The Role of a Consumer Proposal Administrator

What Does The Consumer Proposal

Administrator Actually Do?

Are you struggling with overwhelming debt and considering a consumer proposal as a solution? It’s essential to understand the role of a Consumer Proposal Administrator in this process. A Consumer Proposal Administrator plays a crucial role in facilitating the successful completion of a consumer proposal, a debt relief strategy designed to help individuals struggling with insolvency. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the responsibilities, qualifications, and benefits of working with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee as your Consumer Proposal Administrator.

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Who Can Be a Consumer Proposal Administrator?

A Consumer Proposal Administrator must be a licensed insolvency trustee (LIT). Licensed Insolvency Trustees are federally licensed and regulated debt professionals who provide advice and services to individuals and businesses facing financial difficulties. Their expertise encompasses consumer proposals, division one proposals, and personal bankruptcy filings. It is important to note that no other professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, credit counselors, financial advisors, or debt consultants, are legally allowed to administer consumer proposals in Canada.

The licensing and regulation of LITs ensure that they uphold high standards of professionalism and ethics. They are subject to oversight by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB), ensuring that Canadians receive the necessary support during their most vulnerable times.

Can Anyone File a Consumer Proposal?

While consumer proposals are an effective debt relief strategy, it is crucial to ensure that you work exclusively with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee as your Consumer Proposal Administrator. Be cautious of unlicensed debt solution companies that claim to offer consumer proposals. These illegitimate companies often target desperate individuals and may not have the necessary qualifications or expertise to handle your financial situation effectively.

To verify if you are working with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, consider the following clues:

  1. They clearly state that they are licensed insolvency trustees (LITs) on all advertising and their website.
  2. The firm and its LITs are listed in the Licensed Insolvency Trustee Registry.

If you encounter a company that does not display these clues, it is advisable to steer clear as they are not authorized to file a consumer proposal on your behalf.

Debt Consultants vs. Licensed Debt Professionals

It is essential to understand the distinction between licensed insolvency trustees and debt consultants. Debt settlement programs offered by unlicensed, unregulated for-profit organizations can be risky. While debt settlement programs may claim to provide debt relief, they lack the legal protection offered by a consumer proposal. These programs often require all creditors to agree to the terms of repayment, while a consumer proposal only requires 50% of creditors to accept the proposal, binding the remaining creditors to the agreement.

When working with an unlicensed debt settlement company, you may be asked to withhold payments to your unsecured creditors and make payments directly to the company. After collecting a sufficient amount of funds, the company will attempt to negotiate with your creditors, hoping to settle for a lump sum lower than your current debt. However, this process can take years, and there is no guarantee that all creditors will agree to the settlement. Additionally, creditors may take legal action while waiting for an offer, further complicating your financial situation.

To identify warning signs of debt settlement programs, consider the following:

  1. Inability to find specific mention of being licensed insolvency trustees on their website.
  2. Requesting upfront fees.
  3. Steep and excessive fees, as debt settlement programs are not regulated.
  4. Pressure to make quick decisions without adequate time to review contracts.
  5. Lack of customer reviews or fabricated reviews.
  6. Refusal to provide the full contract for review and understanding.

Debt consultants lack the authority and credibility of licensed insolvency trustees. They are not licensed, regulated, or subject to government oversight. Therefore, their practices may not adhere to ethical or legal standards, and they do not have the authority to negotiate with creditors on your behalf.

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The Duties of a Consumer Proposal Administrator

A Consumer Proposal Administrator, as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, assumes several responsibilities throughout the consumer proposal process. These duties ensure that the proposal is prepared, filed, and administered effectively, protecting the interests of both the debtor and the creditors involved.

1. Conduct Initial Assessment

Before filing a consumer proposal, you will meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who will conduct an initial assessment of your financial situation. They will explain the available options for reducing your debt, including consumer proposals and bankruptcy. The Licensed Insolvency Trustee will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option, address any concerns, and answer all your questions.

During this assessment, the Licensed Insolvency Trustee will review your financial information, including assets, liabilities, and income, to determine if a consumer proposal is a suitable solution for your specific circumstances.

