Monday, 7 April 2014

Ontario Bankruptcy Trustees – What is Their Role in a Consumer Proposal?


When you feel as though you are drowning in debt, with few options available for relief, you may be considering a consumer proposal as a way to get those collection agencies off your back and to obtain some semblance of financial stability. Knowing this, perhaps you are thinking about seeking the advice or assistance of an Ontario bankruptcy trustee.
Wait – before you enlist the services of a bankruptcy trustee, you should first know what role they play in a consumer proposal and how this can impact you.
A bankruptcy trustee in Ontario is an individual licensed by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Their job is to administer consumer proposals and bankruptcies and to manage assets held in trust. They will negotiate the settlement between you and your creditors. In a proposal, that trustee will assist you in developing a proposal to present to your creditors (usually a percentage of what you owe them), and once accepted, monthly payments are made through the trustee, and the trustee transfers that money to your creditors.
Sure, this all sounds well and good – after all, you can’t make a consumer proposal without a trustee – it is a legal agreement under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and must be administered following a formal and regulated process. That being said, there are a few important things to keep in mind before you make the call to a trustee.
Firstly, a bankruptcy trustee does not simply act on your behalf. Even though you are the one to call, this individual represents both parties (you and your creditors), not just you. This means that they are obligated to seek the most money possible for your creditors to ensure that they get as much of what they are owed as possible, while still being fair to you. What this means is that you may not necessarily be getting the best deal.

Secondly, most bankruptcy trustees never outline how they are paid – but this is important. Although their fees are regulated, they are paid according to how much you pay to your creditors, and thus it is in their best interest to get as much money for your creditors as possible.
So, what then are your options? Accept this and go forward? Skip the proposal all together to avoid it? No, there are ways to protect yourself and secure a consumer proposal that meets your needs. The best way to do this is to work with a financial organization experienced with debt relief solutions, one that can offer you representation and protect you throughout the entire proposal process. These professionals can walk you through the process, ensuring that you are aware of and understand your choices, as well as administer your paperwork.

Know before you go: before you call that trustee, think about getting personal representation – someone who will look out for your best interests rather than their own or that of your creditors. DebtCare Canada can help – call us today at 1-888-890-0888.

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