All About Trustees in Bankruptcy

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If you are having difficulty repaying your debts as they become due, or struggling to meet your financial commitments, it’s a good idea to speak to a professional who can help you. One financial professional who can help you understand the debt relief options available to you is a bankruptcy trustee.

A bankruptcy trustee is a person who has received years of training and is licensed by and registered with the federal government. A trustee is able to administer bankruptcy and consumer proposal processes. However, these process are not the only ways that bankruptcy trustees can provide assistance to individuals who are having debt troubles.

Bankruptcy trustees are bound by a strict code of ethics and are therefore required by law to provide people with information on all of the debt relief options that are available to them, even those options that they do not provide. Many other financial professionals do not have the information, skill or requirement to provide information on a full scope of debt relief options. In fact, most financial professionals (such as many financial advisors and credit counsellors) only provide information on and administer one or two debt relief options.

The more information that you have, the more likely you will be to make the right decision for your financial future. This is an important factor to keep in mind: It is always your decision as to how you would like to proceed. A bankruptcy trustee will never pressure you into choosing one option over another. Instead, he or she will inform you of the available options and then allow you to make a choice for yourself once you have the important details.

Choosing a Bankruptcy Trustee

Though all trustees receive training and all are licensed by the federal government, choosing the right trustee in bankruptcy is still a big decision. First and foremost, you will want to choose a bankruptcy trustee who you can work with. Dealing with debt is often about more than just understanding numbers. This is an emotional time for many people. It is often hard for someone to admit that he or she needs help handling debt. A good bankruptcy trustee will understand the emotions involved with this time and work with you to ensure that you are supported throughout the process.

It’s also important that your trustee be responsive. You will want to work with a trustee who answers your phone calls and emails promptly. You will also want to make sure that the person you are dealing with gives you clear answers that you can understand and also takes the time to explain all processes fully so that you have all of the necessary information.

Another factor to keep in mind is how long the trustee (and the firm that the trustee works for) has been providing services. While all trustees must be trained and registered, more experienced trustees will have seen and done more and therefore they will be more prepared to deal with whatever they are faced with.

Debt Relief Options

finance-and-consumer-proposalEach financial situation is different and unique. This means that a solution that works for one person may not necessarily work for another. A trustee will understand that there is no “one size fits all” solution that works for everyone.

When you meet with a trustee, he or she will review your financial situation and provide you with details on the particular options that are available to you. These options will be different for each person and could include:

  • Informal debt settlement
  • Debt consolidation
  • Consumer proposal
  • Personal bankruptcy

Your trustee will provide you with details on exactly what each of these options will entail and answer any questions that you may have. Trustees typically offer this initial consultation at no charge. This provides you with an opportunity to find out more about the various debt relief options.

As you can see, a bankruptcy trustee is a valuable person to speak with if you are having trouble paying your debts or if you are unable to meet your financial commitments. A trustee can give you key information that you can use to get on a stronger financial path and put yourself in a position to repair and rebuild your financial life.

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