Tag Archives: Sands & Associates


The Do’s and Don’ts of Debt

Financial expert and Agenomics founder Lee Anne Davies’ recently released book When Life Bites You in the Wallet, (co-authored by Sands & Associates bankruptcy trustee and proposal administrator Blair Mantin), aims to change the way we as consumers think about credit…and how to get in control of it.

Lee Anne shared some Do’s and Don’ts of Debt with BrighterLife.ca that are practical and applicable to real-life situations: from not co-signing loans, to giving yourself financial flexibility (read: it’s not about being anti-debt), to saving for retirement while paying off credit.  Click here to read the full article.

For more information on how a trustee can help you achieve a fresh financial start, please contact us for a free, confidential assessment in one of our eleven lower mainland locations.


A Mid-Year Financial Check-Up

Click the above infographic to enlarge.

Click the above infographic to enlarge.

We’re about halfway through the calendar year now and it’s a great time to check in on your financial affairs!

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


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Sands & Associates has been providing financial advice, news, and solutions for BC individuals and businesses for more than twenty years.

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For more information on Sands & Associates and how we can assist you, please contact us to arrange a free, confidential consultation.


Trustee in Bankruptcy Basics

If you’re considering meeting with a bankruptcy trustee about your debts you probably have a lot of questions about what a trustee does.  If you’ve never even heard of a bankruptcy trustee or consumer proposal administrator there’s probably even more that you’re not aware of!  Read on for some basics as to whom trustees in bankruptcy can help, and what they do:

Who are trustees?  Trustees are individuals who are government-licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to administer both consumer proposals and bankruptcies.  There are approximately 1,000 trustees currently licensed in Canada.  The Superintendent must be satisfied that individuals wishing to obtain a license meet certain qualifications and have successfully completed a specialized program and gained relevant industry experience before a license will be granted.

How are trustees different?  Trustees are the only people who are legally empowered to shield you from creditors – they are also the only people able to offer a debt solution called a Consumer Proposal.  While programs offered through debt consultants or credit counsellors may sound similar, they do not offer the same protections.  Furthermore, debts such as income taxes owing to Canada Revenue Agency can only be successfully reduced (or eliminated altogether) by working with a licensed trustee.

Why meet with a trustee?  Because trustees are impartial and will review all your debt options (this includes Consumer Proposals, credit counselling and bankruptcy) with you, you’ll generally be able to walk away armed with a lot of knowledge about how you could resolve your situation.

When should I contact a trustee?  Generally it’s better to speak with a trustee sooner rather than later if your debts are causing you difficulties.  Sure signs that you should seek assistance are things like missing payments, collection calls and wage garnishment, but there’s no need to wait until the situation is that pressing.  If you know you’re looking at years of minimum payments, never touching the principal balances, or constantly shuffling credit to keep accounts current those are also signs that a chat with a trustee can help.

What does it cost to see a trustee?  Absolutely nothing!  A licensed trustee will meet with you at no cost or obligation to review your specific situation and provide you with your legal options.

Where do find a trustee?  Sands & Associates has eleven locations throughout the lower mainland – you can find listings of all our offices here. If you are outside the lower mainland please contact us and we can put you in touch with a trustee in your area.

Whether you’re sure about which debt option you’d like to pursue, or you’re unsure as to what options you’re eligible for, a licensed trustee will be able to help you assess your circumstances and make sure you understand the solutions available to you.

Find out more about how a licensed trustee can help, contact us for a free, confidential consultation.


Dave’s Story – an Independent Film

Sands & Associates partnered with local filmmakers to make a 4-part independent film about one person’s journey through bankruptcy. Dave Malicki is a 46 year old lawyer, at the age of 39 he declared personal bankruptcy.

Watch Dave’s story progress, from successful lawyer to an individual going deeper and deeper into debt.  In the final videos we see how Dave has rebuilt his world after declaring bankruptcy, and is now giving back to something truly special.

“Somebody said that in America, there are no second acts. Well that’s not true, I got a second act.”
- Dave Malicki

To meet with a Sands & Associates representative in one of our 11 lower mainland offices, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.



Troubleshooting Your Budget

Whether the goal of your budget is to save up, pay debt down or mange regular expenses, the idea is the same – it needs to function well – blindly spending doesn’t work for long.  If your budget just isn’t doing the trick we’ve put together some common troubleshooting areas where most people run into trouble with their budgets.  Read below for some helpful hints to get you back on track:

You’re putting it off – Once you’ve got your budget set up decide on a date you’ll start from and stick to it!  Pushing off buckling down will only make it harder to get going.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to really give it a try before you decide budgeting is not for you.  It could take a month or three to adjust, especially if you’re looking at some major money changes.

You didn’t keep track – Unfortunately it’s not as easy as jotting down the figures you hope to spend within and walking away.  You’ll never know how you’re doing with your budget if you don’t keep track.  If hanging onto receipts or paperwork isn’t for you then you may want to try using a budgeting app to sort your budget as you go.

You forgot to include some costs – Not every month will be exactly the same.  Be sure to account and set aside for expenses that are annual, semi-annual and outright irregular that can (and will!) come up.  Set up a separate savings account so the money doesn’t get spent accidentally.

You haven’t adjusted it – No matter how long you’ve been budgeting, you’ll need to periodically check-in to see how everything is working for you and make needed adjustments.  Maybe now that you’re keeping track you realize you spent more on transportation costs than you initially though or you find that every month part of your grocery allowance is in actuality going towards a weekly sushi take-out order.  Modify as needed so that your budget is as accurate as possible.

You can’t say no – Staying on track will inevitably mean saying no from time to time, whether it be to friends wanting you to come along on an unplanned excursion or to a purchase that’s caught your eye.  Combining a savings component AND some self-control will do wonders.

You’re being hard on yourself – Particularly in the beginning, don’t beat yourself up if you’re over-budget.  Take a look at why and if you need to work on some areas do your best, also be sure to leave reasonable room for fun activities!  Budgeting is supposed to be a tool, not a restriction – so use it to your benefit.

Your expenses outweigh your income – Here’s where it can get frustrating.  If you’re faced with more costs than income, generally it’s easiest to scale back on the expenses as much as possible; next try to think of how you can increase your income.  If that fails look at which expenses are causing the most hassle – if it’s your rent, consider whether it’s beneficial to move or even get a roommate – if it’s debt, look into solutions that reduce or eliminate it (such as a Consumer Proposal).

If your budget wasn’t working for you try some of the ideas above.  It can be easy to get discouraged and abandon the idea of a budget altogether, but one of the major keys to healthy finances is a good budget – no matter what you’ve got to work with.

No room in your budget for debt?  Contact us to arrange a free confidential consultation regarding available debt solution options.