Tag Archives: Sands & Associates


Knowing Is Not Owing – How Well do You Know your Debt Options?

As part of our annual Consumer Debt Study, Sands & Associates surveyed nearly 900 individuals to find out how many people could correctly answer a series of questions relating to debt and restructuring options.

While nearly 60% of survey participants felt they had a good or excellent grasp of financial skills and concepts, only 3% correctly answered all questions asked.  Of that 3%, all had previously filed a Personal Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal.

Take our short quiz and find out “How Well do You Know your Debt Options?”

To meet with a representative regarding your situation and debt options, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.


Budget Hacks: Back-to-School

Always popular with parents – ‘tis the season of back-to-school! To help prepare for summer’s end and a return of kids to the classroom, without feeling the financial pinch, read on for our top 7 back-to-school budget tips.

Only buy essential school supplies right away – purchase any remaining school supplies that are needed once last year’s extras are gone. One the back-to-school frenzy has settled you’ll likely save at clear-out sales after the August rush.

Avoid new purchases gathering dust at the back of the closet by finding out what your kid thinks is trendy before you spring for new shoes, backpack or handheld device. Don’t forget to check online and in flyers for coupons or savings codes – especially for pricier items!

Get together with other parents and buy supplies in bulk! Pool your money to buy the goods then divide the supplies between everyone’s children.

Plan ahead for lunches. If your child is brown-bagging it for school lunches, plan ahead on what they’ll be eating – this saves wasted food and cuts down on doling out lunch money if you run out of something. If your child is older and buys their lunch daily, offer to compromise – purchase half the lunches and get them to step up to the plate and make a lunch to take the other days of the week.

Give older kids a set budget for certain items – if they want a costly name brand, offer to pay the budgeted amount and have them pay the balance. This is a great opportunity to teach kids about managing their money and make choices about needs versus wants.

Just like shopping for anything, stick to a budget AND list of what you need to purchase. Most schools will provide a list of necessary supplies in June, or post them on their website. Use cash when making purchases to keep an eye on your outgoing funds and costs.

Save all year. Back-to-school happens every year, so rather than scrambling to find the funds each September, set aside some money each month into a savings account. Saving $5 per week beats finding over $250 dollars all at once!

Last year nearly 8 in 10 Canadians said they felt annual back-to-school shopping was becoming increasingly expensive, and staying on top of a budget was a priority for most. Set yourself up for a financially-successful school year!

To learn more about how licensed trustees can help with debt solutions, contact us for a free, confidential consultation in an office near you!


Ask the Trustee – August Edition

Licensed trustee Blair Mantin answers your questions about how to manage debts, including options such as Credit Counselling, Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy in BC! 

Q: I’m considering cashing in RRSPs to get out of debt, any advice?

A: Many people consider using RRSPs to pay off debt. A word of caution:

Most people are surprised to learn that RRSP funds are federally protected. This means you cannot be forced to cash in your retirement savings to pay your debts.

Talk to a Trustee before you start withdrawing RRSP funds – there is almost always a better way forward that can deal with your debts and preserve your retirement plans.

To find out more about your debt options, call us at 1-800-661-3030 or contact us here to arrange for a free, confidential consultation.


Bankruptcy Trustees & Proposal Administrators: Fact VS Fiction

Nowadays there aren’t many taboos left in Canadian society, but one taboo that has persisted over the years is debt. Unfortunately our reluctance to talk about debt often results in a lot of misinformation being taken for truth, particularly where debt assistance providers are concerned. There are many who use the private nature of debt management solutions to press their own advantage by continuing to play on consumers’ misgivings surrounding their debt problems. As government-licensed Trustees we’re here to set the record straight:

Myth: Bankruptcy Trustees work for the Creditors

Licensed trustees (who are the only people legally empowered to file consumer proposals) are officers of the court, which means they are actually independent parties. While the trustee has a duty to ensure that the person seeking financial help follows the legal processes, the trustee also ensures the same of the creditors and protects the individual (who has generally chosen their own trustee) from action the creditors could otherwise take against them. For many people facing financial difficulties, a Trustee is their best ally.

