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Falling into debt is more common than you’d think. According to the CBC, the average Canadian owes $22,000 in non-mortgage debt. What’s more, Canadians, on average, owe $1.67 for every dollar of income.
The reason for this is fairly simple: while the average Canadian wage hasn’t increased in real value since the 1970s, the cost of everyday expenses like food, gas, clothes, education and rent have all increased significantly in that time.
Add to that the increase in necessary technology like cell phones and cell phone plans and it’s easy to see how overspending can spiral out of control.
If you get to the point where there’s nothing more you can do to fend off the collection notices, it might be time to bring in professional help. In that case, the professional you’d be looking for is a Licenced Insolvency Trustee (LIT).
What is a Licenced Insolvency Trustee?
LITs are federally regulated professionals that provide advice & services to individuals & businesses struggling with debt. Essentially, they’ll step in on your behalf to negotiate with the people and companies you owe, and at the same time make sure your rights are protected.
An LIT’s job is to follow the guidelines set out in the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). This includes helping you obtain bankruptcy protection from your creditors or working with you to come up with alternatives to bankruptcy, creating and presenting proposals to your debtors, as well as dealing with property or estates.
When would you need a Licenced Insolvency Trustee?
You’d turn to an LIT when:
- you don’t have or make enough money to pay your debts
- you’re being harassed by collections agencies
- your wages are being garnished or you’re being threatened with wage garnishments
- a lawsuit has been filed against you by your creditors
- you’re out of other options
In these cases, an LIT would look at your situation and propose one of two plans tailored to your specific circumstances: a consumer proposal where they’d negotiate a payback plan on your behalf with your creditors, or a declaration of bankruptcy where they’d work with you to clear the debt you owe and start fresh, albeit with a few restrictions.
In either case, an LIT is the only professional with the training, experience and legal ability to initiate a “stay of proceedings,” which will halt any garnishing of your wages by unsecured creditors and prevent collectors initiating legal proceedings against you.
Why choose a Doyle Salewski LIT?
In a word: experience.
Since 1996 we’ve been helping Canadians in Ontario and Quebec manage their debt problems and find financial stability. We’re compassionate, understanding, easy to work with and mindful of the communities we serve, evidenced by our commitment to charitable work (28 organizations and counting).
Most importantly, we offer new customers a free comprehensive financial analysis and consultation. We’ll ease your mind and go through what to expect moving forward.
Not in Ontario or Quebec? Visit the Bankruptcy section of the Government of Canada’s website to find an LIT near you.