Cathy R. (not her real name), divorced, 50 years old, $22,000 in debt, St. Catharines
*EDITOR'S NOTE: To avoid embarrassment, we have changed the names of the other trustee firms mentioned in this e-mail. Here is the text of the e-mail as sent in by Cathy R.:
I dealt with the Hoyes Michalos St. Catharines office.
I started the process of bankruptcy/consumer proposal knowing little about how the process worked and approached ABC Trustee* first, but found I was getting conflicting information from different people there and it was taking so long that when approached by XYZ Trustee* by email (I had emailed them also in the beginning and they were just getting back to me). I went to them. After talking with them, the woman thought we should file a proposal since I was starting EI in a couple of weeks.
In filling out the proposal information she estimated my income. We filed the proposal but they kept asking for more money (she had over estimated my income by about $400 a month) and I didn't feel I would be able to pay it so I had no choice but to file bankruptcy.
At this point I was very frustrated with the whole process (one that had started by talking to ABC Trustee*in November) and it was now April and I felt I was at the beginning again and getting very poor advice. So I decided I had nothing to lose by going to Hoyes Michalos for the bankruptcy. I wish I had picked them first.
Your staff was very knowledgeable, professional, and went out of their way when I called with any problem and treated me as an equal, not as someone with "debt problems". I also dealt with the Trustee there, Billy Martell, and found him equally professional and knowledgeable.
After having dealt with the 3 agencies, I wish Hoyes had been my first choice. I would absolutely recommend the St. Catharines office to anyone I know having financial difficulties. You have good people there.
* Names of other trustee firms changed