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Insolvency Counselling Program introduction

Welcome

Welcome to the Insolvency Counselling Program online self-learning modules!

This program was designed for people who have filed an insolvency proceeding under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA), but anyone can view the modules.

The insolvency counselling process

An image of the insolvency counselling process
Description

The diagram shows a blonde woman with a pink shirt going along a dotted yellow path which represents the standard insolvency counselling curriculum process.

The diagram has a green background which resembles grass. The top of the diagram background is a light blue to resemble the sky. The words “Insolvency Counselling Process” are bolded and navy blue. These words appear in the centre of the light blue portion of the background.

At the top left-hand corner of the image, a grey cloud hovers over the woman’s head while she crouches at the start of the dotted yellow line. Underneath the image of the woman it says ‘Initial Insolvency Filing’ in white. A yellow arrow at the start of the dotted yellow line in front of the woman indicates the way forward. The dotted yellow line continues straight and then swerves down and to the left where it meets a circular image outlined in white. This circle is to the far left of the screen, in the middle. Within the circle there is an image of the blonde woman sitting in a chair across a desk from a light brown haired man in a blue shirt and a black tie. The man is sitting in a chair and has a smile on his face. The words ‘Meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee’ wrap around the top outside edge of the circle and are displayed in white.

The dotted yellow path continues, extending from the bottom left of the circular image, looping downwards and then inclining up to the right where it meets another circular image. This section of the dotted yellow path is labeled ‘Budgeting Stage’ in all capitals and is bolded in yellow. The second circular image is also outlined with a white border and is positioned slightly below and to the right of the previous circle. Within the circle there is an image of the blonde woman and a dark haired man with a black shirt sitting on a blue couch. Together they are looking at the laptop in front of the woman. The words ‘First Online Session’ are displayed in white and are wrapped around the top outside edge of the circle. The dotted yellow path extends from the top outside right of the circle and swerves upwards. The dotted yellow path connects to a third circular image outlined with a white border. This circle is slightly to the right and above the previous circle. Within the circle there is an image of the blonde woman sitting in a chair at a desk across from a dark haired woman in a black blazer and red shirt. The dark haired woman is standing up and pointing to the word ‘Budget’ written at the top of a white board. The word ‘Budget’ is written in capitals. On the white board there is an image of a pie chart below the word ‘Budget’. The words ‘First In-Person Session with Counsellor’ are displayed in white and the words are wrapped around the bottom outside of the circle.

There is a dotted yellow path extending from the right side of the circle and the path extends to the right and loops upward and then back down. The dotted yellow path connects to another circular image outlined with a white border. This fourth circular image is to the right and slightly below the previous one. Within the circle there is an image of the blonde woman sitting at a kitchen table on her tablet. Across the table from her is the dark haired man with a black shirt and he is peeling potatoes. The words ‘Second Online Session’ are displayed in white and the words wrap around the top outside of the circle.

There is a dotted yellow path extending from the bottom of the circle. The dotted yellow path goes downwards and loops around to the right. Under the dotted yellow path the words ‘Planning for the Future Stage’ are displayed in all capitals and bolded in yellow at the bottom right of the graphic. The path connects to the left side of another circular image outlined in a white border. This image is below and slightly to the right of the previous circle. Within the circle there is an image of the blonde woman sitting in a chair at a desk across from the dark haired woman in a black blazer and a red shirt. The dark haired woman is standing up and pointing to a white board with the word ‘Goals’ written at the top of a white board. The word ‘Goals’ is written in all capitals. On the white board there is an image of a list below the word ‘Goals’ and there are 2 checkmarks next to 2 of the items on the list. The words ‘Second In-Person Session with Counsellor’ are displayed in white and are wrapped around the bottom outside of the circle.

The dotted yellow path extends from the top of the circle and extends upward and loops to the right and then slightly to the left until it reaches the top right side of the green grass background. The word “Success!” is displayed along the curve of the dotted yellow path. There is an image of the blonde haired woman standing up tall at the end of the path with her arms up in the air and a big smile on her face. On top of the image of the woman there is half of a sun appearing from behind the green grass background.

If you have filed for bankruptcy or made a consumer proposal under the BIA, it is important to remember that insolvency does not define you!