2. File Consumer Proposal

If you choose to proceed with a consumer proposal, the Consumer Proposal Administrator will assist you in calculating the amount you can afford to repay to your creditors. They will then prepare the necessary documents and file the proposal with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). This filing makes the consumer proposal official and assigns a unique identification number to the proposal.

3. Notify Creditors

After filing the consumer proposal, the Consumer Proposal Administrator has ten days to send a copy of the proposal to all known creditors. This notification includes the necessary documents for creditors to file a claim within the consumer proposal. The Administrator will also provide you, the debtor, with a copy of the proposal.

The Consumer Proposal Administrator serves as the point of contact for creditors, addressing any inquiries or requests for additional information. Creditors must communicate with the Administrator rather than the debtor, ensuring a streamlined and professional process.

4. Negotiate Offer with Creditors/Meeting of Creditors

Upon receiving proof of claims from the creditors, the Consumer Proposal Administrator reviews and verifies each claim. After 45 days from the initial filing, if the creditors have voted in favor of accepting the proposal and a meeting of creditors is required, the Administrator will facilitate negotiations between the debtor and the creditors.

The Administrator acts as a mediator, relaying information and proposals between the two parties to reach an agreeable payment amount. In some cases, the proposal may need to be amended to address creditors’ concerns or requests for modifications. The Administrator guides the debtor through this process, ensuring that the proposal meets the approval of the majority of creditors.

5. Collect and Disburse Money

As part of the consumer proposal process, the Consumer Proposal Administrator collects payments from the debtor in a trust account. These payments are typically made monthly and held in the trust account until a predetermined balance is reached. Once this threshold is met, the Administrator distributes dividend cheques to the proven creditors. Each creditor receives a pro-rata share of the total dividend payment based on their proven claim as a percentage of all proven claims.

6. Monitor the Performance of Consumer Proposal

Throughout the consumer proposal, the Consumer Proposal Administrator monitors the debtor’s performance to ensure that they adhere to the agreed-upon payment schedule. It is crucial for debtors to make payments as scheduled to avoid defaulting on the consumer proposal. Typically, debtors must not fall behind three months in payments, as this can lead to the annulment or cancellation of the consumer proposal. The Administrator tracks missed payments and notifies all creditors if the consumer proposal is deemed annulled.

7. Amend Consumer Proposal

If a debtor finds the terms of the consumer proposal challenging to maintain due to unforeseen circumstances, they can consult with the Consumer Proposal Administrator to amend the proposal. The Administrator will review the debtor’s current financial situation and prepare an amended consumer proposal to be sent to the creditors. This amendment aims to modify the terms of the proposal to accommodate the debtor’s circumstances while still providing a reasonable repayment plan for the creditors.

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Conclusion

Working with a Consumer Proposal Administrator, who is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, is crucial when navigating the consumer proposal process. Their expertise and qualifications ensure that the proposal is prepared, filed, and administered accurately, protecting the rights and interests of both the debtor and the creditors. If you are considering a consumer proposal as a debt relief solution, consult with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to explore your options and receive professional guidance tailored to your financial situation. Remember, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is the only authorized professional to act as a Consumer Proposal Administrator, providing you with the necessary expertise and protection throughout the process.

At Bankruptcy Canada, our team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees is here to help you navigate the complexities of consumer proposals and other debt relief strategies. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your financial situation and determine the best path towards achieving debt relief and financial stability.

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I was feeling overwhelmed by my credit debt, constantly receiving calls and letters from debt collectors, which caused a great deal of stress. It seemed like there was no way out of this situation. However, I discovered Bankruptcy Canada while listening to my local talk radio station. This organization proved to be friendly, empathetic, knowledgeable, and professional, with extensive experience in their field.

During our initial meeting, they took the time to understand my debt and financial circumstances. They explained the various options available to me and helped create a personalized plan that would be most beneficial for my situation. With their assistance, I was able to avoid declaring bankruptcy by presenting a consumer proposal to my creditors. Fortunately, my proposal was accepted, and I am extremely relieved to finally be free of debt, all thanks to BankruptcyCanada. The burden on my shoulders feels significantly lighter now, and I truly believe that Bankruptcy Canada has the most skilled specialists in debt relief.

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