Consumer Proposals in Chilliwack
Find out what you need to know and what to look out for.

Consumer Proposal Chilliwack, BC – Straight Facts and Other Options

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

One option to consolidate your debts is to file a Consumer Proposal in Chilliwack. It is a legal process under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act between you and your creditors to repay part of what you owe. The amount you repay is largely based upon your income and what you own.

A Consumer Proposal can only be setup by a bankruptcy trustee and costs around $1,500. You’ll pay an initial setup fee, and if it is accepted by your creditors, you will pay the balance to proceed. In addition, the trustee will keep 20% of your future payments as your Consumer Proposal administration fee. For the proposal to be legally binding, the creditors who own the majority of your debt must agree to the arrangement. If they do, then you will be required to repay the agreed upon amount over a maximum term of 5 years.

Consumer Proposal Advantages and Disadvantages

There are some clear advantages and disadvantages of filing for a Consumer Proposal. They 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 Chilliwack, BC 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 a private matter. A Consumer Proposal is filed as a permanent public record and is included on a searchable database
  • It costs more than filing for bankruptcy
  • The Court must approve it
  • Creditors can choose to reject the proposal. If they do, you may need to offer them additional funds to convince them to proceed
  • You might need to sell some of your assets (such as a vehicle, your home, or investments)
  • You may need to file for bankruptcy if you miss more than 2 payments
  • Secured debts cannot be put into a proposal
  • Student loans less than 7 years old can’t be included
  • It can put certain professional licenses at risk, and the permanent record of your insolvency may also affect some future employment opportunities

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 unfortunately become the latest way for an increasing number of debt relief companies and their sales people to take advantage of vulnerable, unsuspecting consumers. Make sure you don’t let this happen to you! Many of these companies are now claiming to offer Consumer Proposals as an effective way to deal with debt. But there’s a problem. In Canada, only a licensed bankruptcy trustee is legally allowed to deal with Consumer Proposals. These debt relief agencies charge thousands of dollars in fees but then refer you to a bankruptcy trustee who then charges his or her own legitimate fees.

How to Prevent 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.

Speak to a Non-Profit Credit Counsellor

Talk to a non-profit Credit Counsellor about your situation first. They’ll review your whole financial picture with you and help you look into and understand all of your options to resolve your debt problems and get your finances back on track.

Only Pay a Trustee for Consumer Proposal Services

Never hand over money to anyone for Consumer Proposal services except a government licensed bankruptcy trustee. The law states that only they are allowed to offer and get paid for these services.

Watch Out for Commission Based Debt Consultants

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 Impacts Credit

Once you begin making payments on a Consumer Proposal, a note is placed in the public records section of your credit report that states that you have filed a proposal. Anyone who you have given permission to see your credit report can also see the public records section.

Your creditors may also report a “7” rating on any debt included in your proposal. This rating indicates that they are receiving your payments through a third party. In this case, your trustee is the third party. Your monthly payment on your Consumer Proposal is remitted to your creditors once all applicable fees have been paid.

If you are paying secured creditors, like those who hold your car loan, outside of your Consumer Proposal, those creditors will report your payments on those debts separately. Creating and maintaining a realistic budget will make it easier to keep these debts paid up to date.

If you are able to show a good payment pattern on a secured debt while you’re making all of your proposal payments, you’ll be that much further ahead afterwards when you want to re-build your credit.

Call Us to Learn More About Filing a Consumer Proposal in Chilliwack, BC and Possible Alternatives

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 Chilliwack at 604-859-5757. You can also email or chat with us online right now.

Office Serving Chilliwack: Suite 209 – 2316 McCallum Road, Abbotsford, BC V2S 3P4

Phone: 604-859-5757

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Find Out How a Debt Management Program Works

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Consumer Proposal vs Bankruptcy - The Differences

Learn how Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy are similar and how they are different. Also learn what you need 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.

Related Links

 

The Credit Counselling Society provides not for profit credit counselling services in Chilliwack, BC and is recognized as one of Canada’s leading debt relief services with 22 offices in communities across the country.

Our office that serves Chilliwack also offers consumer proposal information in Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Deroche, Cultus Lake, Hope, Abbotsford, and Mission.