After your consumer proposal has been filed, the creditors have 45 days to respond to the Licensed Insolvency Trustee. They can either:
- vote for,
- against or
- abstain from voting.
On the 46th day, the trustee will review the votes and determine, based on the votes received, if the consumer proposal has been accepted.
- If the majority of the voting creditors have voted for the proposal, the consumer proposal is accepted.
But what happens if creditors vote against?
The first thing the trustee will do is to add up the against votes.
- If there are less than 25% of the votes against the consumer proposal, the consumer proposal still passes.
- If there are 25% or more voting against, and the creditors have requested it, there is a meeting of creditors.
The meeting is held even if the majority of creditors have voted for the consumer proposal.
- If the majority of creditors have voted against the consumer proposal, the trustee looks to see if the creditors have made counter offers.
For instance, the debtor may have offered to pay $200 per month for 36 months, and the creditors want $200 per month for 48 months. The trustee will let the debtor know about the counter offer and they can decide if they want to accept it. The trustee can help you review the pros and cons of either accepting, rejecting or making a counter offer.
How often do creditors vote against?
I reviewed 1,036 consumer proposal filed recently in our Windsor office. Of those 105 had sufficient against vote to require a meeting of creditors. Of those only 3 ended up not passing. It is also interesting to note that of the 105 meetings, 49 of these were requested by the same big bank creditor.
What is the trustee’s role during the voting period?
During the voting period our role is communicate with both you and the creditor. To illustrate, I will use the example of Tom and June (not their real names). They struggled when her income went down after 2 maternity leaves and in a few months she will be off on maternity leave again. They had $62,000 in debt, most of it with the same bank. They filed a consumer proposal offering $18,000. Big bank rejected it but advised they would accept $40,000. We advised Tom and June of this, but they could not afford the counter offer. They fine-tuned their budget some more and counter offered $30,000, and asked that we remind the bank that she will be off work for maternity leave. We gave this information to the bank, and they accepted the proposal with payments totalling $30,000.
The 45 day waiting period can be stressful as you are waiting to hear if the consumer proposal was accepted. However, your trustee will communicate with you during the process and they are the intermediary between you and the creditors.
This article was written by Rebecca Martyn, Licensed Insolvency Trustee with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.