Earlier this week in my Kitchener office, I met with Jane and Tom (for privacy reasons, I have changed their names). Jane and Tom were referred by a family member who had previously filed a bankruptcy with me.
They were very nervous and concerned about meeting a licensed insolvency trustee (our title has changed recently from bankruptcy trustee but the services we provide are still the same. They knew that the meeting was necessary since the pressure of their debts was causing great stress and strain on their family unit. It was obvious to them that they needed to do something to deal with their debts, but really did not know what options were available to them. They thought that as an individual licensed to do bankruptcies I would only talk to them about personal bankruptcy – they did not realize that there were other options. I understand this is a common misconception people have and this is part of the reason why the government changed our designation to Licensed Insolvency Trustee or LIT from bankruptcy trustee or trustee in bankruptcy.
To help relieve any concerns you may have I’m going to share with you what a meeting with me involves.
The initial role of a first consultation is to review both the financial and personal situation in detail and discuss how all the options available apply. I remain completely unbiased during the meeting and do not make judgement on anyone. The options available are the same for everyone I meet with however, they will not apply the same for each individual case and the key during our meetings is to find the right solution to deal with the debts and develop a plan for a desirable future.
The meeting typically begins with open conversation, which then leads to a review of the specifics with respect to debts, assets, and income. Once I understand the exact situation we discuss in detail how the options work and review the pros and cons of each. At that point the meeting opens for other unanswered questions. We often also discuss future plans and goals.
At the end of the meeting, I encourage the individual to go home and consider what they want to achieve going forward and which option they feel will work best for them to obtain these goals. I feel it is about making the right plan for each situation. Just because one option works for one person/family does not mean it will work for everyone.
As for Jane and Tom’s case, they went home and thought about the details of our meeting and gave me a call back today to let me know they thought a consumer proposal is the option for them. They realized that they needed control of their debts. They wanted to protect their house. They felt they had enough money to pay some of the debts back through one monthly payment and did not what to file bankruptcy. Their misconception of the intimidating meeting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee was dissolved. They already feel better about their situation and they have only had one meeting with me.
You too can review your situation with me in a private environment. Please do not hesitate to contact me. I will sit down with you free of charge to explore the options and help you develop a plan for the future.