Each year thousands of consumers across the province seek professional debt help solutions from Licensed Insolvency Trustees, Canada’s only government-endorsed debt management professional. For most of these people, knowing what debt management resources exist is the first step towards getting back on track financially, and ultimately becoming debt-free.
Local BC Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Senior Vice-President of Sands & Associates Blair Mantin joined Breakfast Television Vancouver to talk about some of the free resources he and his staff often share with their clients, and feel more people should know about when they are working on managing their debts.
Watch the clip here and read more below:
BC Debt Management Resources
Check Your Credit History
Although you can access your credit history and score quickly online – this comes with a fee. Whether you’re checking your credit history periodically to keep up on paperwork and stay ahead of potential inaccuracies or theft, or need to find out more about the debts you have, you can get a copy of your long-form written credit report once a year from both credit bureaus in Canada for free simply by faxing or mailing in a completed “Credit History Request Form”.
If you need to access a basic list of your credit accounts right away, you can alternatively view your “Consumer Disclosure” online.
Statute of Limitations
If you have old debts and you’re in a position that leaves you with no vulnerable income or assets, you may be able to “wait them out” at no cost via BC’s Limitation Act. The basic two-year liability limitation period means that if it has been two years or more since you incurred, made payment on or acknowledged the debt in writing, the creditor who is owed can no longer take legal action against you to force payment.
Although this “expiry” does not mean the debt has been forgiven, it can add a substantial layer of protection between you and your creditors. It’s important to know that some debts are not subject to this limitation period, and certain actions taken within the 2-year period can reset the clock.
Stop Collection Calls
If you’re suffering non-stop debt collection calls, there is a way to stop them – a “Request for Communication in Writing Only”. This free resource under BC’s consumer protection laws gives you the legal right to require your creditors to contact you in writing only. Many people find it much easier to deal with a written collection notice than round-the-clock interrogations with collection agents, who often seem aggressive or even threatening.
Be sure to continue opening your mail regularly – just because a creditor is no longer calling does not mean they will not escalate other actions against you.
Consolidate Without Borrowing
Many people think if they want to consolidate their debts this can only be done by borrowing from a bank or other lender and paying the corresponding interest – this is not the case! A Consumer Proposal is an effective debt management option that allows you to consolidate your debts (from credit cards to tax debt and virtually everything in between) and cut them down to what you can afford to repay, with the unpaid portion being written-off by your creditors.
This specialized consolidation tool requires no borrowing or added interest payments, and the costs of administration are borne by your creditors – you only need to pay what you are offering them in the consolidated settlement.
In Canada only Licensed Insolvency Trustees are granted the authority, endorsement and licensing to help consumers deal with their debts – and all Licensed Insolvency Trustees will offer you a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation and assess your potential options to address your debts. In less than an hour you can gain insights into strategies and further resources that can allow you to stop debt-stress and get a plan to be debt-free.
To learn more about these debt management resources or connect with a BC Licensed Insolvency Trustee from the comfort of your home, book your free confidential debt consultation today.