Cranbrook Consumer Proposal Information & Alternatives
Find out what you need to know and what to look out for.

Consumer Proposal Cranbrook, BC – Other Options & Stuff You Need to Know

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

If you are looking to consolidate your debts, one option available is to file a Consumer Proposal in Cranbrook. This is a legal process governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act between yourself and your creditors to pay back a portion of the debt you owe. The amount of debt that you repay is mainly based on your income and what assets 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.

Consumer Proposal Advantages and Disadvantages

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

Advantages

  • It can reduce the amount of debt you need to repay your creditors by a considerable amount
  • It can be a helpful debt consolidation method in Cranbrook, BC 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

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 three suggestions below and begin by talking to an accredited member of Credit Counselling Canada (Canada’s national association of not-for-profit credit counselling organizations who never pay their employees commission). If the agency you speak to believes that a Consumer Proposal would truly be one of your best options, they’ll let you know and refer you to a reputable bankruptcy trustee in your area for free.

Talk with 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.

Don't Pay Anyone But a Bankruptcy Trustee

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 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.

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

When you’re experiencing financial difficulty, you may think that bankruptcy is your only option. There are a lot of options to deal with debt in Canada. A Consumer Proposal isn’t the right option for everyone, but it can be a good option for some people. To find out what options might be right for you, call one of our accredited, professional Debt Counsellors today. Our appointments are either in person or over the phone. They don’t cost you anything, are non-judgmental, and are completely confidential.

For more information or to arrange an appointment to speak with one of our Counsellors, contact us in Cranbrook at 1-888-527-8999. You can also email or chat with us online right now.

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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.