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Meet Suzanne – she lives in BC’s lower mainland, owns her own home and vehicle, has a career as a self-employed financial advisor that she loves and describes herself as being financially stable. Suzanne’s journey to success hasn’t been smooth or easy, 18 years ago she found herself in a position like many others, deep in debt and worried about her future.

At the age of 27 Suzanne was re-entering the workforce after being the primary at-home caregiver for her two very young children, recently divorced and struggling to manage over $25,000 of credit card debt that had accumulated during her marriage. She felt like her financial situation was spiraling out of control and was losing sleep from the stress, not knowing what to do.

Suzanne was anxious, worried about admitting to anyone that she was in over her head: “It was about nine months before I said something – I was scared to because of the stigma, even though I really had a big problem.” Finally, Suzanne opened up about the overwhelming stress her debts were causing to a new co-worker who immediately recommended she talk with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee at Sands & Associates.

“I can’t even tell you how much courage it takes to be vulnerable. I would have been there for years if it wasn’t for that co-worker telling me where to get help.”

Before going through bankruptcy herself, Suzanne says she didn’t know anyone who had filed bankruptcy. She recalls feeling worried that she would “be destroyed” and would never recover financially, and later being surprised as how quick the process was, how little it cost – and most importantly how “the stress just disappeared immediately”.

Watch Real Stories from Sands & Associates Clients Here

She credits bankruptcy with positively impacting her, giving her the skills to navigate a major career change and start her own business, manage credit and avoid pitfalls – and says she found it easy to move on and get new credit after the process was finished. “It’s endless when I think about the amount of things I was taught by the process,” she shares, “It’s a one-time thing and you need to learn from that.”

Suzanne says getting the knowledge about how to manage debts and finances properly is a missing piece of financial literacy for most people that is key, noting that she often feels people aren’t able to answer: “Who would you call if you were in a situation of not being able to pay your bills?”

“There’s a way out of it and through it, you need help getting through difficult times – Sands & Associates is your partner in getting through them. You are being completely responsible by taking these steps, you just need help.”

Now working in the financial sector helping people manage and prepare for key life events, Suzanne sees how many consumers are stuck in difficult financial situations they can’t move forward from on their own. She says it’s important for her to pay it forward by sharing her story, “giving back what you’ve learned”.

Sands & Associates is proud to help people get a financial fresh start free from debt, and we are honoured by our past clients who ask to share their stories in the hopes that they may offer support to someone else facing a similar situation. 

If you are feeling the stress of debt, know that you are not alone – we’re here to help you. Connect with a caring, non-judgmental Sands & Associates representative in a local office today.


How do I declare bankruptcy in BC? 

The first step in BC’s bankruptcy process is to meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or Insolvency Estate Manager at Sands & Associates. A qualified local debt advisor will sit down with you to understand the challenges that you’re having and talk about the solutions available to help you become debt-free and get back on track.

If you decide that bankruptcy is the best solution for your situation we’ll work with you through the entire process, which normally takes nine months to complete once officially started. We will prepare the necessary documents, deal with your creditors and offer additional support along the way.

There are many myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy laws. It’s important to know that in Canada only a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is legally endorsed and authorized to provide you with bankruptcy help. Some other key facts to be aware of are:

  • You do not need permission from your creditors to file bankruptcy;
  • Creditors will be prohibited from contacting or harassing you;
    • Wage garnishments, bank account freezes or collection agency actions will be stopped
  • Bankruptcy can result in forgiveness for virtually all your debts, including government debts from income taxes and student loans;
  • Most people keep all their assets when they file bankruptcy;
  • With the right steps, it is often possible to establish new credit within two or three years of completing your nine-month bankruptcy. 

Learn about your options for dealing with debt including personal bankruptcy, debt consolidation, Consumer Proposals and more. Book your confidential free debt consultation with a friendly Sands & Associates debt expert now.