Rumanek & Company
Robert Linder may have come to the insolvency industry by way of commercial real estate, but the resulting three decades in the business were no accident.
Back when Robert completed his undergrad at McMaster University and his Master’s at Western, both in urban development, “You couldn’t lose on real estate,” he says. “Prices never went down, interest rates were climbing, and two sets of parents would help their kids get into the market. Then came the collapse of 1989-1990, and you couldn’t give property away.”
His father’s partner was a trustee in bankruptcy, and he hired Robert part-time for about six weeks to help him catch up doing tax returns for bankrupts. After a few months, Robert was still there doing tax returns and starting to take on corporate files.
He asked a lot of questions, read widely – including the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act – and kept an eye on new cases coming through the court, something he recommends to other budding counsellors. His knowledge in real estate, finance, stocks, automotive and other areas was helpful, and he advanced to Estate Manager and began building the extensive network of contacts he maintains today.
Robert later brought those contacts and his growing expertise to another firm, and then Rumanek & Co., a family-run business that has helped more than 40,000 people over two decades. He’s now a BIA Insolvency Counsellor with a strong focus on customer service. “I like to handle files from beginning to end, and I tell clients they can reach me directly any time, not just 9 to 5,” says Robert.
Robert promises an individualized approach, offering down-to-earth debt counselling that retrains clients in how to handle money and helps them work on their personal finances to build affordable monthly budgets.
“No two cases are exactly the same, and I’m trying to give people the best, most honest advice, based on the dollars in front of them,” he explains. “For clients, that means an end to harassing creditor calls, a chance to avoid bankruptcy and a roadmap to a sustainable and stable financial future.”
One challenge Robert sees in the industry is that most often, people don’t realize they need help. “Everyone comes to us way too late, when every resource is used up and they’re starting from zero,” he says. “If they came in a year or two earlier, they might still have some assets and some cash in the bank.”
The main reason most small businesses fail, he adds, is that they don’t keep their records up to date regularly. Individuals, too, should be monitoring all the money coming in and going out at least weekly. A financial check is especially important right now when all outlays are costing us more.
Robert recognizes that it’s easier to spend more money than to spend less, and he finds it fulfilling to help clients out of trouble. “It feels good when someone follows my advice and says it’s totally changed their life, to the point they sleep better at night.”