When you’ve got debt but don’t have a plan even a modest balance can take years to pay off, and with accumulating interest charges this means paying back debt also ends up costing much more than it should.
Every consumer deserves to make well-informed decisions about how to manage their debt, and professional guidance on debt repayment strategies and resources are available to you by connecting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in your province. Read on to learn more about getting confidential debt advice from an expert and why you should consider working with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to deal with your debt.
Why Work with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
Virtually anyone can (and should!) connect with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee if they want to ask questions or get some advice about managing debt. Why a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
Licensed Insolvency Trustees are the only professionals in Canada fully qualified, recognized and endorsed by the government to help people with debt.
We assist people with a range of needs and different situations, some examples include:
- You’re looking for general information on how you can efficiently deal with debt
- You’re unsure about what your legal rights and remedies are in a debt situation
- You are (or are concerned about) facing an urgent crisis or conflict with a creditor (i.e. wage garnishment, legal action, etc.), or don’t know what your creditors can or can’t do
- You’re financially stuck and can’t seem to move past making your minimum monthly debt payments
- You’re considering some type of debt forgiveness or relief option
- You’re interested in restructuring or consolidating your debt to make payments lower
- You have ‘bad’ credit and want to move forward with a fresh start
- We can offer debt solutions regardless of your credit score. Some people we assist have ‘great’ credit ratings; others are struggling with ‘bad’ credit.
Whatever your specific goals and concerns – we help with debt, so the first step (and sometimes the only one needed) is to start is with a confidential debt consultation. This meeting is free, and without obligation to continue working together.
Free Confidential Debt Advice & Consultation
Sands & Associates makes our consultation meetings accessible in-person, by video conference, or over the phone. The goal is for you to get all the information you need to make a confident decision about your options, with a plan on how you want to move forward.
It’s important to us to understand your situation as much as possible, and why you’re seeking debt advice as well as any specific goals or issues you may want help with. Many people tell us that after just this one-hour meeting they came away with a huge sense of relief, a feeling like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders.
Although many people worry they don’t have any way to get out of debt, you may actually have multiple options to choose from. We’ll review all potential solutions together, including:
- Self-directed and informal (limited help) plans such as: Informal creditor negotiations, debt consolidation borrowing options, credit counselling repayment plans.
- Full service legal debt help including: Non-borrowing consolidation and debt reduction with a Consumer Proposal, declaring personal bankruptcy for full debt forgiveness.
At Sands & Associates our goal is that by the end of your consultation you have a better understanding about your current situation, knowledge about your options, and clear information outlining your next steps, whether you’re opting for a self-directed approach or want to continue working together with us.
Do I Have to Work with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
If you decide to try a self-directed or ‘DIY’ approach to tackling your debt, there is no need to work with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
- Even where you’re most interested in an informal solution to deal with your debt in a more limited way, you may still find that having received some qualified and impartial advice from a debt consultation offers you good guidance as you get underway.
- Don’t be afraid to check back in with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee at any time, situations may change over the time it takes you to pay down your debt.
Many people do choose to work with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in managing their debt, whether it’s because they’re more comfortable having ongoing support, because they want to take advantage of the added benefits to formal debt solutions, or other personal reasons.
Although there are other organizations, agencies and individuals who offer debt management services, it’s important for Canadian consumers to understand that:
- There are no government-endorsed debt services, ‘programs’ or ‘grants’ in Canada other than Licensed Insolvency Trustees and the legal solutions we can offer.
- Watch out for anyone who claims they can manage a Consumer Proposal for you who is not a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
- Be highly suspicious of ads, offers or agents that promise to improve your credit rating, guarantee certain results or pressure you into taking out high-interest loans.
- Only Licensed Insolvency Trustees have the legal capacity to help individuals and businesses with debt solutions that can legally resolve or forgive your debts.
- To be sure you’re getting advice from the right place, ask to meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or an Insolvency Estate Manager working with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
- It should never cost you money to be connected with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, or have a consultation with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. There is no need to ask for a referral either, you can simply talk with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee directly.
Moving Forward, Debt-Free – What’s My Next Step?
If you decide that would like to move forward with a solution such as a Consumer Proposal, there are only a few more steps to get your plan officially started. Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee (or Insolvency Estate Manager) will work with you throughout the process, it goes something like this:
- When you’re ready to start your Consumer Proposal you’ll complete an information form, from which we will prepare the official documents for you to sign during a (virtual or in-person) meeting together.
- If your situation is urgent we can get these documents ready very quickly (under 24 hours in some cases)
- Once signed, your Consumer Proposal will be registered and sent to your creditors. At this point the interest-freeze on your debts becomes active.
- After your creditors review and accept your Consumer Proposal you’ll satisfy the terms of your proposal. (These are usually monthly payments, along with two private financial counselling sessions).
- After your last payment, your Consumer Proposal will be complete, and your creditors will be legally compelled to write-off any unpaid balances. You are now debt-free and have achieved a financial fresh start!
Declaring personal bankruptcy follows similar steps:
- Following your consultation and decision to move forward with bankruptcy you will complete your information form and sign official bankruptcy documents prepared for you by your Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
- You would then complete a few requirements during the nine-month period of bankruptcy and your creditors will no longer be allowed to contact you for payments or charge you interest.
- Once your duties are complete and the correct period of time has elapsed (as little as nine months) your bankruptcy is complete and you will be officially discharged (released) from the process. You have achieved a full and final settlement (forgiveness) of your debts!
We understand that these steps may seem overwhelming if you’re at the beginning of your debt-free journey or are unsure about what option is right for you. Know that you are not alone. We’re here to help guide you and answer all your questions with honesty and transparency – and we’ll help you weigh the pros and cons as they relate to you and your specific needs and goals. The first step is simply to reach out and connect!
At Sands & Associates our team is committed to providing a safe space where you can get help without judgment. We’re not here to make you feel bad or convince you on what you should do. We offer solutions and support so you can make the decision on what’s best for you.
Learn about your options and get started with your debt-free plan today. Connect with a local Sands & Associates Licensed Insolvency Trustee – book your free confidential debt consultation here.