A Day In The Life Of A Bankruptcy Trustee

Most people know the role of a bankruptcy trustee, but have you ever wondered what a trustee really does during the work day?  Some days are busier than others, but the thing I like about doing what I do, is that no two days are the same.

Here is what I did yesterday.

8:30-9:00 am – As with most days, I arrived at the office and answered my emails.  I responded to an email from an existing client who had questions about her file, and I responded to two people who had contacted us through hoyes.com and wanted to book a free consultation to meet with me to discuss their options.

9-10am – My first meeting of the day was with Jenny (not her real name). She recently moved back to Windsor to find work after being laid off at her old company. While she quickly found a new positions, she is having a hard time paying her bills on her new lower salary.  After reviewing her finances and discussing her options, Jenny decided it would be best for her to file personal bankruptcy. She is coming back in two days to sign the paperwork.

10-11am – I then met with Cindy (not her real name). Cindy is in the process of moving back to Windsor after her relationship broke down. We discussed her situation and she plans to come back in a month to file bankruptcy, once she has moved and has started her new job.

11am-12pm – Next I met with George (not his real name).  His overtime was cut back and he needs help managing his debt.  He was turned down for a debt consolidation loan from his bank and is concerned about filing for bankruptcy since he earns more than the government set income level (known as surplus income).  George decided the best thing for him to do is file a consumer proposal, and he will be back next week to start the process.

12-2pm – After a quick lunch, it was now time to return some phone calls.  First it was speaking with the Canada Revenue Agency about outstanding matters.  In one case it was to make sure their paperwork was in order for a particular client file, and in another case it was to make sure they had received documentation I had faxed to them. I then called a client back who was being called by a collection agency.  He gave me the name and phone number of the collection agency, who I then called to confirm that this person had filed for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, sometimes files get mixed up and the creditor transfers the file to a collection agency when they shouldn’t and they end up contacting the bankrupt individual for payment anyway. I understand the frustration that clients feel, so we always advise clients to let us know if this happens and we will contact the creditor.

2-3pm – I spoke with several new callers who needed information about how to deal with their debts. Some just needed some advice and direction. For those who needed a more in-depth review of their circumstances I booked consultations for them to meet with one of our Hoyes Michalos trustees in our various offices throughout Southern and Southwestern Ontario.  That is another thing I like about our office.  When you call us during office hours, you always reach a live person who can help you.  You are not forced to leave a message and wait for a call back.

3-4pm – Agnes then came in to file for bankruptcy.  She was left with debt after her spouse passed away and can’t deal with the stress of the letters and phone calls.  She decided to file for bankruptcy to help relieve her stress.  We took some extra time to go through the paperwork together and I then electronically filed her bankruptcy.

4-4:30pm – There were more emails and phones calls to answer.  I thn helped an existing client to come up with a plan to get her consumer proposal back on track.  She was off work for a month, so we worked out a payment plan to get her consumer proposal caught up over the next few months.

4:30-5:30pm – I then spoke with a former client who has received a collection letter from a debt that was included in her consumer proposal.  We reviewed her file and the creditor had sent in their proof of claim during her consumer proposal. I called the creditor and explained the situation.  They realized they had made a data entry error and all was fine. The file is now closed.

Before I knew it, it was time to leave the office.  Every day is a new opportunity to help people deal with their debts.

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