In the United States, people in financial trouble can file their own bankruptcy petitions, but most choose to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. Things are different in Canada. There is no “do it yourself” bankruptcy option.
Federal bankruptcy laws have a special class of debt consultants known as Licensed Insolvency Trustees. Trustees are highly trained debt professionals who are subject to government regulations. In addition, they undergo a Royal Canadian Mounted Police background check to ensure all have solid reputations. In Canada there are federal and provincial rules for bankruptcy. To file for bankruptcy in Winnipeg, your first step would be to choose one of the many Winnipeg Licensed Insolvency Trustees available to assist you.
Winnipeg insolvency trustees help consumers and businesses deal with insolvency. Insolvency means you cannot keep up with your bills through income or assets. Most people believe all Licensed Insolvency Trustees can do is help with a bankruptcy filing but the truth is they can do much more. In fact, trustees often help people avoid bankruptcy.
Canada bankruptcy laws detail the responsibilities of trustees. The first is that trustees must counsel all who come to them on alternatives to bankruptcy. That means a trustee must explain all available debt relief options to you. You should also know that trustees do not charge for an initial consultation. Think about that. I won’t cost you a dime to get advice from a professional.
Trustees start by looking into your financial picture. They consider how much you make and how much you owe. They add up what you pay in bills each month. They look at the value of the things you own. Your available debt solutions depend on that assessment of your current financial condition. Your trustee can look at the numbers to see what you can afford and what you cannot. Some debt help options cost more than others.
Few Canadians today use personal budgets. Some people who seek help have moderate debt and a trustee can help clients build a personal budget that works. In some cases, sticking to a strict budget is enough to get out of trouble. A consumer proposal is another way to stay out of bankruptcy. A trustee can tell you if you qualify. Upon approval of your creditors, a proposal will allow you to pay back less than the total amount of unsecured debt you owe over a pre-determined amount of time of no more than five years. The trustee will be sure to determine a payment you can afford to make.