Consumer Proposals in Chatham-Kent
Learn how they work plus what to watch out for.

Consumer Proposal Chatham-Kent, Ontario – Alternatives & Important Things You Need to Know

What is a consumer proposal, and is it the best option for me?

If you are looking to consolidate your debts, one option available is to file a Consumer Proposal in Chatham-Kent. 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 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

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

Advantages

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 a Way Out of Debt with Help

“I had just come to the point where I had given up hope – that there’s no way I could ever repay my debt. A friend of mine suggested I reach out, and I thought I’d get some condescending person on the phone lecture me about money, but my counsellor was the most compassionate, caring person who became sort of my own personal cheerleader.”

– Charis, 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

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 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.

Be Careful with 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

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 Chatham-Kent, Ontario 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 Chatham-Kent at 1-888-527-8999. You can also email or chat with us online right now.

Related Resources

Some of these resources may also be helpful to you.

Debt Consolidation Options & Alternatives

There are more alternative debt consolidation options and services available than most people are aware of. Find the option that’s right for you.

How Does a Debt Management Program Work?

Discover how it can consolidated debt, reduce or eliminate interest rates, and help get someone out of debt.

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 Chatham-Kent, Ontario and is recognized as one of Canada’s leading debt relief services with 22 offices in communities across the country.

We also provide consumer proposal information in Chatham, Blenheim, Dresden, Ridgetown, Tilbury, Wallaceburg, and Leamington.