Myth: Filing a Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal Ruins your Credit Forever

Both a credit counselling program and a consumer proposal will be reflected on a person’s credit history for two years following completion of the program or proposal. A first-time bankruptcy will remain on a credit report for six years following the individual’s discharge. There is absolutely no truth to the myth that either bankruptcy, credit counselling or a consumer proposal will impede a person from getting future credit forever. Even during the time that the debt restructuring is noted on a credit history report it is still possible to obtain credit such as a mortgage, vehicle financing or even a credit card. Learning how to rebuild your credit is one of the skills that a qualified insolvency counsellor helps with.  For many people facing financial difficulty, their best strategy is to face their debt problem head on, take the short term hit to their credit and then successfully rebuild. This is often faster, and more achievable than continuing to make minimum monthly payments for months, years, or even decades.

Myth: Bankruptcy Trustees and Proposal Administrators don’t Solve Debt Problems

One credit counselling association’s founder went so far as to state that “The trustees say pay off only a portion of what you owe. That’s irresponsible.” In fact, the end goal is not to evade responsibility at all. Bankruptcy restructuring is aimed to give the honest but unfortunate person a way to alleviate debts that are unmanageable, and many of those individuals struggle for years before coming to the decision to file a bankruptcy. Financial credit counselling sessions are part of the bankruptcy and consumer proposal processes to help people further understand any underlying issues that may have contributed to their financial difficulties, and to help them learn new financial skills. What consumers may not realize is that many credit counsellors actually refer clients they are incapable of assisting to Trustees because of the specialized authority and options they hold.

Myth: Consumer Proposals are Lengthy and Costly

The reality of Consumer Proposals is that there is no “one size fits all” – the terms offered to the creditors are varied according to the needs of the person making the proposal. One of the guidelines is that a Consumer Proposal must be completed with 60 months, although terms of 24 to 48 months are common. When it comes to cost: All administration costs are included in the payment amount offered to the creditors, which means there is no extra out of pocket fee to the person making the proposal.

Separating fact from fiction isn’t always easy, so if you’re faced with a debt problem find out the facts before making decisions and committing to a process. A licensed Trustee will meet with you at no cost or obligation – knowing is not owing!

To arrange a free and confidential consultation to discuss your debt resolution options in one of our fifteen BC office locations, please contact us.


Sands & Associates’ NEW Location: Nanaimo

Sands & Associates is pleased to announce the opening of our newest Vancouver Island office in downtown Nanaimo. Our Nanaimo office is located in the SquareOne Building on Victoria Crescent. We are now available by appointment to assist Nanaimo area residents with their debt restructuring needs.

Celebrating 25 years of helping individuals and small businesses becoming debt free, our second Vancouver Island location will allow us to assist more people than ever before. Sands & Associates was founded in 1990 and operates throughout British Columbia’s lower mainland, Vancouver Island and Thompson-Okanagan regions. We are federally licensed Credit Counsellors, Licensed Trustees and Proposal Administrators focused exclusively on personal and small business insolvency services.

We believe our non-judgmental, empathetic approach to assisting those in financial difficulty sets us apart and has helped us become the Trustee firm of choice within BC, as well as Consumer Choice Award winners for four years running.

To discuss your debt options with a Sands & Associates representative in our Nanaimo or other location near you, please contact us to arrange a free, confidential consultation.


How to Build a Budget

It really doesn’t matter if a budget is big or small, just that you have one that fits your needs and can help you meet your money goals.

If you haven’t worked with a budget before, or are starting all over again, now is a great time to begin!


Click the above infographic to enlarge.

To arrange a free and confidential consultation to discuss your debt resolution options in one of our fifteen BC office locations, please contact us.