Consumer Proposals in Edmonton
What you need to know and watch out for.

Consumer Proposal Edmonton, Alberta – Alternatives & Important Things You Need to Know

What is a consumer proposal, and is it my best option?

Filing a Consumer Proposal in Edmonton is a debt repayment option that allows some people to consolidate their debts. It is a legal process between you and your creditors to repay a portion of what you owe, and it is governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. To a large extent, the amount of debt you repay to your creditors is based on your income and what you own.

A Consumer Proposal can only be arranged and administered by a licensed bankruptcy trustee and it costs approximately $1,500 to file. You pay an initial setup fee to begin, and then, if the arrangement is acceptable to your creditors, you then pay the balance to continue the process. The trustee you work with will additionally hold back 20% of your future payments as an administration fee. For the Consumer Proposal to be legally binding, your creditors who own the majority of your debt must agree to the proposed repayment plan. If they do, you then have to repay the agreed amount over a maximum repayment period of 5 years.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Filing a Consumer Proposal in Alberta

There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to filing a Consumer Proposal. Here are some that are important to be aware of:

Advantages

  • It can substantially reduce the amount of debt you are required to pay your creditors
  • It can be an effective way of consolidating debt in Edmonton, Alberta if:
    • You can’t afford to repay all of what you owe
    • You have stable income
    • You have enough money in your budget to make monthly payments
  • It will pause active collection on student loan payments
  • Can be a good option if:
  • It is one of the last ways to avoid bankruptcy

Disadvantages

  • It’s not private. A proposal is filed as a permanent public record and is included on a searchable database
  • It costs more than going bankrupt
  • The Consumer Proposal must be approved by a Judge
  • It can be rejected by your creditors. If they reject it, you may have to offer them more money for to
  • Missing more than 2 payments may mean that you need to file for bankruptcy
  • Not all debts can be included (like secured loans)
  • If you stopped being a student less than 7 years ago, your student loans can’t be included
  • Depending on the type of assets you have, some might need to be sold
  • It may affect future employment opportunities, and the permanent record of your insolvency can put certain professional licenses at risk

It’s Okay to Ask for Help with Debt

“Life just happened. My debt got to the point where I started to feel like I was drowning. I didn’t feel like I could fix it on my own, and I wanted to start living my life as an adult without debt. I decided to reach out for help. Feeling relieved, I knew that everything was going to be okay – a lot of work – but okay. I had a plan to pay back my debt and continue doing the things I love to do like yoga and travelling.”

– Yasmine, Actual Client

Beware of the Big Debt Rip-Off

Consumer Proposals have become the latest method for a growing number of for-profit companies and their sales people to take advantage of vulnerable, unsuspecting consumers. Don’t let this happen to you! Many debt relief companies are now claiming to offer Consumer Proposals as an easy way to get out of debt. There’s a problem. Only a licensed bankruptcy trustee is allowed to file paperwork for a Consumer Proposal. The debt relief companies charge thousands in fees only to refer you to a bankruptcy trustee who then charges his or her own fees.

How to Prevent Getting Ripped Off

Follow the three tips below plus start by speaking with a member of Credit Counselling Canada (an association of non-profit credit counselling agencies who do not work on commission). If a Consumer Proposal is truly one of your best options, one of their agencies can let you know and refer you to a reputable bankruptcy trustee for free.

Talk with a Non-Profit Credit Counsellor

Speak with a non-profit Credit Counsellor about your financial situation first. They will be able to review your situation with you and help you explore and understand all your options to deal with your debt.

Only Pay a Trustee for Consumer Proposal Services

Never pay money to anyone for Consumer Proposal services except a licensed bankruptcy trustee. By law, they are the only ones allowed to provide these services and receive payment for their services.

Watch Out for Consultants on Commission

Ask how the person helping you is compensated. Many people who will seek to advise you on your debts work on commission. Make sure the “solution” they are suggesting is in your best interest – not theirs.

How Your Credit Will Be Impacted by a Consumer Proposal

When you make payments on a Consumer Proposal, there is a note on your credit report in the public records section that you have filed a proposal. Anyone who has your consent to see your credit report will see the public records section as well.

In addition, your creditors may report a “7” rating on the debts included in the proposal. This means that they are receiving payments through a third party. The third party is your trustee. When you make a payment to your trustee, they disburse the agreed upon amount to each of your creditors after all applicable fees have been paid.

If you are making payments to secured creditors, like for a car loan, outside of your Consumer Proposal, those creditors will report on those debts separately. Creating and sticking to a realistic budget will make this easier.

If you are able to maintain a good payment history on a secured debt while you’re making your proposal payments, this can help you re-build credit afterwards.

Contact Us for More Info About Filing for a Consumer Proposal in Edmonton, Alberta

Between financial difficulty and bankruptcy there can be many options. While a consumer proposal may be a good option for some, it isn’t the best option for everyone. To find out what options you have, call one of our professionally certified Credit Counsellors today. You can speak with a Counsellor in person or over the phone. Appointments with them are free, non-judgmental, and completely confidential.

For more information or to speak with a Counsellor, contact us in Edmonton at 780-701-0083. You can also email or chat with us online right now.

Edmonton Offices: Suite 610 – 10216 124 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 4A3

Suite 200 – 6005 Gateway Boulevard, Edmonton, AB T6H 2H3

Phone: 780-701-0083

Related Resources

You may find some of these articles to be helpful.

Debt Consolidation Options & Alternatives

There are more debt consolidation options and alternatives than most people know about. Discover the option that will work the best for you.

How Does a Debt Management Program Work?

Learn how a Debt Management Program can consolidate your payments, eliminate interest rates, and get you out of debt and back on track.

The Differences Between Consumer Proposals & Bankruptcy

Learn the difference between a Consumer Proposal and Bankruptcy. Find out how they are different and how they are similar.

Putting Your Interests First

Our goal is to always put consumers first and look out for their best interests in everything we do. One way we do this is through transparency and accountability. We are held accountable to the most rigorous standards in our industry.

Related Links

 

The Credit Counselling Society is an award winning, non-profit credit counselling service provider in Edmonton, Alberta with 22 offices in communities across Canada.

Our Edmonton office also provides consumer proposal options and info in St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Beaumont, Devon, Leduc, Calmar, Spruce Grove, Morinville, and Fort Saskatchewan.