Contact a Trustee

The first step in the process is to contact one of our professionals for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. This number will reach Sands & Associates, toll-free: 1-800-661-3030.

We will review your financial situation and assist you in preparing the Consumer Proposal. We will prepare the necessary documents to file the Consumer Proposal with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

Creditor Notification

The Trustee will notify all of the individual’s creditors and provide them with a copy of the Consumer Proposal and other relevant financial information. Once creditors receive notification that the proposal has been filed, they are prohibited from taking any further collection actions.  They will also receive a Report of the Trustee, which comments on the individual’s ability to meet the terms of the Consumer Proposal and provides a comparison of realization to creditors in the Consumer Proposal versus a bankruptcy.

Voting

The creditors have up to 45 days to consider whether to accept or reject the Consumer Proposal. If creditors do not respond, the Consumer Proposal is deemed to be accepted. However, creditors have been taking a more active role in the Consumer Proposal process because the return to them is higher than a bankruptcy, and usually vote on the Consumer Proposal by letter.

To be accepted by creditors, there must be at least a 50% majority in dollar value voting to accept the Consumer Proposal. Acceptance of the Consumer Proposal by those creditors who vote will be binding on the debtor and the remaining creditors who did not vote.

The creditors may request a meeting be held, although this is not a common occurrence. Any creditor who votes against the Consumer Proposal is deemed to be requesting a meeting be held, but in order to actually have a meeting, that creditor’s claim must represent at least 25% in value of all proven claims filed at the end of the 45 day period.

When the Consumer Proposal is accepted by the creditors, it is deemed approved by the Court after 15 days have expired.

Counselling

An individual who files a Consumer Proposal is required to attend two financial counselling sessions. These sessions will focus on helping the debtor understand the causes of his or her financial difficulties, as well as assisting the debtor in managing their future financial affairs.

Payments

On acceptance by the creditors and approval by the Court, the debtor will make the payments directly to the Trustee as set out in the Consumer Proposal document. If payments are required monthly, and a debtor misses any three payments, the Consumer Proposal is deemed to be in default. In the case where payments are not required on a monthly basis, the Consumer Proposal will be in default if more than three months go by without the debtor making the required payment.

Completion

Once all payments under the Consumer Proposal are made, the Trustee will issue a Certificate attesting to the completion of the Consumer Proposal.

Are creditors harassing you? Are the endless phone calls and collection letters causing you stress? Are you living on your credit cards? Are you unable to maintain your minimum payments? Are you being pursued for government debt? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are not alone. In the twelve-month period ending July 2016, more than 66,000 Canadians were in the same financial position and found relief by seeing a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and filing personal bankruptcy. Another 57,000 Canadians settled their debt management problems by filing a consumer proposal.

If you are not a resident of British Columbia, more information is available about bankruptcy in Canada.

No matter what the cause of your financial difficulties, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act does not restrict a person from filing personal bankruptcy or making a consumer proposal. For example, you could be in financial trouble due to the loss of employment, a divorce, a leaky condo, medical problems, gambling, substance abuse, or poor money management. Regardless of the reason, filing personal bankruptcy or making a consumer proposal to your creditors is based upon your unique individual circumstances and is ultimately your personal decision. In BC, both of these remedies can only be filed by utilizing the services of Licensed Insolvency Trustees. At Sands & Associates, our Licensed Insolvency Trustees understand that most people file into bankruptcy or make a consumer proposal to creditors because of unfortunate circumstances, and we will guide you through this difficult time. 

Personal bankruptcy or a consumer proposal to creditors can provide shelter from the financial storm. Each will stop virtually all legal proceedings, garnishees, and phone calls from your creditors. These legal remedies provide a fresh start by pardoning your debts including credit card debts, lines of credit, legal bills, utility bills, medical bills, automobile insurance, judgments, government debts, etc. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help you understand the relative merits of each of these debt management options within BC. 

At Sands & Associates, we make filing personal bankruptcy or making a consumer proposal to creditors simple. We will arrange for a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable staff to discuss your financial status, and help you to determine whether bankruptcy or a proposal to creditors is the right choice for you.

Should you choose to file personal bankruptcy or make a consumer proposal to your creditors, we will process the necessary paperwork, arrange for possible meetings with creditors, provide two credit counselling sessions at our convenient offices located in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, White Rock, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Kelowna. 

After you have filed personal bankruptcy or a consumer proposal, you are required to perform your duties as outlined in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Some of the duties in a personal bankruptcy include keeping the Licensed Insolvency Trustee informed of your current address, declaring your monthly income and expenses for a minimum of nine months, attending two credit counselling sessions, and paying the Licensed Insolvency Trustee an amount that is dependent upon your income and the assets that you own. 

If this is your first personal bankruptcy, the earliest that you will be eligible for your discharge is nine months after your date of filing. A discharge from bankruptcy means that your debts will be eliminated and your creditors can no longer pursue you for the outstanding amount owed. It provides peace of mind and a chance for a fresh financial start. 

If you choose to make a consumer proposal to your creditors and if the creditors and the court accept it, the contract is binding between you and the creditors. A certificate of completion, which discharges your indebtedness, will be given as long as you meet the terms of the contract and remit the appropriate funds or assets to the Licensed Insolvency Trustee.