Taking precautions to avoid scams and frauds is another way to protect your assets against financial abuse. Hustlers are constantly coming up with new scams to deceive elderly people. It is important to never respond to e-mail, phone or door-to-door offers from people or groups you do not know. Most often, if an offer seems too good to be true, one can assume it is. Protect your personal information–reputable organizations will not e-mail, write or call and ask you to confirm information about your bank account or financial affairs. Financial abuse is illegal and/or unauthorized use of your money or property, or pressure on you for use of your money or property.
Unfortunately and sadly, abusers are often people in positions of power in your life, such as a family member, caregiver or someone you live with. If you think you may be the victim of financial abuse, a fraud or a scam, do not feel ashamed and you are not at fault–many people are in the same situation and it is important you do not stay silent. Tell someone you trust about what is going on and how you are being treated and take precautions. If you do not feel you can trust anyone or do not feel comfortable talking to someone you know, you can report financial abuse and/or fraud to the police.
I just got married and I was wondering if I am responsible for my partner’s old debts? The short answer is no. Just because you married each other, this does not mean that you have any liability to pay anything from your partner’s old debts. The old debts were his/hers before you got married – the liability to pay the old debts does not change. A word of caution. Do not sign anything that commits you to pay anything against your partner’s debts and do not request or accept a spousal credit card from your new partner. Keep your finances separate.
In most consumer bankruptcies, where the net realizable assets are under $15,000, the trustee proceeds under what is called the “Summary Administration” provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Those provisions allow the trustee to cut costs in the administration. For example, instead of sending notices to creditors by registered mail, the trustee is permitted to send notices by ordinary post. Likewise, for publication in newspapers. In Summary Administrations, there is generally no obligation upon the trustee to publish notice of the bankruptcy in a newspaper.
However, if the assets exceed $15,000, then the estate is administered under the ordinary provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. In that case, there must be a notice published in a local newspaper in the area in which the consumer debtor resides. The notice in the newspaper advises the public that there has been a bankruptcy, whether by assignment or by receiving order and that the first meeting of creditors is set for a certain date. It also advises creditors that they may file their proofs of claim on or before the meeting.
Within five days of bankruptcy, the trustee must prepare a notice to creditors if there is going to be a meeting of creditors. If the trustee cannot compile the list within that time, the trustee must obtain an order extending the time to call a meeting of creditor.