The benefits of meeting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in-person

2024-01-15  3 minute read

Ryan Epp

Debt Solutions

Getting a hold of your debt can be stressful and having to go through that process online can add to the load. Meeting in-person with an LIT can help alleviate some of that stress and ensure you know your options.

two people meeting and reviewing information on a laptop together

If you are finding yourself struggling with your finances and current debt load, it’s vital to ensure you get the best advice possible. Meeting with a Licenced Insolvency Trustee (LIT) is the only way to get the professional support of a federally regulated professional who can help supply you with the information you need and formal insolvency services for both individuals and businesses. The role of an LIT is to ensure people and/or businesses make informed decisions and understand clearly what all their debt options are.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals that made the decision to move forward with a formal insolvency option such as filing an assignment in bankruptcy or a consumer proposal, had to meet with their LIT in person. During and since the pandemic however, legislation changes have made it possible to meet with an LIT virtually by way of a videoconference call. 

Here are some of the benefits of meeting with an LIT in person:

Better communication

An LIT will be able to explain options more clearly to you in person and can illustrate what they are discussing with you in a more comprehensive way compared to meeting over a video conference call. Additionally, both the LIT and individual can interpret non-verbal cues and body language better in person. If there is a language barrier, in person meetings can assist by illustrating options on a whiteboard or writing them down. If an interpreter is required, in person meetings will be more efficient and again provide more clear, concise information to the debtor. When going through debt settlement options, it is crucial for the debtor to have a good understanding of the options available to them and the duties imposed on them if they were to file either a Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal. It leads to the individual making a well-informed decision in dealing with their debt.

Local representation

A local LIT that can meet in person will have a better understanding of the community you reside in as opposed to an LIT who does not. Being local is important as the LIT may be able to refer you to necessary third parties, as well as understand cultural and local nuances. The LIT would be able to empathize and acknowledge the situation the debtor is in as they know the community firsthand. There is also provincial knowledge the LIT must know, such as exempt assets in a Bankruptcy scenario, which differ from province to province.

Limit technical issues

How many times have you been in a video call where the video or sound did not work, or someone was on mute when trying to speak? This can lead to long and exhaustive meetings and there are still many individuals who just don’t know how to use the technology or find the process stressful. Those who are in rural areas or small communities may very well be accustomed to poor internet coverage which causes many disruptions. Of course, when meeting with an LIT in person, there will be no delays, there will be no connectivity issues, and no problems trying to figure out technology you may have never used. 

Fewer distractions

You may have seen the viral YouTube or other social media videos illustrating the many hilarious examples of distractions during video conference calls. From children interrupting to animals making cameos, it can be hard to control your environment when you’re in a meeting over video conference. Humour aside, these distractions can cause meetings to be drawn out and it is difficult to ensure the individual has a clear understanding of what the LIT is saying, causing further confusion in an already stressful and complicated matter. Meeting in person will provide increased engagement from both the LIT and the individual, bringing more clarity and understanding to the situation and the options available to the individual.

Develop trust

Meeting with an LIT in person will be beneficial in developing rapport and trust. It will allow you to have a more fluid conversation and build a positive relationship. Plenty of research has been done about human interaction and how meetings in person build trust and help sustain meaningful connections. When an LIT meets with an individual, they are dealing with a very sensitive and stressful financial situation. Having that person-to-person connection can ease the situation and give you a real sense of whether the LIT is a right fit for your needs and vice versa.

Trustee requirement to offer the choice of in-person

As per the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada, all LIT’s are required to offer you the choice of in-person services or by videoconference, giving you the chance to make a fully informed choice. Even if the initial assessment is done by videoconference, the debtor retains the ability to choose to access in-person services at any time. Therefore, it is important for all LIT’s to offer these choices and fully explain them.

At MNP, we believe in the choice to have in-person options with local offices throughout the entire country. We recommend meeting with a local LIT who can best serve your needs.

If you are dealing with a stressful financial situation and have debts that are becoming overwhelming, reach out to your local LIT to go over all debt solutions available to you, including formal insolvency options such as the Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy.

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