how to become a licensed insolvency trustee

Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LIT) are licensed through the federal government. Many are accountants by trade and have specialized in debt management. They have completed an extensive program of training and examination. 

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi watched her father, Leigh Taylor, work as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee as she grew up. She saw how he helped people manage their debt and how it changed their lives. Jillian realized that she too wanted to be able to do the same. She received her Licensed Insolvency Trustee designation in 2007.

In this podcast, Jillian describes what her job entails. She also talks about:

  • What a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is and what they do
  • What kind of experience and qualifications are required
  • What happens in an initial consultation with a Trustee
  • What kind of people become clients
  • What makes this job a worthwhile profession

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are federally regulated and are the only debt professionals with access to all debt relief options. They can help you take control of your debt.

Wayne Kay  0:03  

Welcome to the Debt Matters podcast where we help Canadians find solutions to their debt with Licensed Insolvency Trustees from across Canada. What is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee? You’re going to find out today on the show. 

My name is Wayne and I’ve been around doing the show for quite a while now. And it’s always interesting to me to learn so much about Licensed Insolvency Trustees, how they work and how they help so many Canadians. 

My guest today is Jillian Taylor-Mancusi from LCTaylor Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Winnipeg, and they have an office in Kenora. We’re going to talk about what it’s like – a day in the life, if you will, of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. 

Hi, Jillian. This is all about you. But I have got to admit, I didn’t understand what LITs were, how they worked and how they were regulated. And so to find out so much information about what you do, I think is critical for people who are in financial difficulties. So first off, what exactly is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  1:19  

A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is the new name for what used to be called a Trustee in Bankruptcy. Now what we do is we meet with people and companies who are having financial difficulty and find solutions to their debt problems.

Wayne Kay  1:38  

Okay, and the most important piece of this puzzle is you’re licensed by the federal government.

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  1:47  

Right. It’s a long process, if you will, to become a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. First, you generally need a university background. Sometimes people have an accounting designation as well. And then you have to go through an articling program that’s put together by our association. That is definitely not easy. 

There’s three levels to it. And then you have to complete a national exam. Obviously, there’s exams after each level, then they have something called the National insolvency exam. Once you pass that, then you have to go before an oral board that’s put out by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. That will have a panel of your peers, a lawyer, an accountant, somebody from Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, that basically grill you to make sure that you know your stuff, and that you’re not you’re not going to falter on on any of the answers or your ethics so that you can become a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

Wayne Kay  2:51  

When did you first decide that this might be the profession for me?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  2:55  

My story might be a little bit different than others because I grew up with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. My dad is Leigh Taylor and he’s been a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for as long as I can remember. 

So being in a small company at the time when I can first start remembering, my sister and I would go to the office if he was working overtime or on a weekend and amuse ourselves. He would be working and so we found out a lot about Bankruptcies. They didn’t have Consumer Proposals then but receiverships and corporate Bankruptcies, if you will. Just by being there and hearing how he was helping people and getting people back on track. 

So we would go into the office, and we would pretend that we were different employees in the office, hearing what they were talking about. So that’s how I first heard about the profession. 

And as you’re growing up, you don’t want to do the same thing as your parents. So I tried many different avenues after I finished university. Then I was thinking about it when they had an opening at the office here, and I think this is something that I would really like to do. 

I could see the joy that he had in helping people either by getting a corporation back on track or figuring a way to solve their problems, or just helping people. And it’s interesting when it’s a pretty small, big town, if you will. And you know, we could be at the grocery store and somebody would be like, Hey Leigh, I still remember what you told me – such and such. Or I appreciate you helping me – I was finally able to put my kids through college and it’s all because of how you helped me get back on track. 

And to hear people say things like that to your father, you’re like, wow, he’s a hero. And when I finished university, I thought – you know what, that’s something that I’d really like to explore, because I’d really like to have that sense of pride in helping people.

Wayne Kay  5:15  

And I think it must be quite something, even now when people walk into the office the first time they walk in, and that’s a free consultation – which we’ll give you the details of at the end of this podcast. They walk in, and they are probably nervous, but probably a little embarrassed. And all of a sudden you talk to them, and you just see the stress kind of fall away. They feel for once, there’s hope.

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  5:41  

Yes definitely, that really does explain it. And that’s something that – I’ve been here for 25 years, and you know, meeting people, it doesn’t change. They come in, and they’re upset, and they’re stressed out, and they just don’t want to be there. And they don’t want to talk about this. But by the time that they leave, and you can provide them with a solution, you can see the weight lifted off their chest, they leave happier. And sometimes, people will be upset, they’ll be crying, and you’ve given them a solution.

Wayne Kay  6:13  

And that’s what it’s about. And especially after all these years of having Licensed Insolvency Trustees and Trustees in Bankruptcy before that. I think there’s a lot of people now who can say, Okay, if you’re in a financial situation, here’s what I recommend, go talk to an LIT, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Has the profession kind of been what you expected when you started out?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  6:40  

You know, I think it’s been an even more rewarding profession – more rewarding career than when I started out. Because you kind of have an idea of what you’re getting into when you talk to people and you work your way through to get your license. But it’s more than that. It’s something that you think about a lot, you think about all the time, and it’s things that you don’t even necessarily didn’t know that you would think about. 

