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

Consumer Proposal Stoney Creek, Ontario – 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 Stoney Creek. 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.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Filing for a Consumer Proposal

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

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 Stoney Creek, Ontario 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 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.

Talk to a Not-for-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.

Only Pay a Trustee for Consumer Proposal Services

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

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

Office Serving Stoney Creek: Suite 906 – 20 Hughson Street S, Hamilton, ON L8N 2A1

Phone: 905-538-5035

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The Credit Counselling Society is a leading, non-profit credit counselling service provider in Stoney Creek, Ontario with 22 locations across Canada.