If you are planning to file for bankruptcy or file a consumer proposal, you must also select one of the bankruptcy trustees in Alberta to guide you through the process. All bankruptcy trustees in Alberta are licensed by the Canadian federal government. This means that each trustee has taken various training courses in law and accounting and they have the required knowledge and experience to practice as a bankruptcy trustee.
Here are some of the things to consider when you need to choose one of the bankruptcy trustees in Alberta.
1. Check that the Trustee is Truly Licensed
While all trustees are meant to be licensed by the Canadian federal government, it is important to confirm that your are consulting a licensed trustee rather than an unlicensed debt consultant that advertises personal bankruptcy services. Many companies that provide consumer proposal advice and information about bankruptcy are simply middlemen who will charge you a fee before referring you to a licensed insolvency trustee.
2. Use Your Free Consultation to Assess the Trustee
Every licensed trustee is supposed to offer you an initial consultation for free. When a company offers you this free consultation, you must ensure that you are speaking directly with the trustee and not just a company representative or sales person. Unless you meet with a licensed bankruptcy trustee, you will not receive advice and information that will address your specific situation. A reliable trustee firm will not only give you a consultation, they will ask you to provide as much information as possible about your debts, assets, and monthly income.
3. Find Out How Many Professional Staff Members are Available
A reputable bankruptcy trustee in Alberta will have a team of professionals and give you a list of important contacts and phone numbers you can use to contact various departments in the company. This is important because you will be dealing with the firm for a minimum of 9 months while the bankruptcy process is on. The company should also allow you to speak to a live person on the phone during normal working hours and have an email address that you use as an alternative means of communication.
4. What Type of Financial Advice Does the Trustee Offer?
All licensed bankruptcy trustees will offer you two counselling sessions about credit and debt. But the leading companies will also give you additional resources. After filing for bankruptcy, you should have access to a knowledge-base in the form of books, articles and an informative website that will provide details on how to rebuild your credit, budgeting, saving and getting your free credit report. One of the greatest benefits of paying a trustee is access to a wealth of information that can help you develop a good financial base within one to two years.
5. Get Referrals and Ask About the Reputation of the Trustee
It is important to confirm the reputation of the trustee from other clients. Ask your prospective trustee to give you referrals whom you can call and ask questions about their service. Focus on the quality of customer service, the additional help they provide, and the commitment they show toward helping you to come out of debt and have a smooth transition to a debt free life.
These are just a few of the important factors to consider when you are choosing a bankruptcy trustee. After you have addressed these points, you can go on to find out more about service fees, which are usually the same for all licensed bankruptcy trustees in Alberta.