An image of a hand holding a sprouting plant

There is no shame in resolving your serious financial difficulties through an insolvency proceeding. Many Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque and over 100,000 people file a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal every year. The BIA is designed to promote a fresh start for those going through the insolvency process, and help prevent reoccurrence.

The Insolvency Counselling Program consists of four online modules and two in-person counselling sessions. These online modules will help you prepare for your two in-person counselling sessions with your BIA Insolvency Counsellor (also known as your counsellor).

The Insolvency Counselling Program is part of the federally regulated insolvency process. It aims to provide you with the right tools and knowledge to help you move beyond your insolvency.

The program will help you take control of your money and plan for a more financially secure future!

This is your opportunity for a fresh start!

The program is designed to help you!

Overview

The Insolvency Counselling Program is divided into two stages. Each stage has an online component followed by an in-person counselling session.

Stage 1: budgeting

The budgeting stage is the first insolvency counselling stage which takes place near the start of the insolvency process. The budgeting stage consists of one online portion and one in-person session. During the online portion, you will review the introduction and the budgeting module.

The introduction will provide you with orientation information and outline what you can expect during the Insolvency Counselling Program. In general, it takes about 10 minutes to complete.

The budgeting module will help you develop a personalized, basic budget that is realistic and achievable. In general, it takes about 35 minutes to complete this module. Your personal budget will be discussed with your counsellor during your first in-person counselling session.

Stage 2: planning for the future

The planning for the future stage is the second insolvency counselling stage which is focused on post-insolvency goals, spending habits, and use of credit. The planning for the future stage consists of three online modules and one in-person counselling session.

During the online session you will review the following modules:

The modules in the planning for the future stage are critical components of post-insolvency success. They will help prepare you by providing the tools and knowledge to help you stay on track after you are discharged or obtain a certificate of full performance. The skills you will learn are meant to be practiced along with the good budgeting skills you will have established during the budgeting stage. Your list of financial goals will be discussed with your counsellor during your second in-person session.

The expected duration associated with each of the modules above is an estimate, not a target. There is a lot of material covered throughout the online modules and you may want to take more time for review.

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Self-directed online learning

This online learning program is flexible and allows you to learn at your own pace. Online learning is very different from in-person counselling. To get the most out of the program, it is important that you are prepared for each module.

Here are some tips to prepare you for the self-learning modules:

Insolvency counselling roles and responsibilities

Role of the Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT)

generic image of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) are licensed and regulated by the federal government. LITs are professionals who are qualified and experienced in providing advice and services to individuals and businesses in financial difficulty.

An LIT is an officer of the court and seeks to achieve a balance of interests between you (the debtor) and your creditors (a person or company to whom money is owed).

An LIT must act honestly and fairly at all times in order to protect the rights of both debtors and creditors throughout the insolvency process.

An LIT administers federally-regulated insolvency proceedings, such as consumer proposals and bankruptcies.

An LIT is responsible for providing, or providing for, insolvency counselling. Insolvency counselling is solely for the benefit of you, the debtor.



Role of BIA Insolvency Counsellor

generic image of a BIA Insolvency Counsellor

LITs may provide BIA Insolvency Counselling themselves, or they can assign a BIA Insolvency Counsellor to provide the counselling for them.


You

image of two people

If you have commenced bankruptcy or consumer proposal proceedings, you are required to complete the in-person insolvency counselling sessions. These online modules help prepare you for the two in-person counselling sessions that you will attend with an LIT or their registered counsellor.

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Consumer protection in the Insolvency Counselling Program

In order for you to be discharged from your debt, you must complete the government-regulated insolvency proceedings. The only person authorized to administer insolvency proceedings is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). It is against the law for anyone else to represent themselves as an LIT.

BIA Insolvency Counsellors

LITs are not allowed to register someone as a BIA Insolvency Counsellor if that individual is involved in activities that could have a negative impact on debtors. Additionally, a counsellor cannot be registered if they act as a go-between with debtors and LITs in exchange for payment or consideration from debtors.

Fees

The LIT or counsellor is entitled to $85 per in-person counselling session. The fee for this comes directly out of your estate (if you're bankrupt) or from your proposal. This service is federally regulated, which means you cannot be charged directly or for a greater amount. A counsellor is not allowed to take any payment directly from an insolvent debtor before, during, or after the counselling sessions.

You can contact the OSB if you have questions about the information detailed above.

image of debtor with counsellor

If you have questions, write them down and bring them to your in-person counselling session.

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