IF you’re experiencing that “yikes!” moment where it seems near-impossible
to make debt payments, Bryan Gelman can help. He’ll find ways to ease,
reduce or even eliminate your debt, including income tax debt.
His business focuses on the insolvency and restructuring of small to
medium size companies and individuals, who need assistance to reduce debt, stop interest, and stop collection calls from creditors.
As a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Bryan and his team of Trustees are
qualified to review your case in detail - your budget, assets, debts, credit - present all of the options available to you, and help you to choose the best option that fits your unique financial circumstances.
He and his company are involved with accountants, tax practitioners and other professionals to support them in understanding the value that they can provide to their clients, with a better understanding of the insolvency rules and regulations.
Bryan is regularly called upon to speak to groups of accountants and lawyers. Last year for example he was selected to present at the Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference, sponsored by TorontoJobs.ca, Microsoft and other major household names. The presentation focused on wealth preservation planning and the benefits of using a proposal process to assist
a business who lost their main customer and needed to reduce their debt.
My Business Magazine caught up with Bryan to ask him all about the various options available to those with debt difficulties, and the unique qualities of his company ...
MBM: What kind of services do you offer?
Bryan: We provide solutions to financial problems for businesses and individuals. People can file a bankruptcy with our office, but often times individuals and business owners would choose to rather settle their debts not by paying it in full, but giving creditors - people that are owed money - more money than they would get if they went bankrupt. So it’s like a midpoint.
This process is available for an individual or a business. We provide solutions that give people with a fresh start. One way or another, our clients get a fresh start.
MBM: Give an example. Somebody who comes to you and says “I’ve got all these debts. How do I make them all go away?"
Bryan: I could give you an example of an individual who is a doctor, assessed for having very substantial tax debt, and ultimately through the process of a proposal we were able to significantly reduce the tax debt and other debts to an amount that she could pay monthly over a five year period.
It’s not always five years but in this case it was. And the benefit for this particular client is that she understands what her payments will be. She can afford them through the budgeting process that we go through. The last thing we want is for someone to commit to a plan that they can’t afford. So we work together with our clients to develop a very detailed business and/or personal budget analysis, and ultimately come up with a number that they can afford. From the creditors’ perspective, the people that are owed money, they’re getting more than they would get if she went bankrupt, with more certainty.
MBM: Could you arrange for a lump sum?
Somebody says ‘I have $75,000 in debt, $7,000 in the bank - could you just take it and wipe everything away?’
Bryan: Yes, you can. You can create hybrid type agreements where there’s a lump sum payment and monthly payments combined. In contrast to a bankruptcy, where things are uncertain, these settlements, called proposals, provide certainty for everybody - certainty for the client, and certainty for the creditors.
MBM: Do you find this happening more and more?
Bryan: The industry trend is that the numbers are generally going down compared to a couple of years ago. But we continue to see more clients each year in our own business, because we react quickly to our clients’ needs, and pay particular attention to the relationships we’ve built with our professional network since our inception. When you deal with our company, you deal with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee from beginning to end. And because of that, you get a very high level of service.
Compared to many of our competitors, we are a small business and we want to stay that way because it allows us to provide a personal experience to our clients and work in collaboration with our team to adjust to different situations
and industries. Because our business is small, we are very responsive and can quickly handle tasks as there is no red tape. Our clients appreciate this about our business.
“We figure out the solution for the client, and we implement it right away”.
MBM: Is someone’s assets all going to be yanked from underneath them if they go into a consumer proposal?
Bryan: In a consumer proposal, you keep your assets. When we meet the client, we go through a detailed analysis, what assets they have and what liabilities they have. We then talk to them about their options. For instance, if the client has a life insurance policy, we figure out before they file with us
whether they get to keep the policy or not if they were to go bankrupt. We do this to provide our clients with a transparent and realistic expectation of the pros and cons of each option. With a consumer proposal, we assess how much they can pay their creditors, in regular installments, in order to keep their assets.
MBM: We’re talking about financial investment; what is the time investment with you?
Bryan: We meet with clients for the time that is needed to determine the facts, discuss options and a go- forward strategy. In some cases it can take 45 minutes and in other more sophisticated cases it can take several hours. It
all depends what their assets and liabilities are and what the circumstances that led up to difficulties. One thing we aim for is to be efficient with people’s time. Most individuals and business owners don’t love going through these challenges, so we aim to solve their problems quickly and get them moving
towards a fresh financial start.
MBM: What do you typically see when people first walk in the door?
Bryan: People feel like they’re alone, no matter what the situation is. In most cases, they’ve never done this before, or they have, and they find themselves with anxiety. And what they soon realize when they meet with us, is that we
explain things in a very simple way that they can understand, and usually when the unknowns are taken out of the equation, people’s anxieties go down. Now they understand that this might not be as much of a challenge as they thought. They do see the light at the end of the tunnel, the weight is lifted off their shoulders, and then we work together to come up with a solution and implement it.
MBM: What is your background and what do you bring to the table from your experience?
Bryan: I came from a very hardworking family of business owners. My mother and father owned and operated a retail store in the flowing industry. As a young kid, I was always at the store selling carpets on the sidewalk of Bloor
Starting my business from scratch wasn’t an easy task, but it has been a goal of mine for some time. I have a great business partner which is critical to any business. As a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, I’m able to be a professional with a license to practice, but also be an entrepreneur, and have a business that I can build together with my team. We’ve grown significantly in the last five years since we started operating.
We grew from one office in Richmond Hill, to having our head office in downtown Toronto, and now having four other offices including Mississauga, Scarborough, and North York. We now also provide Business Valuation and forensic accounting services.
I’ve got a drive in me that I think just comes from seeing my parents, and how hard they worked in their business.
Our goal is to continue building a company that focuses on team collaboration and adjusting to the needs of the client.
MBM: What are you most proud of?
Bryan: The great thing is our collaboration - with tax lawyers, tax accountants, regular accountants, financial advisers. We recognize that we’re basically an extension of their brand. We are not an accounting firm, so this allows us
to be independent from accountants who refer us business. We work hard to achieve great results, which has a positive impact on the clients, but also on the person who referred them to us. And because of the amount of referrals that we get from different types of lawyers, accountants and professionals, we have great experience in a diverse range of industries, including construction, retail and service businesses.
We are a very strong, transparent and strategic team! That feeling of strategy
and and corporate goals resonates throughout our organization. And ultimately it resonates right to the client level.
We cater to the needs of the client, not the other way around.
Dave Gordon has penned more than a thousand articles, and more than five hundred editorials, on every topic imaginable. He writes regularly on domestic and international politics, current events, culture, relationship issues, and much more.
He has spent time in the newsrooms of the Toronto Sun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, National Post and eye Weekly.
ALBERT GELMAN INC.
100 Simcoe Street, Suite 125
Toronto, Ontario M5H 3G2
Tel 416-504-1650 ext 115
Bryan Gelman, CIRP, Licensed Insolvency Trustee