WINNIPEG, Manitoba: C. Buhler & Associates Ltd. Licensed Insolvency Trustee, a well-respected insolvency firm with five locations throughout the three prairie provinces and Canada’s north, has long been an advocate for clearer regulation and compliance within the Canadian debt advisory marketplace. The firm is supportive of a recent position paper released by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) titled “The Adverse Effects of the Debt Advisory Marketplace on the Insolvency System”.
Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) are the only Canadian professionals who can administer a bankruptcy or consumer proposal. Federally regulated by the OSB, they must meet mandatory education experience and licensing requirements, adhere to regulated service fees, remain impartial, and operate according to the Code of Ethics for Trustees. In contrast, the services provided by unlicensed “debt advisors”, “debt counsellors”, “debt consultants”, and “lead generators” are unregulated and create a significant area of compliance concern for the OSB.
The recently published federal position paper titled “The Adverse Effects of the Debt Advisory Marketplace on the Insolvency System” identifies gaps in regulation in the Canadian debt advisory marketplace and explores how they can negatively impact debtors, creditors, and LITs alike. It further outlines six issues and positions, including debt advisors acting as or misrepresenting themselves to be LITs, the lack of transparency for debtors on the role of the LIT and debt advisors, and the responsibilities of LITs when debt advisors are acting illegally or dishonestly. To read the position paper in its entirety, visit https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/office-superintendent-bankruptcy/en/licensed-insolvency-trustees/adverse-effects-of-the-debt-advisory-marketplace-on-the-insolvency-system.
Since founding C. Buhler & Associates Ltd. in 2018, Crystal Buhler, Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional (CIRP) and Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT), has been a strong advocate for stricter regulation and oversight in the debt advisory marketplace. “A multi-pronged approach has now been taken to address the concerns,” she said, “with the Position Paper serving as a key first step in this approach.” The paper confirms that in 2024, the OSB will continue to review the performance and compliance of all parties within their purview, specifically relationships with debt advisors, and the impact on debtors.
For more information about C. Buhler & Associates Ltd. and the services it provides, visit https://debtfreenorth.com.