Let me give you an example. When I first started doing this, one of the things that people have to do is keep track of their income and expenses every month and submit that to the Trustee in a Bankruptcy. And at first, I didn’t do it. And then I thought you know, if I’m going to start preaching this to people, I’d better start paying attention to doing it myself. 

It was a real eye opener. Little things like, how much you spend on a can of Coke or how much do you spend when you go to Starbucks. You add that up and the amount that you spend on certain things in a month. It’s astonishing. Newspaper, I was buying a newspaper every day. I didn’t read the newspaper every day. So why am I spending this amount of money on a newspaper when I could be using it for something else?

Wayne Kay  7:53  

Yes, that’s amazing. So you found once you started walking the walk and talking the talk, everything kind of fit better.

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  8:01  

Right, exactly. So there’s a lot a lot to be learned by paying attention and practicing what you preach.

Wayne Kay  8:09  

Well, and then they would see that anybody who’s dealing with you would understand well, okay, she’s gone through something – she’s doing the same thing we had to do, or we have to do.

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  8:18  

Yes, exactly. And I think that makes them feel better. Because really, people who are going bankrupt or filing Consumer Proposals aren’t any different from you or I. They just have had something bad happen to them. Either they got sick, or they lost their job, or they’ve come upon an addiction or a spending problem. So when people realize that everybody is a person, and everybody can make a mistake, or have a bad thing happen to them, I think that really makes them more comfortable.

Wayne Kay  8:49  

Absolutely. I think so. When they realize and it’s not a certain demographic of people, it literally can happen to anybody at any age.

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  9:00  

Yes, definitely. You know, we get people who are 18,19 years old, who have fallen into the credit card trap. They hand out the credit card applications at the universities, to people who are retired and are having a difficult time adjusting to a lower income, to people who’ve, unfortunately become sick or lost a spouse, or a marriage breakup. So it hits everybody.

Wayne Kay  9:26  

What do you feel is like the best thing about working in this industry?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  9:29  

The best thing about working in this industry is – just sounds like a broken record, but it really is helping people and giving them solutions to their problems,

Wayne Kay  9:38  

Would you change anything?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  9:40  

Pre COVID, people would have to come into the office. You’d sit down with them and go over their situations. Since COVID, and rightly so, because COVID was a bad illness a lot of things moved to telephone appointments and zoom appointments. 

I would really like to get back to having people come into the office so that you can have that one on one session with somebody. It’s a lot different when you’re talking to somebody in person than if you’re talking to them over the phone. You can really bond with somebody, understand their situation, and really give them options and make them feel better. Whereas on the phone, they’re watching their kids or the dogs outside, or they’re trying to, you know, make our coffee. So they’re not always paying attention. And I think if it’s something like getting your finances back on track and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is really something that they should focus on, because it’s an important situation.

Wayne Kay  10:43  

You’re absolutely right. Now I would love for you to walk us through a typical meeting. First, somebody schedules with you, they go on the website, and they can get a free consultation. By the way, this is something that is provided by Licensed Insolvency Trustees. So if you go to, you can get yourself scheduled for a free consultation. Can you walk me through what happens with these consultations?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  11:14  

Definitely. I’ll talk about when somebody comes into the office, because those are my favorites. So when somebody comes into the office, they’re going to be greeted by our receptionist. We also happen to have an emotional support dog in our office, Teddy. You might be greeted by Teddy as well. He’s an adorable little puppy. And for somebody who’s having a bad day, because they’re having to come in and talk to a Trustee about their finances, having a cute little dog to cuddle and hold can really help go a long way. So we do find that Teddy’s really, he’s a valued employee. 

So then the Trustee or the estate manager will go to meet with them. And we’re going to start by really bombarding them with questions because we really want to get an idea of where they’re at. We want to know everything from their marital status, whether or not they have children, how many they have. Do they have to pay child support or alimony? What kind of medical expenses do they have? Is that taking a good chunk of their income? 

Find out a little bit about them in their situation, and then go through the debt. Who they owe, how much, what kind of assets they may or may not have, so that we can really get a really good sense of their situation. And then provide them with some options. 

Every situation is different, every person’s scenario is different. So there’s always a little twist, or an option that would really work well, for this person. Not so good for this person, maybe a different option is a better idea for them. I think that the key in a consultation is finding out about the person, their lifestyle, what they spend money on, then determining what they want to accomplish.

Wayne Kay  13:03  

And do you find most people have that information at hand?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  13:07  

Yes, they do. And if they don’t, when you’re just talking to somebody, they know that information. Sometimes they get a little nervous, because you say, I’d like a list of who you owe, how much is your pay stub. But the rest of the information people know already. They know how much they’re spending on their rent or how much they’re spending on their utilities, particularly when they’re in this situation, because they’re really trying to see where they can come up with the money. And sometimes they just need a little hand to be like, You know what, you can really do it by doing this, this and this.

