I’ve heard about a debt consolidation solution that only a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help me file called a Consumer Proposal. How do I go about doing that?

February 24, 2017

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by Marc Rouleau

Like many people, you’ve been doing research on the Internet or perhaps asking family and friends for advice.  You’ve decided that a consumer proposal might be the best way to deal with your debt stress and get you back on your feet financially. Good for you! The decision to take action and deal with excessive debt is difficult to make but the benefits are without a doubt worth the effort.

Debt consolidation

Your first step is to seek the help a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. The Trustee will review your financial situation and records with you.  The Trustee may discuss mortgage refinancing, credit counseling, debt consolidation, a consumer proposal and bankruptcy and then recommend the best option for you. If you are a candidate for a consumer proposal, the Trustee will prepare the required documents and will guide you through the process until the terms of repayment are met.

You will have to report all of your assets, debts, income and expenses to the Trustee:

  • Assets include everything you own (real estate, vehicles, furniture, equipment, RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, cash, savings and so on).
  • Debts include all of the creditors you owe money to. Unsecured debt (credit cards, lines of credit, loans, personal income taxes, etc.) must be included.  Secured debt such as a mortgage or car loan may also be included if the payments are no longer affordable.
  • The Trustee will prepare a budget with you and include the family’s income from all sources as well as all expenses for housing, food and transportation as well as other expenses. This is to determine if you can afford a consumer proposal. The goal is to draft a proposal which allows you and your family to live reasonably while being fair to your creditors.

The Trustee will analyze this information to determine what the creditors expect to receive if you are bankrupt – this is a worst case scenario. Once that baseline amount is established, the Trustee will determine with you how much you should offer in your consumer proposal and what lump sums may be available from cashing in investments or selling assets, if any.  Proposals can be very creative in providing a comfortable and not punitive lifestyle during the proposal while satisfying the requirements of creditors.

The Trustee will then file the consumer proposal and send it to each creditor along with a report and summary of your financial situation. Creditors are given 45 days to respond to the Trustee. During this period, the unsecured creditors cannot collect debts, seize bank accounts or garnish wages. This provides you with immediate positive cash flow and much needed peace and protection.

After the 45-day waiting period, the Trustee will count the votes and meet with you to discuss the results. The vast majority of the proposals filed by Doyle Salewski are accepted by creditors and result in an affordable solution to deal with excessive debt.

If you are burdened with debt stress, asking for sound advice is a sign of strength and the smart thing to do. Asking sooner rather than later is always better. Call Doyle Salewski today for your free, no obligation consultation. You’ll be glad you did.

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