Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee as Referee

Posted in Bankruptcy Trustee
Posted by J. Douglas Hoyes, CA, CPA, LIT, CIRP, CBV

lit-as-your-refereeWhen people ask me who I work for, I explain that as your Licensed Insolvency Trustee I’m like the referee in a hockey game; I’m not working for one side or the other.

There are many who disagree with this view of the role of a trustee.

Some people will say that since one of my jobs as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (formerly Bankruptcy Trustee), is to collect money and assets from the bankrupt and give that money to the creditors, I am working for the creditors.  On that basis, yes, my efforts result in money going to the people you owe money to, so I can see that point of view.

On the other side are the thousands of people I have helped during my career.  They arrive in my office with a lot of debt, and at the end of their consumer proposal or bankruptcy they are debt-free.  They want help, and I help them eliminate their debts.  Those people will tell you that I’m obviously working for them: they hired me to help them, and I did.

Bankruptcy is a legal process, so when I serve as the Licensed Insolvency Trustee estate I am technically appointed by the court.  If there are issues, I am required to go to court and explain the situation, and to propose solutions.  The bankruptcy judge looks to me for solutions.  While I don’t work for the court, my role is similar to someone who does work for the court system: I am responsible for finding solutions acceptable to the court.

To summarize:

  • creditors think I work for them, because I send them money;
  • debtors think I work for them, because they choose to use whatever trustee they want, and they hired me to deal with their debts; and
  • I am legally appointed by the court.

My job as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is to create a “win-win” situation for everyone involved in the process.  Nobody wants to go bankrupt, and no creditor wants to lose money, but since in some cases a bankruptcy is the only solution, I act as the referee. I make sure that the process is fair to all parties.  Since starting Hoyes Michalos in 1999 I believe we have met that objective: all parties are satisfied that we worked together to achieve the best solution.

About J. Douglas Hoyes

Doug is our co-founder and is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Consumer Proposal Administrator, certified Insolvency Counsellor and Chartered Professional Accountant.

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2 thoughts on “Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee as Referee

  1. Peter Young

    I worked in the Insolvency field for many years as a creditor and as a third party servicer for several creditors and I would agree with Doug’s comments. If the creditors believe that a trustee is working on behalf of the debtor they have the right to not accept the trustee and ask the courts to assign another trustee. Although this is hardly ever done, this option is available. My advice is if a creditor does not believe the trustee is looking out for their best interests then understand your options and make a decision. Just understand that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. You may just leave a bunch of money with the debtor.

    Reply
    1. J. Douglas Hoyes, CA, Trustee

      Peter: you make a good point. While it is very unusual for a creditor to substitute a trustee, it could happen. If I was a debtor (the person who owes the money), one of the questions I would ask my potential trustee is “how do creditors normally react to your proposals?” At Hoyes Michalos we have good working relationships with all major creditors. They understand that we have a job to do, and that we work hard to be fair to all parties.

      Reply

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