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

Consumer Proposal Caledonia, Ontario – 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 Caledonia. 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 bankruptcy trustee and costs about $1,500 to file. You pay an initial setup fee, and then, if it is accepted by your creditors, you will pay the remaining balance to proceed. In addition to this, the trustee will also retain 20% of your future payments as a fee for administering your Consumer Proposal. To be legally binding, the creditors who hold the majority of your debt must agree to the proposal. Once they do, you repay the agreed amount over a maximum of 5 years.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Filing for a Consumer Proposal

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 Caledonia, Ontario 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 a permanent public record included on a searchable database
  • It’s more expensive than declaring bankruptcy
  • It must be approved by the Court
  • Creditors can reject the Consumer Proposal – if they do, you may have to offer them additional funds otherwise your proposal will not proceed
  • If you miss more than 2 payments you may need to file for bankruptcy
  • Student loans can’t be included if they are less than 7 years old
  • Secured debts aren’t included
  • Some assets (such as your home, vehicles, or investments) may need to be sold
  • The permanent record of your insolvency can put certain professional licenses at risk and may also affect future employment opportunities

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 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.

Speak to a Non-Profit Credit Counsellor

Speak to an accredited, non-profit Credit Counsellor about your financial situation first. They will go over your whole situation with you and take the time to help you explore and understand all your options to resolve your debt problems.

Don't Pay Anyone But a Bankruptcy Trustee

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.

Be Careful with 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 Can Impact Your 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 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 Caledonia, Ontario

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 Caledonia at 905-538-5035. You can also email or chat with us online right now.

Related Resources

You may find some of these articles to be helpful.

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?

Find out how a Debt Management Program consolidates your payments, reduces your interest rates, and gets you out of debt.

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.