"People are often uncomfortable contacting a Licensed Insolvency Trustee," says David Wood, a partner with Boale Wood & Company Ltd., a Licensed Insolvency Trustee with several offices in the Lower Mainland. "People struggling with debt are often unaware of our many roles and the options we can offer for dealing with their debt, so they delay contacting us."
Regulated by the Federal Government through the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB), Licensed Insolvency Trustees are professionals who can help people deal with their financial difficulties.
Here are just some of the facts you should know about Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs):
· Consumer proposals: LITs are the only professionals authorized by law to administer a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.
· Federally regulated: LITs are both regulated and licensed by the OSB. "We are required to adhere to a code of ethics," says David, "and there's a formal complaint process through the OSB."
· Educated and experienced: All LITs have their education and qualifications assessed by the OSB. "My colleagues and I are required to undertake ongoing professional development," David explains. "Non-trustee firms may or may not have the education and experience to help your situation. There's no guarantee."
· Regulated fees: The federal government regulates fees charged by LIT firms. "My competitors and I all get paid the same," says David. "There's no such regulation in place for non-trustee firms."
· Free initial consultation: Boale Wood offers a free one-hour introductory consultation. "There's no obligation on the client's part until they have had the initial chat with me, provide the documents we need, and they've formally agreed to move forward."
· Counselling: LITs are also Professional Debt Counsellors and able to give advice and a plan for staying out of debt once your obligations have been discharged. "We're mandated to provide you with debt counselling whether or not you choose to proceed with a bankruptcy filing."
· Deal directly with creditors: Once you've filed a consumer proposal or a personal bankruptcy application, Boale Wood will deal directly with your creditors. No more harassing and unwelcome phone calls from creditors or their agents. "And that includes the federal or provincial governments," adds David. "Once a proposal or bankruptcy is filed, all collection calls have to stop."