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

Consumer Proposal Lethbridge, Alberta – Other Options & Stuff You Need to Know

What is a consumer proposal, and could it be the best option for my situation?

Filing a Consumer Proposal in Lethbridge 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.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Filing for a Consumer Proposal

Consumer Proposals contain certain advantages and disadvantages. These can include the following:

Advantages

  • It can significantly reduce the amount of debt you have to repay your creditors
  • It can be an effective method of debt consolidation in Lethbridge, Alberta if:
    • You cannot afford to pay back all the debt you owe
    • You have steady income
    • Your budget has enough money in it for you to make monthly payments
  • Has the potential to be a good option if:
  • Will put active collection of student loan payments on hold
  • It is one of the final ways of avoiding 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

There’s Life Beyond Debt for Everyone

“When debts became a problem, I felt very overwhelmed – like I could not see the end of the tunnel. Picking up the phone felt like lifting a 10 pound rock, but they were very cheerful on the other end of the line. I came in, discussed my situation in privacy, and instantly got relief knowing I was in good hands.”

– Delores, 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 Keep from Getting Ripped Off

Follow the tips outlined below, but start by speaking to a member of Credit Counselling Canada (a national association of non-profit credit counselling organizations who don’t work on commission). If a Consumer Proposal is a truly good option for you, one of their agencies will inform you and refer you to a reputable bankruptcy trustee for free.

Talk to a Not-for-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. According to the law, only a licensed trustee is allowed to do the work and charge for Consumer Proposals.

Watch Out for Consultants on Commission

Find out how the person helping you is compensated. A lot of people who want to advise you on your debts work on commission. Make certain that the “solution” they are recommending is in your best interest – not theirs.

How a Consumer Proposal Can Impact Your Credit

Once you enter into a Consumer Proposal, a special notation is placed on your credit report in the public records section. Anyone who you allow to look at your credit report can see the public records section.

Additionally, it is possible that your creditors will report a “7” rating on any debt included in the proposal. This “7” rating means that creditors are receiving your payments through a third party. In this instance the third party would be your trustee. When you send a payment to your trustee, they distribute the agreed upon dollar amounts to all of your creditors once 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 Information About Filing for a Consumer Proposal in Lethbridge, Alberta

There are quite a number of options between financial difficulty and bankruptcy. A Consumer Proposal might be one good option for some people, but it’s not the best option for everyone. To find out what other options you have, speak with one of our professionally trained Credit Counsellors today, in person or over the phone. Our appointments are free, non-judgmental, and completely confidential.

To ask us some questions or to make an appointment to speak with a Counsellor, phone us in Lethbridge at 1-888-527-8999. You can also email or chat with us online right now.

Related Resources

Here are some related topics that may be useful for you.

Debt Consolidation Options & Alternatives

A lot of people are surprised to find out there are more debt consolidation options and alternatives than they knew about. Learn more about these.

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.

Consumer Proposals Versus Bankruptcy - The Differences

Find out the similarities and differences between Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy, and learn what to watch out for.

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.