What is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
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A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is an individual who has been licensed by the OSB (Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy) to administer to bankruptcy proceedings, including a consumer proposal.
You must use the services of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to file bankruptcy or make a consumer proposal.
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is described by the OSB as:
“A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is a person licensed by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to administer proposals and bankruptcies and manage assets held in trust. The trustee can give a debtor information and advice about both the proposal and bankruptcy processes and make sure that both the debtor’s rights and the creditor’s rights are respected.”
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee has their fees regulated by the government so the cost of going bankrupt will be the same regardless of which trustee you use.
Since your bankruptcy trustee is an officer of the court, they do not directly work for you although they will ensure that your rights are protected when you go bankrupt.
Your bankruptcy trustee will also look out for the rights of your creditors and will be responsible for administering your bankruptcy to ensure the process is fair for your creditors as well as you.
What is my Licensed Insolvency Trustee Responsible for?
A bankruptcy trustee in Canada has many responsibilities; your bankruptcy trustee will be responsible for:
* Providing you with a free consultation so you can have your financial situation reviewed, get answers to your bankruptcy questions, and get information on bankruptcy alternatives that could be available for you;
* Preparing the bankruptcy forms that are necessary to be filed with the OSB to officially start your bankruptcy;
* Notifying your creditors that you have filed for bankruptcy;
* Gathering and validating your creditor’s claims about what you owe;
* Selling your property, except for those assets of yours that are protected by the bankruptcy exemptions;
* Distributing any funds gathered from the sale of your assets and holding the funds in trust for distribution to your creditors;
* Gathering your required bankruptcy payments and ensuring that the funds are fairly distributed to your creditors;
* Providing each bankrupt with the required bankruptcy counselling that is necessary to receive your bankruptcy discharge (only getting discharged from bankruptcy while release you from the legal obligation of repaying your debt);
* Collecting information from you during the length of your bankruptcy that is required as part of your duties and necessary to calculate if you have any surplus income payments required;
* Administering your bankruptcy from start to finish;
* Applying for your discharge from bankruptcy, which you will receive automatically after 9 months of being bankrupt in the vast majority of cases;
* If required, your trustee will hold a meeting of creditors, at which your creditors can give the trustee directions and learn more about the causes of your bankruptcy and ask you any questions; you are required to attend your creditors’ meeting if it is requested, although this is a rare occurrence.
Learn About a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Bankruptcy trustees in Canada are licensed and regulated by the federal government.
If you are struggling with debt it is a good idea to seek the assistance of a bankruptcy trustee as bankruptcy can be a complex (but straightforward) process.
If you file bankruptcy a trustee is appointed to your bankruptcy estate and you will be guided through the bankruptcy process by your trustee.
What Does a LIT (Licensed Insolvency Trustee) Do?
Your bankruptcy trustee will be responsible for guiding you through the bankruptcy process including:
* Submitting all necessary paperwork;
* Dealing with your creditors;
* Selling your assets if they are not protected by the bankruptcy exemptions in your province (most debtors going bankrupt will be able to keep all of their assets);
* Distributing whatever funds they recover from the sale of your assets and distributing the funds to your creditors once your bankruptcy has finished (usually after 9 months). Your trustee will hold these funds in a trust during your bankruptcy.
While a trustee in bankruptcy mainly provides assistance with bankruptcy and consumer proposals they can provide other services as a professional debt consultant such as:
* Help you avoid bankruptcy with a consumer proposal;
* Provide you with debt counselling;
* Negotiate settlement agreements; and
* Make deals with your creditors on your behalf.
Can I Trust a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
Yes. A licensed insolvency trustees are the only debt consultants who are regulated and licensed by the federal government and they also have a very strict code of ethics, are highly trained, have an accounting degree and university degree, and have completed a three-year bankruptcy course and were investigated by the RCMP before they received their bankruptcy trustee license.
Your trustee is an officer court (and therefore doesn’t work for you) although they will always work to ensure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly.
Your trustee in bankruptcy is also ethically required to advise you on how you can avoid bankruptcy if it is possible based on your unique financial situation.
Your trustee might be able to help you get out of debt with no cost to yourself.
A mechanism is also in place to mediate any disputes you have with your trustee.
What Are My Next Steps?
As bankruptcy is a complex legal process you should always seek the assistance of a bankruptcy trustee to explore how bankruptcy will impact you and to explore any possible bankruptcy options.
You also cannot file bankruptcy alone as only a bankruptcy trustee can file a bankruptcy with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.
A bankruptcy trustee can point you in the right direction and we have bankruptcy trustees in every province that can help you file bankruptcy or explore your bankruptcy options.
The initial consultation is free and there is no obligation to proceed if you decide bankruptcy is not right for you; again your trustee will always provide you their best advice based on your personal situation.
Contact a local bankruptcy trustee today at 1-877-879-4770 toll free or contact us online.