Meeting with a Trustee about Financial Problems

You should bring a list of your debts (recent account statements are helpful) and assets, recent pay stubs if available, and an idea of your monthly income and expenses.  The Trustee will likely have at his or her disposal, a method of placing a value on your vehicle or other assets such as a sled or motorcycle (e.g. Black Book).  If you own your home and have recently had the property appraised by an appraiser or realtor, you should bring that information as well if available.  Using this information the Trustee will work with you to determine the options available to resolve your financial difficulties.

When it comes to events from your past, such as the disposition of assets, it is always best to be up front with your Trustee.  You may find that certain things you are concerned about are not an issue when it comes to identifying a solution to your debt problem.  A Trustee is the best source of information to determine how past events will affect the options available to you.  For example, sometimes where a transaction could cause problems in a bankruptcy, you may choose to file a proposal instead.  If new information comes to light once a file has been started, the options available are more limited than if the Trustee knew about the issue before filing.

If you proceed with a bankruptcy or consumer proposal, a “Statement of Affairs” is prepared that identifies your current assets and liabilities, general information about your personal situation (e.g. occupation), disposition of assets within previous five years and the cause of your financial difficulty.  Once completed, you are required to sign this document as an acknowledgement that this information is true to the best of your knowledge.  Being honest about your situation right from the start will enable you to receive the best advice possible and facilitate a smoother bankruptcy or proposal should this be necessary.

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