Why Being Local Is Important (MNP 3 Minute Debt Break)

2023-08-28  3 minute read

Lifestyle Debt


efore the unforeseen happened in March 2020, a term like 'virtual insolvency proceeding' was nonexistent. To navigate the process of Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal, a face-to-face interaction with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) was mandatory. But, as with many things, the pandemic compelled the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) to pivot.

Client in person meeting with LIT

While the changes brought significant benefits, like making access to debt relief easier, it wasn’t without its challenges. So, if this new way of meeting is possible, why is it still crucial for your Licensed Insolvency Trustee to be local?

Firstly, Physical Accessibility: While virtual solutions offer ease, they can't replace the genuine human connection. LITs are now mandated to offer an in-person meeting opportunity. Local trustees, being in proximity, can facilitate a comfortable meeting setup, understanding your constraints and accommodating your schedules.

Secondly, Local Expertise Matters: While the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act blankets all of Canada, differences vary across provinces. To ensure the best application of law, local trustees, with their regional wisdom, can better guide you through unique jurisdictional intricacies, from exempt assets to court preferences.

Another reason why local matters, you may need to rely on trusted Local Referrals. Your journey might require assistance beyond LITs – like a lawyer, a credit counselor, or even a mental health service provider. A local trustee's familiarity with community organizations can be invaluable, connecting you to the most trustworthy local resources.

Local assistance can also have a familiar empathetic ear: Canada's vastness brings a variety of cultures and economic conditions. Local trustees, being a part of your community, understand the regional specifics that led to your financial distress, enabling a tailored and empathetic approach.

So… while the pandemic nudged us to consider virtual proceedings, there’s been a realization that a balanced approach might be most effective. Meeting an LIT face-to-face helps in ensuring trust, comfort, and understanding, especially when discussing sensitive financial issues. 

If you're contemplating the mode of your meetings and possibly a virtual meeting, ask yourself: How open are you about sharing personal financial histories with strangers virtually? Are you technologically adept? Is your area's internet connectivity reliable?

You should also consider other questions like, do you have any disabilities that might make virtual communications difficult? Is clear communication crucial for you? How proactive are you in managing your legal responsibilities?

At MNP, we've realized that hybrid interactions—combining both virtual and in-person meetings—tend to serve clients best. It's essential to choose a mode where you're comfortable, informed, and can make the best decisions about your financial future. Remember, being local in your approach can make all the difference.


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