If you are experiencing significant financial difficulty, it’s tough to know where to look for help. The stress of facing possible bankruptcy can cloud your ability to judge good advice from poor advice. There are so many options to choose from, all with different titles, and you might not be aware of your rights when seeking help. On top of that, the internet can be a tricky place where things can look good at first glance.
Let’s examine some differences between a licensed insolvency trustee and other choices, so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.
Regulation and Education
Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LIT’s) operate under strict guidelines and a Code of Ethics. They are usually members of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP), which are rigorously monitored by the Federal Government via the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB).
This means that LIT’s are heavily regulated by the Federal Government, and conduct themselves under an umbrella of professional oversight.
Most LIT’s also hold an accounting designation, which requires a significant amount of education and experience. Following their accounting experience, an LIT undergoes a thorough training period and written exam concerning insolvency issues, and receives their license after a final oral exam in front of a professional panel.
Others that offer credit or debt reduction services are often not a part of a regulated industry. The OSB has no oversight jurisdiction over them, and it is unlikely that non-LIT’s undergo extensive training or education courses.
This lack of regulation and training requirements can sometimes result in poor advice being handed out to those experiencing financial hardship, which ultimately increases stress and can cost you money.
It is also important to understand that LIT’s are the only professionals authorized to file consumer proposals and bankruptcies on your behalf. Be sure to check the credentials and certification of anybody claiming to have the power to complete those actions.
Some debt reduction companies may make claims about their ability to influence your financial situation. Keep in mind that if it sounds too-good-to-be-true, it probably is.
Most LIT’s offer free consultations to discuss your financial situation and determine whether or not you need additional services.
Other companies may charge for their advice, or may tell you that they can refer you to an LIT for a fee. This is never necessary; you can do that on your own without paying anybody for it.
The fees charged by an LIT are regulated by the Federal Government; this is for the protection of the consumer and applies to both consumer proposal and bankruptcy services.
When seeking the best financial advice, understanding what a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is and doing thorough research is a good place to start. For questions or concerns about your financial landscape, contact Derek L. Chase today and speak to one of our trusted licensed professionals. We are here to help you, right when you need us.