Tag Archives: Bankruptcy Trustees


Keeping Your Assets Covered

Whether it’s your home, your car, your furniture or even your winning personality, we’ve all got assets.  Most of us also have some debts.  Quite often when people fall into financial trouble they first consider using what assets they have as a way to get out of debt.  Unfortunately this may not be the best solution – read on to find out why:

We made a good investment with our home, why not use the equity in it?  While using the equity you may have accumulated in your home to secure a loan to consolidate your debt may be an option for some, it should be done with caution.  You’ll want to make sure the repayment terms are affordable, and also that whatever circumstances caused the debt are resolved.  You’ll only have so much equity to borrow against before you’re just breaking even.  It’s also a good idea to bear in mind that if the housing market experiences a downturn, or interest rates increase, those payments can become unmanageable.

I’m not using my RRSPs for anything else, shouldn’t I pay my debt with them?  Habitually withdrawing from RRSPs to fill the income and expense gap is usually a sign of a larger issue.  If irregular income, or constantly being short for living costs is causing you to make withdrawals to meet debt obligations, seek help from a licensed debt restructuring professional.  RRSPs are meant to be funds strategically set aside for retirement.  If you withdraw large portions, or even just continually deplete them, while you may not miss them right now, come retirement you could be facing hardship.

Isn’t this what my emergency funds are for?  Just like with RRSPs, relying on savings to meet your day-to-day living expenses is a sign that something’s not working with your budget.  Sit down and look at the numbers:  Are you being realistic with your expense estimates?  Have you forgotten to account for irregular expenses?  Is your income fluctuating too much?  Unless it really is a one-time unplanned for emergency, it’s generally best to leave the money in the bank and work on re-balancing your ongoing costs.

I’m in good health so I don’t really need my life insurance policy, right?  Life insurance policies can be complicated things.  Depending on the type of policy you have, there may be options to borrow against the cash surrender value that accumulates on your policy, or you may be able to withdraw that value outright.  Be sure that you won’t inadvertently cancel the policy, leaving nothing for your loved ones, whom you probably got the policy for in the first place.

I think I’m headed towards bankruptcy, so I may as well… Think a bankruptcy or consumer proposal will mean giving up all your assets?  Think again!  Provincial exemptions allow people to retain the majority of their assets, if not all of them – even things like RRSPs and home equity.  If you do happen to have some assets above and beyond the exemptions it still doesn’t automatically equal a loss of those assets – there are options within a bankruptcy or consumer proposal that allow you to retain those assets.  We will assist you in explaining those processes in detail.

Before you rush off to your local realtor’s office or hurry to start redeeming your RRSPs make sure you’ve got all the facts at hand.  You’ve worked hard to earn your possessions and there are provisions in place to help you protect them.  Knowing is not owing!

To find out more about debt options available to you, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.


Sands & Associates Welcomes Cindy Wortley!

Sands & Associates is pleased to welcome Insolvency Estate Manager Cindy Wortley to our team.  Cindy brings over 20 years of insolvency and restructuring experience, including 15 years with a national professional service and chartered accounting firm and she is also enrolled in the CAIRP (Trustee) qualification program.  Cindy is available to assist individuals in resolving their financial difficulties in our Burnaby, Langley and Vancouver offices.

Founded in 1990 and operating from eleven offices throughout the lower mainland, Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of licensed Proposal Administrators and Bankruptcy Trustees.  Sands & Associates has more than 50 people available to help with financial solutions for both individuals and small businesses.  We believe our non-judgmental, empathetic approach to assisting those with financial struggles sets us apart and has helped us become the Proposal Administrator and Trustee firm of choice within BC, as well as Consumer Choice Award winners for three years running.

To meet with Cindy Wortley, or another representative from Sands & Associates in person, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.


Sands & Associates Presents: WFC Starting XI Fan Vote!

Sands & Associates, BC’s largest firm of licensed Proposal Administrators and Trustees, is pleased to announce the WFC Starting XI as voted by fans, presented by Sands & Associates.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC fans can make their pick on who will be starting XI for a chance to win a VIP experience for four, including a tour of the training facility, a meet and greet with Carl Robinson and tickets to the October 25th match.  Click here to make your picks for entry.

To learn more about how Sands & Associates can assist you with your debts, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 11 lower mainland offices.


Sands & Associates Featured Office: Chilliwack

Residents of Chilliwack and its surrounding communities can find our Chilliwack office on Luckakuck Way, near Cottonwood Mall shopping center.

Vice-president and trustee in bankruptcy, Geoff Orrell and insolvency estate manager Sandra Myers are pleased to provide debt management solutions in Sands & Associates’ Chilliwack office.  Sandra’s previous work includes significant experience in social services and entrepreneurship and she is a qualified insolvency counsellor, able to assist individuals with their debt options.

Sandra’s Top Trustee Tip:  “Share new money management skills and techniques you learn from the financial counselling sessions you attend with your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, because schools don’t.  Most everyone agrees they wish their parents had openly discussed these important skills with them.”

Contact us to arrange a free, confidential evaluation of your debt solution options in our Chilliwack office.


What to do with Student Loans

As tuition expenses and living costs continue to climb across the province, many students take on student loans to get themselves through their post-secondary years.  While studies have shown that students are optimistic about their ability to earn great wages after graduation, the reality is that many may instead wind up juggling student loans, in addition to other debts accumulated during their academic pursuits.  Whether you’re considering student loans to invest in your education, or you’ve already spent them, read on for tips on managing (and avoiding) student debt:

1)      Make a budget.  Before signing on the dotted line, map out how much money you’ll really need.  Factor in tuition, books, rent, groceries and any other costs of living.  Consider whether or not you can earn some of those funds through a part-time or summer job and have a back-up plan for emergencies or a deficit in what student loans may extend you.  If you’re granted more than you think you need, don’t be tempted to spend it all – avoid taking on more debt than necessary.
2)      Use all the resources available to you.  Do you have an RESP?  Are there grants, scholarships or bursaries you can apply for?  Will your parents be contributing to your education or costs (or housing you in general)?  All these extras can add up to great savings later so explore all the potential benefits and sources of assistance.
3)      Build a post-grad plan.  The responsibilities don’t stop just because school’s out – don’t take one look at your statements and bury your head in the summer’s sand.  Know your loans, grace periods and payment due dates.  Keep in touch with your lenders if you move or your contact information changes.  Figure out a plan to pay down your debts (yes, it may take some time) and again, avoid relying on more credit.
4)      Contact a student financial assistance office, even if your payments are behind.  If your income is falling short of allowing you to make your student loan payments contact your provincial and federal student loan offices.  The government has repayment assistance options in place that may be able to provide relief options for you, like reducing your monthly payment or even forgiving loans in some cases.
5)      Meet with a proposal administrator.  If it’s been more than seven years since you were last a student and those debts are still hanging over your shoulder, contact a licensed proposal administrator and trustee in bankruptcy.  A consumer proposal (or bankruptcy) may be a suitable option for debt relief and a fresh financial start.  If your study-end date is more than five years old, a court may still order your student loans dischargeable under certain conditions.

Debt management strategies generally aren’t something you can find hitting the textbooks, so do yourself a favour and move to the head of the class by educating yourself on how to cope with your student debts.  Knowing is not owing!

For more information on your debt resolution options please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.


Bankruptcy VS Credit Counselling

Bankruptcy VS Credit Counselling

Click the above infographic to enlarge.

To arrange a free and confidential consultation to discuss your debt resolution options in one of our 11 lower mainland offices, please contact us.