COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is having powerful impacts on our way of life and our wallets. From increased expenses in obtaining essential supplies, income loss or reduction due to reduced hours and shortages of work, or priorities being focused on supporting family and friends through this difficult time- the economic impacts are significant and will be long lasting.
You’re not alone and Krieger & Company continues to support honest Canadian individuals and businesses trying to navigate through this difficult time. As an essential service, we are fully operational remotely and can handle your financial needs without the need to leave your home. We are focused on relieving the stress your financial obligations bring during this difficult time. That said, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our clients and colleagues.
Note: PSTN (Public-Switched Telephone Networks) are particularly congested right now. If you struggle to reach us by telephone, please ensure you are trying our local number 905-508-8088. Alternately, please reach out to us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our contact form and we will call you back right away.
What we are doing for COVID-19:
- New Clients – As always, our assessment of your financial situation and advice is provided only by a licensed insolvency trustee. Potential clients who reach out to us via telephone and e-mail will have an initial assessment booked via videoconference, rather than an in-person meeting. Government changes due to COVID-19 have allowed our assessment of your financial situation to take place via videoconference. You may be asked to provide some information ahead of the meeting to streamline the process. We are still here to help those who are struggling with their debt through the filing of consumer proposals and bankruptcy.
- Additional Counselling – We have been providing additional counselling sessions, free of charge, to help our clients adjust their personal budgets to their changing circumstances while maintaining proposal payments and other obligations.
- Counselling Sessions – Counselling sessions are essential in navigating this time when your budget may be stressed, as well as to build your credit during a proposal or bankruptcy process. We don’t need to be together in person to have productive conversations. Our counselling sessions will be held via videoconference with a licensed insolvency trustee or licensed insolvency counsellor. Counselling completion forms and worksheets will be prepared during the session and sent to you for electronic signature.
- Meetings of Creditors – The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy has updated their directive to encourage a chair of a meeting of creditors to encourage electronic communication in light of COVID-19. If we are required to call a meeting of creditors, it will be arranged via teleconference unless explicitly requested otherwise by a creditor.
- Payments (generally) – Our bank typically requires us to send a list of payments 5-7 days before the money is drawn from your bank account. To help manage your cash flow, we have arranged to shorten this period to 1-2 business days. Should you need to make changes to your payments due to COVID-19, please do not hesitate to reach out.
- Existing Consumer Proposals – The consumer proposal process provides that you can defer or delay up to three monthly payments prior to your consumer proposal being deemed annulled. Should your proposal be annulled, we will recommend an automatic revival of your proposal if the reason for falling behind is related to COVID-19. It is possible, even after the automatic revival period, to make an application to Court to have the consumer proposal revived. There may also be alternate options such as filing an amended consumer proposal or an assignment in bankruptcy. All of these options will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
It is our hope that, should COVID-19 continue to interrupt our way of life, legislation will extend the default provisions for consumer proposals. [UPDATE: On April 27 2020, Ontario Courts have provided a three month extension for defaults occuring in a consumer proposal.] Should you need to defer or even make partial (reduced) payments, please reach out to us so we can adjust your payment schedules.
- Bankruptcy Discharges – Discharges for compliant and unopposed bankrupts will be issued by Krieger & Company as usual. For discharge hearings which require attendance in court, we confirm that the Court has suspended its non-essential operations due to COVID-19. We will await direction from the Court as to the procedure once its operations resume.
Within our own walls we have:
- Completely closed all of our offices except our Markham trustee office.
- Requested our landlords provide enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols in our open offices to curb the spread of COVID-19
- Maintain staff in our Markham head office only for the receipt of mail and packages, the holding of in-person meetings of creditors when required, and the issuance of dividend cheques.
- Ensured that any in-person meeting of creditors that is required takes place in our largest boardrooms to encourage social distancing. Creditors are asked to participate by telephone when possible.
- Encouraged our staff to work remotely to avoid gathering on public transit or in shared spaces.
We encourage those struggling with debt challenges to be proactive. If you have any questions about navigating this difficult time for both yourself or your business or how Krieger & Company is responding to COVID-19, please contact us at 905.508.8088.
We wish everyone safety and best wishes in this unprecedented time.