In addition to the debtor and the creditors, there are a number of important players involved in the administration of bankruptcies. Their respective roles will be discussed in greater detail elsewhere in the book.58The purpose of this discussion is to provide a brief introduction of their titles and roles within the bankruptcy proceeding.
The trustee in bankruptcy is the person who is responsible for assembling and liquidating the assets of the bankrupt estate, reviewing the proof of claims, and distributing the proceeds to creditors whose proofs of claims have been allowed. The trustee is required to complete certain steps, such as calling the first meeting of creditors and the submission of reports to the court and to the superintendent in bankruptcy. A trustee in bankruptcy is not a government official. The trustee is a private-sector actor who is licensed by the superintendent in bankruptcy. The trustee in bankruptcy is an officer of the court and owes a fiduciary obligation to the creditors and to the bankrupt.
The Office of the Superintendent in Bankruptcy is responsible for supervising the administration of bankrupt estates. The OSB licenses trustees to administer estates. In order to obtain a licence, a trustee must complete a three-year qualification course administered by the OSB and the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP).59The
OSB investigates complaints from debtors, creditors, or the public concerning fraud, incompetence, or wrongdoing within the insolvency system. The OSB can also set standards of conduct for trustees through the issuance of directives. Finally, the OSB maintains a registry system that provides a record of insolvency proceedings in Canada.
The official receiver is a federal civil servant employed by the OSB. A debtor who wishes to declare bankruptcy voluntarily must file an assignment in bankruptcy with the official receiver. The official receiver appoints the trustee on the assignment. In both voluntary and involuntary bankruptcies, the official receiver examines bankrupts under oath as to their conduct and the causes of the bankruptcy, and will chair the first meeting of creditors or nominate...