Choosing a Bankruptcy Trustee
Choosing a bankruptcy trustee starts with setting up a meeting with a trustee. You can find a trustee here. You will need to make an appointment to meet with him or her. The initial consultation will be free.
Your initial meeting may be with an Administrator and not the trustee in bankruptcy. This is alright. Administrators are highly skilled and trained. They are also under the close supervision of a trustee in bankruptcy. Before you sign any bankruptcy or proposal documents, a trustee in bankruptcy will meet with you and do an assessment of your financial situation. The trustee in bankruptcy will also sign some of the documents along with you.
Preparing for your meeting.
Your meeting with the Trustee or Administrator is your opportunity to get information so you can find out if bankruptcy or a consumer proposal is right for you.
It is a good idea to do some research so you know something about bankruptcy and proposals. Of course, since you are reading this article you have an excellent resource at hand. I suggest you, at least, read the FAQ’s on this site.
It pays to be well organized. You can only get the best advice if you provide the trustee with all relevant information about your situation. Fill out this Bankruptcy Form prior to your meeting. Having this information available means your meeting will go very smoothly and be very productive.
Write down any questions that come to mind as you fill out the information form so that you don’t forget to ask them if the administrator or trustee do not cover them.
Key issues in choosing a bankruptcy trustee.
Remember, that at your first meeting with the administrator or trustee. You are deciding whether this person is the right person to administer your bankruptcy or consumer proposal. You will want to consider whether you are going to be comfortable dealing with this person and whether you trust the advice he or she is giving you.
Your key duties should be in writing.
In choosing a bankruptcy trustee you should consider if the trustee will provide you with a list of important things you have to do such as:
The required payment you must make each month to your Licensed Insolvency Trustee;
The Income and Expense report forms that you must complete and send to the trustee each month;
Information on the 2 bankruptcy counselling sessions that you are required to attend;
Information on the two tax returns (post and pre bankruptcy filing) that must be completed for the year of your bankruptcy;
The date of the creditors meeting (this is only required in the rare case your creditors request such a meeting);
A full list of bankrupts’ duties is available on this site as well.
Make sure you complete everything in a timely manner. If you do not, it may mean the trustee will have to oppose your discharge from bankruptcy. If you do not get a discharge from bankruptcy, then after the trustee is discharged the stay of proceedings, which protected you from creditors, is lifted. At this point the creditors can pursue you for payment of your debts. It is just as though you were never in bankruptcy.
Checklist for Choosing a bankruptcy Trustee.
- When I first phoned the trustee office were they responsive when I told them why I was calling? If I had to have someone phone me back did they get back to me quickly?
- Is the initial consultation free?
- If I wanted to see a trustee as soon as possible did the trustee office set up the initial consultation in a matter of a day or two?
- If I had an emergency because someone was going to garnishee my pay was the trustee able to see me that day or early the next day?
- Do the people at the trustee office treat me with sensitivity and respect?
- Did they keep you waiting much past your scheduled appointment time?
- If they did keep you waiting past your appointment time did someone explain why they were delayed?
- Did the trustee address all your questions and concerns?
- Am I going to be comfortable dealing with the administrator or trustee?
- Did the administrator or trustee answer all my questions so I could understand how bankruptcy will affect my family and me?
- Will I be given all my duties in writing?