Directive No. 33, Trustee Designation and Advertising

Questions or Complaints?

Questions relating to the Directive should be sent to the OSB Regulatory Affairs team. Any case of misrepresentation or non-compliance with the Directive should be referred to OSB’s Service Centre at the following phone number: 1-877-376-9902.

Issued: December 2, 2015


1. In this Directive,

“advertise”, “advertising” or “advertisements” means any message, by or on behalf of a licensed trustee promoting services under the BIA or other insolvency-related services regardless of the medium, including, but not limited to, advertisements on television, radio, in print, on the Internet and also includes banners, pop-up messages and websites;

“BIA” means the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act;

“communications” or “representations” means all written material, action or speech from or by a licensed trustee with regard to any matter covered by the BIA, including, but not limited to, business cards, letters, faxes, emails, signature blocks and public appearances;

“Licensed Insolvency Trustee” (LIT) means a trustee or licensed trustee, as defined in section 2 of the BIA;

“OSB” means the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy;

“person” means a person as defined in section 2 of the BIA.


2. This Directive is issued pursuant to the authority of paragraphs 5(4)(b) and (c) of the BIA.


3. This Directive:

(a) adopts “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” (LIT) as the professional designation used by the OSB to identify a trustee holding a valid licence issued by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy pursuant to section 13 of the BIA;

(b) facilitates the identification of a licensed trustee by requiring the use of the professional designation in all communications or representations made by licensed trustees pursuant to the BIA as well as communications made by the OSB; and,

(c) establishes requirements and professional standards that apply to any and all advertising by a licensed trustee.

Requirement to Use the Professional Designation


4. Licensed trustees shall identify themselves using the professional designation “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” or the acronym “LIT” in all communications or representations falling within the purview of a licensed trustee under the BIA.

Administrative Communications

5. The requirements set out in paragraph 4 of this Directive apply in addition to the requirements of section 15 of the BIA, which describe the form of phrase and name to be used by a licensed trustee when acting on behalf of a bankrupt or debtor, through BIA Forms and court documents relating to a specific insolvency proceeding.

Exception for Non-insolvency Roles

6. Business cards and signature blocks (whether paper or electronic) of a licensed trustee are excepted from the application of paragraph 4 of this Directive if those cards are not used to communicate or make representations regarding insolvency-related services or engagements and do not include reference to insolvency qualifications.



7. Any person using the designation “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” (LIT) who is not a licensed trustee may be found guilty of an offence under paragraph 202(1)(a) of the BIA, which is punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine or imprisonment or both.

Unauthorized Use of the Professional Designation

8. No licensed trustee or other person shall seek ownership, protections, or rights, either directly or indirectly (including via Internet domain names or otherwise), of any usage of the designation “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” (LIT) or similar terms, excepting as permitted under the consent agreement with the Superintendent of Bankruptcy as described in paragraph 14 of this Directive.

Requirements and Professional Standards for Advertising by Licensed Insolvency Trustees

Consumer Advertising Requirements

9. A licensed trustee shall include the complete form of the designation “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” in a legible font at least once in all advertising directed at, or appearing to solicit, consumer clients. Additional references to the professional designation in the same advertisement may appear in full and/or by way of the acronym “LIT.”

Advertising Insolvency Services

10. Provided that all requirements of this Directive are fully satisfied, a licensed trustee may also make reference in their advertisements to BIA services that they are authorized to provide.

Professional Standards

11. No advertisements, communications or representations shall contain information that:

(a) is not demonstrably true, accurate or verifiable;

(b) is misleading, confusing or deceptive, or likely to mislead, confuse or deceive;

(c) is not in the best interests of the public nor consistent with a high standard of professionalism;

(d) refers to the licensed trustee as a “specialist” in a specific type of insolvency appointment;

(e) contravenes professional good taste or fails to uphold professional courtesy; or

(f) reflects unfavourably on the competence or integrity of any licensed trustee.

12. Subject to the provisions of this Directive, the BIA and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency General Rules, advertisements and communications may include information regarding fees, disbursements, asset realization, contributions or payments by a debtor.

13. Licensed trustees may advertise free preliminary or initial consultations.


Consent Agreement

14. Prior to using the professional designation “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” (LIT), a licensed trustee is required to sign a consent agreement in the form provided and submit it to the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

Licence Condition

15. Failure to conform to the requirements of this Directive or the conditions of the consent agreement with the Superintendent may be treated as non-compliance with a licensing condition.


16. Licensed trustees shall retain copies of documents sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the conditions set out in this Directive for a minimum duration of twenty-four (24) months. Copies of these documents shall be provided to the OSB upon request.

Coming into Force

Effective Date

17. As of April 1, 2016, this Directive becomes effective and replaces Directive No. 29R2, Advertising by Trustees.

Use of Designation Prior to Effective Date

18. Prior to April 1, 2016, use of the professional designation “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” (LIT) is permitted subject to the completion and submission of the consent agreement described in paragraph 14 of this Directive, and provided that such use is otherwise consistent with the provisions of the existing Directive No. 29R2, Advertising by Trustees.

Transition Period after Effective Date

19. Between April 1, 2016 and April 1, 2017, continued use of the previous term “Trustee in Bankruptcy” is permitted in a manner otherwise consistent with the provisions of this Directive.

William R. James
Superintendent of Bankruptcy