What is a conservatory measure?
The Superintendent of Bankruptcy puts in place conservatory measures when a bankruptcy or insolvency estate needs protection. It might be in cases of Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) malfeasance or if serious wrongdoing on the part of a LIT puts estate files at risk. Conservatory measures may also be put in place if a LIT becomes ill or dies without a valid succession agreement. Finally, conservatory measures may be put in place if a LIT, for whatever reason, has allowed the administration of his or her practice to become substandard.
In the matter of:
Michael J Connor, trustee
Connor & Associates Limited, corporate trustee
Directions for Conservatory Measures
(Section 14.03 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act)
Whereas the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act provides the Superintendent of Bankruptcy with the general power to supervise the administration of all estates and matters to which the Act applies;
Whereas Michael J Connor is the holder of an individual licence as trustee in bankruptcy;
Whereas Connor & Associates Limited is the holder of a corporate trustee licence;
Whereas an Audit was conducted in April 2003 and an Audit Report issued on June 25, 2003 by Robert Masse of the National Audit Group relating to the Trustees administration including Taking Possession and Control and Verification of the Statement of Affairs; Asset Realisation and Documentation; Debtor Discharge Process and Surplus Income; Administration of Consumer Proposals; and Inventory of Files an Aging Trend;
Whereas the Audit Report and related materials document serious and repeated deficiencies as follows:
- failure to register Assignments on title to protect estates interest in real property;
- failure to adequately value and realize on bankrupt's interests in real property;
- failure to insure estate assets including real estate, vehicles and other assets;
- failure to verify bankrupt's Statements of Affairs;
- failure to assist debtors in the preparation of their Statements of Affairs with the result that assets and material information are omitted from the Statements of Affairs;
- failure to obtain approval of estate inspectors for actions, including sale of assets and appointment of estate counsel;
- failing to administer bankrupt's discharges in accordance with the Act;
- failure to administer consumer proposals in accordance with the Act, including failing to notify creditors and debtors of deemed annulments of consumer proposals and failure to make distribution to creditors in accordance with the terms of the proposals;
- failing to close open estates in a timely manner.
- accepting voluntary payments from bankrupts subsequent to their discharge contrary to current jurisprudence, and failing to reimburse these amounts to the bankrupts despite requests from the Halifax Division Office to do so;
Whereas Michael J Connor and Connor & Associates Limited are currently under a Professional Conduct investigation;
Whereas the Superintendent of Bankruptcy has delegated to the undersigned, in accordance with subsection 14.01(2) of the Act, in certain situations mentioned in subsection 14.03(2), the Superintendent's powers as specified at subsection 14.03 (1) of the Act, copies of which delegation are attached;
Whereas given the information above I have reasonable grounds to believe that the estate files require protection;
Whereas subsections 14.03(1)d) and (2)b) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act apply;
I, Ann Speers, in my capacity as delegate for the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, direct:
The Official Receiver not to appoint Michael Connor or Connor & Associates Limited to administer any new estates.
These directions take effect immediately and will remain in effect until further notice or until a decision is rendered under section 14.01 of the Act;
In accordance with subsection 14.03(3) of the Act, these directions bind their addressee, who must comply with them.
In accordance with subsection 14.03(4) of the Act, a person who complies with these directions is not liable for any act done only to comply with them
Signed, in the City of Toronto, Ontario,
Senior Analyst, Disciplinary Affairs
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