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Is a Consumer Proposal Right for Me?

A consumer proposal is a Government of Canada federally approved program that allows an individual to make an offer, or proposal, to their creditors to pay back a portion of the debt they owe. This method of debt consolidation must be made via a Licensed Insolvency Trustee as there is no other way to file a consumer proposal. A consumer proposal has become the most popular way to obtain debt relief in Canada.

Benefits

There are several positive factors that occur when a consumer proposal is made.

Dog wonders if car will be lost

As a federally Licensed Insolvency Trustee, we often meet with individuals looking to get relief from their debts and obtain a fresh start. However, in many cases, people have a vehicle that is critical to their future employment or business interests. As a result, there is an obvious concern as to whether their car would be lost to them if they proceeded to get protection from their creditors. The common answer is no, usually you can keep your vehicle, but there are a variety of different scenarios. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of them:

 

Improve your Quarantine Finances

As we collectively seek to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the top recommendations of Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Provincial Government is to stay at home. Many people have been forced off work while others are staying home because of immune system deficiencies. Still others have faced a mandatory quarantine after returning to BC after a trip abroad. This has created an eerie atmosphere with a majority of the population in their homes instead of out and about.

Stockpiling Debt During the Coronavirus

As a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, we are uniquely equipped to communicate with individuals and businesses that are under financial stress. Each day we provide financial counselling and advise people how to acquire help with their debts. After helping thousands of people obtain a fresh start, we understand the best practices for how to deal with debt during a crisis. Obtaining good debt help advice from a debt expert such as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is critical if you are facing more debt than you can handle.

A Good Bookkeeper is Golden

Have you ever tried to find something in the dark? Even if you are in your own home and trying to locate an item in the dark, chances are, you are going to stumble around a little bit, maybe stub your toe, and still not find what you were looking for. In contrast, when there is good lighting, it is much easier and quicker and likely with no pain! Same thing applies when you are trying to make financial decisions without good bookkeeping information. Having good timely bookkeeping allows you to stay on schedule and see exactly what is going on with your numbers.

Collection of lights - all turned on

As we progress into fall and move towards winter, the daylight hours become fewer. Many of you may recall hearing an adult in the household say, “turn the lights off when you are not using them!”. This probably does not carry much urgency unless you are the one paying BC Hydro. Every light left on unnecessarily, and every thermostat turned up just a little bit higher, represents an extra expense that no one needs. While this still might not seem like a big deal, it is a controllable factor that can help a household balance the budget.

Importance of Getting a Discharge - Derek Chase

Making the decision to get protection from your creditors by way of a federally regulated consumer proposal or bankruptcy filing is a big step. The stated goal is to provide the honest but unfortunate person a fresh start with their finances.

In reality, that decision starts you on a pathway to a better place financially that must be walked day by day over a period of time. The end of that pathway is signified by a Certificate of Discharge in a bankruptcy filing or a Certificate of Full Performance in a consumer proposal.

Good Debt vs Bad Debt

Occasionally we hear the concept being discussed whether debt is good debt or bad debt. In a perfect world, the best kind of debt is no debt! However, sometimes debt is necessary in order to make life work. Even our government leaders try to spin taking on debt as an investment as opposed to borrowing.