Wayne Kay  13:41  

Okay, so then you sit down for the initial meeting, and then you decide, okay, we need to do the next step. What does that look like? Each person has a different plan?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  13:52  

Under the Bankruptcy Insolvency Act there’s Bankruptcies, there’s Consumer Proposals. Sometimes budgeting will help. Sometimes, we can give them some information with regards to how to deal with a lot of equity in their home. 

There’s different scenarios that we see options that we can come up with depending on the situation. But if they decide that a Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal is the best bet for them, then the next appointment is making an appointment to sign the papers. Sometimes if you want to do it right then and there, we can get everything typed up and ready for you. But you will definitely want to take a night to sleep on it. Come back another day and we’ll get those papers signed.

Wayne Kay  14:32  

So it’s not that they have to sign anything right there when they walk in. I’m surprised that it happens that fast. It’s that quick to put the papers in. I guess that’s the start of the process of Consumer Proposals or Bankruptcy. Okay, so then what happens?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  14:53  

Once the papers are signed, then we register them with the official receiver which is Industry Canada. And that’s when your process starts. So if it’s a proposal, for example, what a proposal is, is a debt repayment plan where you offer to pay the creditors back either in full or a percentage of what is owed to them. You propose it to the creditors, and they get an opportunity to vote on whether or not they would accept it. And they get 45 days for that voting period. So once you register those documents, that’s when the 45 day voting period starts. 

Wayne Kay  15:23  

Can you explain this to me? So let’s say it’s $10,000, that I owe a creditor. You can then do a Consumer Proposal where you say, Wayne’s only gonna pay – he can only pay $4,000. Is that right?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  15:39  

Yes. It can either be a settlement where you offer to pay a percentage of what’s owed, or sometimes, depending on the situation, you can make a plan where you’re going to pay the whole amount back. And the reason you can do that sometimes is because the interest is going to stop on the proposal.

Wayne Kay  15:54  

Okay, how do you pick which one is best?

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  15:57  

It depends on the individual circumstances. So generally speaking, a proposal is going to cost a little bit more and take a little bit longer than a Bankruptcy. So if you have the cash flow that can support a proposal, well, it’s always best to try and pay your debts back. So a debt settlement or proposal, it can be the way to go. 

Another time you might want to do a proposal over a Bankruptcy is if you have an asset that you want to protect. So for example, you have equity in your home, that you don’t want to lose in a Bankruptcy, but you can incorporate that into your repayment plan under the proposal.

Wayne Kay  16:34  

Okay. All right, that explains what the other option was. So you could do the Consumer Proposal – here’s what you’re offering, or the other option is Bankruptcy.

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  16:48  

A Bankruptcy can last 9 or 21 months. Nine if it’s your first filing. Sometimes people have to file more than once, and then it can be 24 months or 36 months. The difference in the number of months depends on how much money you earn. So if you earn more money, then you could be in Bankruptcy longer. If you earn less money, then you can be in Bankruptcy for a shorter period of time. 

Then once you go bankrupt, and you file the assignment, there’s certain duties that you have to do. I’ve kind of talked before about things like these income expense reports that you have to fill out. So you’re going to write down all the money coming in everywhere you spend it. So that we can make sure that you’re making the right payments and based on your income. As well, we’re going to watch to see where you’re spending, we don’t want you to have an alcohol problem or gambling problem. 

If you have any kind of addiction, we want to make sure that that gets dealt with before you get discharged or released from your Bankruptcy. There’s two mandatory counseling sessions in both the Consumer Proposal and the Bankruptcy. And then things like income tax, we’re going to file your income tax. So there’s, there’s a little bit more homework in a Bankruptcy than in a proposal.

Wayne Kay  17:57  

But that’s okay. I really wanted to understand all the steps. I think it is great that you could share your story of why you got into it and what it’s like day to day. But then really sharing with people that you know what you go through, how you became who you are and what they can expect when they walk in the door. And I love it because of Teddy,

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  18:20  

He’s definitely an asset.

Wayne Kay  18:22  

I would think so. Well, I think that’s it for time. That’s all we have time for for today’s show. Any final words of wisdom you’d like to share with us regarding this? 

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi  18:32  

No, I don’t think so. Thanks for letting me share my story.

Wayne Kay  18:36  

I really appreciate it, Julian. Thanks very much. My guest today, Jillian Taylor-Mancusi. Once again, we talked about the free consultation. You can sign up with LCTaylor Licensed Insolvency Trustee by going to their website

And that is it for today’s Debt Matters podcast. Make sure you subscribe wherever you get your favorite podcasts from and of course for more information you can always check out Thanks for listening.

About Jillian Taylor-Mancusi

Jillian is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Manitoba and Northern Ontario. She has been working in the insolvency field since 1992. A member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP), Jillian also serves as chair for Dressage Winnipeg.

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