until you have collections agencies hounding you and your wages are being garnished just creates added stress.
What does it cost to see a trustee?
- Trustees are not allowed to charge for an initial consultation. They will meet with you for free, go over your specific financial situation, and discuss which options would be best suited for you.
Where do find a trustee?
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 trustee will be able to help you assess your circumstances and make sure you understand the solutions available to you.
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