FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

November 5th, 2012 (Vancouver, B.C.) – Sands & Associates, B.C.’s largest firm of licensed trustees and proposal administrators announces the results of its first annual BC Consumer Debt Study, profiling trends and key information regarding the consumer debt levels of British Columbians, specifically from markets throughout Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

The 2012 BC Consumer Debt Study is the only B.C.-specific study to survey nearly 7,000 debtors from the area and analyzes key findings regarding debt levels, causes for overextension and financial standings after filing bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

The results of the 2012 BC Consumer Debt Study show that an equal number of males and females and those between the ages 40-54 comprised the largest number of bankruptcy or consumer proposal filings in B.C. – with typical debt loads reaching between $25,000 to $49,000. Most accumulated this debt due to overextension of credit or unexpected expenses and attempted to remedy their situation on their own before seeking help from a licensed trustee. Prior to seeking help, the common sentiment amongst this majority was that they would never be debt-free. However, following seeking help from a licensed trustee, the majority felt they now had a bright financial future, free from the stress of debt. 

One of the major findings from the 2012 BC Consumer Debt Study is that nearly all of those polled, 79.5 percent, filed bankruptcy. From this, the study points to the need for increased public education around financial management, how to identify financial red flags that could lead to uncontrollable debt and increased awareness of consumer proposals as a proactive option for debt relief. Consumer proposals are an effective, less severe alternative to bankruptcy. However, financial problems need to be identified before becoming completely unmanageable for one to qualify. The study findings show that increased education of the public, specifically the younger demographics, could lead to a decrease in the proportion of bankruptcies versus consumer proposals in the future and an improvement in the overall financial health of the B.C. consumer.

Blair Mantin, VP of Sands & Associates shares, “The results of this study take a very acute snapshot of the trends and information that are contributing to and shaping consumer debt in British Columbia. From the findings, we can conclude that much more education is needed to inform the public of how to properly manage their finances and be educated on the available options should they find themselves in financial turmoil”.

The next BC Consumer Debt Study is intended to run in 2013 and will document the progression of consumer debt levels and causes in B.C.

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

About Sands & Associates

Sands & Associates is British Columbia’s largest firm of licensed, expert Proposal Administrators and Bankruptcy Trustees focused exclusively on personal and small-business insolvency services.  Operating from 10 offices in the Lower Mainland, Sands & Associates uses a non-judgmental, empathetic, affordable approach to helping resolve financial difficulties. To learn more, visit https://www.sands-trustee.com/.

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.