Steps To Take Before Meeting With A Licensed Insolvency Trustee In Calgary

Dec 18, 2023 | Bankruptcy, Consumer Proposal, Credit Counselling, Debt Consolidation

Written by C. Buhler & Associates Ltd.

Written by C. Buhler & Associates Ltd.

Our licensed insolvency trustee (LIT) is here to help you. We offer free consultations, and our goal is to provide the best financial advice possible.

When you’re not sure where to turn for financial advice, and you’re facing overwhelming debt, call an LIT. Below, we’ve listed a number of documents that are helpful to prepare before meeting with an LIT. If you aren’t able to obtain these documents, however, this shouldn’t stop you from picking up the phone – we may be able to help you gather the required details another way.

We’re here to help you understand your financial options in dealing with debt. We can help you get documents together, give you advice on budgeting, and help you understand and select the debt solutions that are right for your specific needs. Gather any documents you do have, but if you’re missing anything, don’t hesitate to call us – our consultations are always free. 

Gathering Your Financial Information

LITs offer a wide variety of debt solutions—to understand which solution is right for you, they’ll need detailed information about your financial situation. You want to avoid guesswork at all costs—the more detailed your financial reporting is, the better your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will be able to help you. Not sure what to provide? Don’t worry – our team will ask a series of questions designed to help you provide the information we need, with no judgment!

Creating a Complete Debt Profile 

It is helpful if you are able to gather the following basic information for your debt profile:

  • All of your creditors (in case you choose to file a consumer proposal or for bankruptcy)
  • The amounts owed (just to the best of your knowledge)
  • The interest payments (or interest rate) on each account
  • Any amounts that are overdue 

Understanding your debt profile will help your licensed insolvency trustee determine whether debt consolidation, credit counselling, a consumer proposal, bankruptcy, or another debt relief strategy is right for you. 

The nature of your debts is another important consideration—student loans and secured debts, for example, are treated differently than typical unsecured debts like credit card debt. 

Assessing Your Assets 

Your assets can be a useful source of income to pay off creditors, by using extra money to decrease the total due. Your licensed insolvency trustee may be required to sell some of your assets in order to pay off creditors during a bankruptcy. Cataloguing your assets and their approximate value, including vehicles, collectibles, and any other valuables, will help your licensed insolvency trustee assess your financial situation.

Some assets are protected, even during bankruptcy such as certain jewellery or electronics—you should still catalogue these assets, as they might be relevant. One of the reasons an LIT will ask for your assets is to ensure you know which assets are protected – and to help you get a better picture of your overall financial health. 

Don’t forget to include any investments, such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans, and any money in bank accounts.

Evaluating Your Income and Expenses

Note your monthly net income from all sources and jot down a budget with your typical monthly expenses. It can be helpful to list all of your expenses over the last 3-6 months in order to give your licensed insolvency trustee greater insight into your spending habits, and to ensure all periodic expenses, or seasonal costs, are included.

Ensuring Tax Filings are Up to Date 

Income and business taxes can be an important source of revenue—tax debt can also make up a major portion of your overall debt.  You can speak to a licensed insolvency trustee even if you aren’t up to date with filing your income taxes with the Canada Revenue Agency, however they may advise you that catching up those returns will be part of your financial recovery process. 

Setting Up Your Budget

Understanding the Importance of Budgeting

With proper budgeting, you may be able to avoid bankruptcy. Through debt counselling and debt consolidation, you may be able to pay off all of your debts with your current assets and income—it all starts with creating a budget. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is happy to help you outline a process to accomplish your financial goals.

Creating a Detailed Monthly Budget 

Your monthly budget should include all of your income and expenses. Paying off debts takes precedence over investing, but your monthly budget should avoid drawing from your savings account, if possible. Be honest about your expenses—note every transaction you make. 

Identifying Opportunities for Financial Improvement

Before pursuing debt forgiveness options like consumer proposals and bankruptcy, it’s important to identify if you can cut expenses, or find ways to improve your income. This process can be as simple as trading luxury services for more reasonably priced options, or looking for higher-paying careers in your field. Looking for living arrangements with reduced or shared rent and utility costs can also be a viable option.

Opportunities for financial improvement aren’t always easy, but they’re often a preferable alternative to bankruptcy. Identifying these opportunities will also help your licensed insolvency trustee better assess your financial health. 

Researching Your Options for Debt Resolution 

The Importance of Accurate and Reliable Information 

From budgeting and credit consolidation to consumer proposals and bankruptcy, there are several options available to you for debt resolution. It’s important to learn about these options from legitimate sources, and at no cost. Read about licensed insolvency trustees and other debt consultants by accessing legitimate sources, like the Government of Canada’s website. 

Consulting the Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s Website

Licensed insolvency trustees are granted their authority by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy is full of articles and videos explaining terms like bankruptcy, consumer proposals, and the Insolvency Counselling Program. You can learn almost everything you need to know about licensed insolvency trustees and their role through that website— the information is always reliable. 

Finding Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Calgary 

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy has a tool to help you find licensed insolvency trustees in Calgary. This tool is accurate and can help you avoid fraudulent debt counselling “companies”  that may pose as trustees. 

Selecting the Right Licensed Insolvency Trustee

Understanding the Role of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

A licensed insolvency trustee is a credit and debt solutions expert. They are granted responsibilities and powers by the federal government through the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. These powers include the ability to file a bankruptcy on your behalf and the ability to draft and submit a consumer proposal for you—debt relief options that are only available through licensed trustees.

Your licensed trustee has a fiduciary responsibility to both you and your creditors to find a debt settlement that is agreeable and reasonable to all parties. 

Factors To Consider in Choosing an LIT 

The federal government determines all fees that licensed trustees can charge—this means that all licensed trustees, not only in Calgary but across Canada – are paid in the same way.. Reputable LITs will offer a free consultation—where possible, they’ll help you relieve your debt through proper money management and debt advice, or by considering consolidation, rather than through bankruptcy.

The best way to choose an LIT in Calgary is to contact them – confirm if they are able to meet you in the manner you prefer (video, by phone, or in person),, and whether you are able to discuss your situation with them. You can also review their years of experience and professional accreditations they have, such as being a member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency Restructuring Professionals. 

Researching and Reviewing LITs in Calgary 

Once you’ve found LITs on the Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s website, Google those LITs. Talk to friends or family that have worked with LITs—your legal team, realtor, mortgage broker or bank may also have LITs they recommend. 


LITs play an important role in Canada’s financial system—without them, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act would be inaccessible. For assistance with unpaid debt, it’s helpful to prepare yourself thoroughly before meeting with an LIT—but even if you’re not fully prepared, they can be a helpful resource in your search to find the right debt solution for you.

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