In 2000 Scott Marshall, managing partner in Allan Marshall & Associates, interned with the Licensed Insolvency Trustee firm LCTaylor. In this interview, Jillian Taylor-Mancusi, asks Scott about how the time he spent with the firm shaped his career.
Jillian: How did your early experiences working in all the different positions in your office affect your later work as an LIT?
Scott: Having worked in all the different positions within an insolvency office allows me to fully understand the process so that I can address concerns of both the debtor and the office administration. Addressing issues upfront or before they become problems, provides a better experience for debtors.
Jillian: How did your experience at LCTaylor’s firm broaden your understanding of the clientele the LITs serve?
Scott: I had the opportunity to see how other firms approach problems and file administration. This allowed me to better assess our process, by comparing and contrasting our techniques. Anytime you have the ability to openly share and discuss processes, it gives you the opportunity to improve if you’re willing to be open and accept different approaches and ideas to your own. This experience offered the ability to openly collaborate. It gave both firms some new insights on how to deal with consumer debtors.
Jillian: What does your work mean to you?
Scott: Being a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is a very rewarding career. You meet with people who are suffering from various debt and financial difficulties and discuss possible solutions to guide them to a better financial tomorrow.
Many of my staff have also commented on feeling rewarded when they help take some stress away from our clients. Debt freedom is attainable when you work together, and I believe our office does a great job helping people through this.
Jillian: What has changed since you became a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
Scott: Change is constant in all aspects of a Licensed Insolvency Firm. My position in the firm has changed over the years, the laws have changed, and the reason people call for help changes. Our office has grown from 2 offices to 10 offices throughout the maritime provinces in the last number of years. It’s been exciting, but challenging.
Jillian: What bankruptcy and economic trends are you seeing in the Maritimes & Canada and how do you feel the pandemic will affect these trends?
Scott: Good question. The basic trend we are concerned about is that Canadians are carrying far too much personal debt. This has resulted in higher levels of insolvency over the past number of years. But at present, the insolvency numbers have fallen due to the uncertainty surrounding the world pandemic, COVID-19, and the impacts it is having on the economy and employment uncertainty.
In the Maritimes, the impact was significant in the spring of 2020 as the government reacted quickly and shut businesses down to control the spread of COVID-19. This approach worked to reduce the spread of the pandemic in our area, but had a significant impact on small and medium-sized businesses and their employees.
The low infection rates allowed for things to start to reopen in the summer and were aided with the formation of the “Maritime Bubble” (only allowing travel within the Maritime provinces.).
Many businesses have reopened or adapted their businesses in order to provide goods and services. Whether it is doing business over Zoom or arranging restaurant take-away pick-ups – this new way of operating is bringing about changes in what, how, and where we work. It is predicted that some of these employment changes may be permanent.
Although some people have been able to return to work, many businesses have closed and are not anticipated to reopen. Therefore these workers are temporarily being supported by government COVID-19 unemployment payment programs.
With the uncertainty of when the pandemic will be over, we are left with questions of: What companies will survive? What will jobs look like when we return to work? What, if any, government help will be available when things start to return to the new normal?
It is anticipated that there will be:
- high levels of personal debt
- the resumption of debt collection
- business closures
- unemployment peaks
- the number of people who are insolvent will rise in the coming months and years.
As we move into 2021, Canada is currently in the middle of the second wave of infections and provinces are again instituting restrictions on businesses. The fallout of which is yet to be determined.
Allan Marshall & Associates have been providing debt assistance in the Maritimes for over 30 years. They are committed to doing their best to help Canadians who are facing insolvency in this difficult economic time.