If you’re in debt and contemplating bankruptcy, you may be desperate to seek assistance from the first person who offers to help. However, choosing a debt professional to help you secure financial relief isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly.
You must consider several things before putting your finances in someone else’s hands. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when vetting potential debt professional candidates.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Firstly, you must ensure the debt professional you hire is entirely on your side. For instance, some debt professionals earn commission on the products and services they sell. Therefore, you can’t always trust that their advice isn’t being influenced by financial incentives rather than what’s best for you.
Consequently, it’s important to ask a lot of questions and ensure the debt professional is completely transparent about any interests they may have that could affect what they tell you. If they hesitate to do so, it’s a clear sign to go elsewhere.
QUALIFICATIONS AND ACCREDITATION
Just because someone tells you they’re a debt professional doesn’t mean they’re qualified to provide you with the services and advice you need. In Canada, only a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) is qualified and accredited to help you get rid of your debt through legal options such as bankruptcy or consumer proposals.
LITs also follow a strict code of ethics. Therefore, you can rest assured that they’ll act on your behalf and not for their own benefit.
TYPE OF DEBT
You must also consider the type of debt you have and to whom you owe money. For example, if you have a student loan or owe money to the Canada Revenue Agency, only a LIT is qualified and accredited to negotiate with your creditors.
If the debt professional you’re considering insists on charging you for an initial meeting, you should look for someone else. Legitimate and reputable debt professionals offer a free initial consultation to help you determine your needs and explore the options you may have to best deal with your financial difficulties.
The D. & A. MacLeod Company Ltd. team is committed to helping hard-working people get the fresh start they deserve.
OTTAWA’S TRUSTED DEBT PROFESSIONALS
At D. & A. MacLeod Company Ltd., we’ve been helping people get out of debt since 1952. Our team of compassionate licensed insolvency trustees has the expertise to help you realize the financial freedom you deserve. We also provide credit counselling services. Contact us today to make an appointment at a location near you!