Finding a Trustee in bankruptcy is easy – just Google “bankruptcy” or flip through your phone book. Selecting a Trustee may be more difficult. Why? Taking the step to even explore the idea of bankruptcy is an emotional decision. No one wants to feel as if they failed. No one wants to let someone else know they’ve had trouble managing their finances.
Yet, however difficult it might be to make that initial appointment, working with the right Trustee will help put you at ease and may even give you hope. More than 100,000 Canadians file for some type of bankruptcy protection every year, whether a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy.
So how do you find the right Trustee in bankruptcy? The first place to turn could be a trusted professional such as your accountant, lawyer, mortgage broker or real estate agent. Odds are they have previous clients that they have referred to a Trustee for a fresh start and can provide you with a good recommendation. Second, contact your Employee Assistance Program (if you have one) – they compile reliable, trusted advisors and can again provide you a contact name. Alternatively, you could turn to your own family or friends who have consulted a Trustee. They were most likely in the same uncomfortable position, and can recommend a Trustee who was able to assist them and put them at ease.
At the first meeting, the Trustee will ask a lot of questions to get to know you and your particular situation. Keep in mind that you are not the first person to go to the Trustee with financial stress, so you should not feel embarrassed or ashamed. A Trustee is a highly qualified, regulated professional, licensed by the government, to help you find the right solution to your financial issues.
If you don’t feel comfortable or feel you are not being treated with enough compassion, try another Trustee. Use the same criteria you would use to hire any other professional. There is no charge for initial consultations and you should not feel pressured to file anything right away.
Once you feel comfortable with your Trustee, it is expected that you will ask questions. You need to fully understand what bankruptcy means and the changes it will bring to your current lifestyle. Ask about the process and ensure you understand the rules. There are no stupid questions.
For over 60 years, Taylor Leibow Inc. has been helping people who have found themselves in financial difficulty get a Fresh Start. Our compassionate Trustees and administrative professionals take the time to understand your circumstances and are here to listen and provide financial solutions. Our goal is to ensure you fully understand the process, your alternatives and take action that will assist in relieving your stress.