No one wants to file for bankruptcy. Find other options and get more information before taking such a drastic step.
Personal Bankruptcy in Alberta - Bankruptcy might be the first thing you think of when you realize that you can't keep up with your bills and debts. It might even be the right debt solution for you. But, before declaring bankruptcy, you need to know your options, how the process works and how it will affect you and your family in the years to come. Let us help you avoid a mistake by explaining all of your options first.
Types of Debts - What Bankruptcy Won't Do
|Global News interviews Julia Fletcher
after she avoided bankruptcy and
eliminated her debt with help from
the Credit Counselling Society.
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|CTV News reveals how Dan Robinson
paid off $30,000 in debt with no
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It's easy for people to tell you that bankruptcy helped them eliminate their debts, but do they also tell you that it's not possible for everyone? Some debts might still have to be paid because by law, they can't be included when you file for bankruptcy.
3 common kinds of debt that are excluded from bankruptcy are:
- Secured debts, like a car loan or mortgage
- Student loans, if they are less than 7 years old
- Child and alimony support payments that aren't up to date
Also, if you recently racked up credit card bills and now want to go bankrupt, creditors may stop you or ask that you pay more, before they let you get rid of the debt through bankruptcy.
The Bankruptcy Process - Working with Your Trustee to Gain Your Discharge
Filing for bankruptcy is the easy part. Did you know that it takes at least 9 months to complete the whole bankruptcy process? During that time, there are costs and fees to pay to your trustee for bankruptcy. You are also required to attend two bankruptcy counselling sessions. Depending on your situation, if you have to pay extra money to your creditors, completing the process will take longer. If you have too much equity in your home, or assets above what you're allowed to keep in Alberta, your trustee will sell your assets for you.
Many people aren't aware that their trustee, their creditors, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy or the Court could oppose or delay their discharge from bankruptcy. Depending on someone's situation, they may need to attend a hearing, answer questions under oath and/or meet additional requirements to obtain their discharge.
Your Credit Rating & Bankruptcy in Canada
Bankruptcy is noted on your credit report and seriously impacts your credit rating. Despite what people say, getting credit after you have eliminated your debts legally through bankruptcy is not easy. It takes patience and time to prove yourself to creditors again. Until they trust you enough to lend you money again, your financial plans might be on hold because you won't be able to take out a loan, renew your mortgage or apply for a low interest rate credit card.
Alberta Bankruptcy Alternatives
By now you may be wondering which alternatives to bankruptcy could work for you. There are a number of options and the best solution might mean combining some of them. Depending on your circumstances, 4 options that you may not have considered are: consolidation loans, debt repayment programs, debt settlement options or a Consumer Proposal.
Consolidation & Debt Repayment Plans
When you hear the words "debt consolidation," you probably think that this means consolidating your bills and other debts into a new loan. This could work for you if you've got a realistic budget. For many people, it makes more sense to consolidate only their monthly payments. Don't worry if you've been turned down for a consolidation loan by your lender. There are other types of debt consolidation to consider.
When you consolidate payments, you don't actually borrow more money, so bad credit is never a problem. That's how a debt management program with a non-profit credit counselling organization works. Your creditors will help you by lowering or waiving ongoing interest charges. This saves you thousands of dollars in interest and lets you repay your debts. The amount you pay each month is based on your budget and on what you can afford.
To help you pay back what you borrowed, consolidation programs and loans can help. Most people don't want to walk away from their debts and go bankrupt, but they think they have to because they don't know what else to do. Surprisingly, sometimes only paying back part of what you owe can also be a solution. When done properly, a debt settlement offers your creditors a lump sum of money. That might not be as far-fetched an option as you might think.
Sometimes a legal alternative to bankruptcy might be what you need. A Consumer Proposal could be the right solution depending on your situation. It is arranged by a trustee, and by making monthly payments, you pay back part of what you owe. Your creditors have the option to agree to the proposal or not.
How Do I Decide Which Option to Go For?
By now you can likely gather that a lot depends on your situation. And regardless of what you've tried in the past, you need help taking an objective look at your whole financial situation with a fresh set of eyes. You need a trained and certified Credit Counsellor to help you come up with a good plan.
Non Profit, Confidential Bankruptcy & Credit Counselling Information & Advice in Alberta
One of our expert Credit Counsellors can help if you need answers to questions about joint debts, have questions about debts left over from a divorce, want to learn more about alternatives to bankruptcy, or want to know more about how going bankrupt would effect you. They are experts in helping people come up with good solutions to deal with their debts, and would be happy to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision to get your finances back on track.
Your Counsellor will:
- Explain all of your bankruptcy alternatives and debt relief options
- Show you how to budget effectively for all of your household expenses
- Recommend bankruptcy trustees in Alberta if it looks like declaring bankruptcy is the right option
- Provide answers and information so that you can choose the best way of dealing with your debts
Free, Confidential Credit Counselling Appointments for Alberta,
We are experts in helping individuals and families just like you find good solutions to their debt problems. It really is possible to get back on track and look forward to being debt free. To find out more or to schedule a free, confidential appointment with one of our Credit Counsellors who serves Alberta, contact us today at 1-888-527-8999, email us or chat with us online.
Related Articles of Interest
- More Info About Bankruptcy in Canada
- Common Canadian Bankruptcy Myths & Misconceptions
- Will Bankruptcy Resolve My Debt Issues?
- The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in Alberta
- Insolvency Glossary
- Credit Counselling Society Alberta office locations