Consumer Proposals in Pitt Meadows
Learn how they work plus what to watch out for.

Consumer Proposal Pitt Meadows, BC – Alternatives & Important Things You Need to Know

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

If you are looking to consolidate your debts, one option available is to file a Consumer Proposal in Pitt Meadows. 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

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

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 Pitt Meadows, 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

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 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 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 a Consumer Proposal

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

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 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 Pitt Meadows, 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 Pitt Meadows at 604-527-8999. You can also email or chat with us online right now.

Port Coquitlam Office: Tri-City Business Centre, Suite 2300 – 2850 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 6K5

Phone: 604-527-8999

Related Topics

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.

Find Out How a Debt Management Program Works

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

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 provides not for profit credit counselling services in Pitt Meadows, 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 Pitt Meadows also offers consumer proposal information in Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Fort Langley, Mission, Port Moody, and Burnaby.