Question: Does the trustee in a bankruptcy in Ontario work for you or the creditor? How do I know the trustee is working in my best interest??
Answer: This is an excellent question.
A bankruptcy trustee is a private business person, licensed by the Federal Government. As a business person, they are working for themselves, like every other person in business.
Generally it is the person who needs to go bankrupt in Ontario who finds the trustee, and “hires” them to administer their bankruptcy. For that reason the trustee wants to give you good advice, so you understand you options, and so that your bankruptcy proceeds without unnecessary problems. In that respect the trustee works for you.
During the bankruptcy, the funds collected by the trustee, after paying for the trustee’s fees and expenses, are distributed to the creditors. In that respect the trustee is working for the creditors.
However, once the bankruptcy officially begins, the trustee is, in effect, appointed by the court, and is therefore working for all parties. Think of it like this: A trustee is like the referee in a hockey game. The referee isn’t working for Team A or Team B; he is working to ensure that all teams follow the rules.
In essence, that’s the role of a trustee. To ensure that all parties are fulfilling their responsibilities and following the rules.
Our advice is that you contact a trustee, and then meet with them and ask them lots of questions, because only you can decide whether or not you have found the right trustee for you.