Consumer Proposal New Westminster, BC - Straight Facts and Other Options
What is a consumer proposal, and is it the best option for me?
Filing a Consumer Proposal in New Westminster is a debt repayment option that allows some people to consolidate their debts. It is a legal process between you and your creditors to repay a portion of what you owe, and it is governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. To a large extent, the amount of debt you repay to your creditors is based on your income and what 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.
The Advantages & Disadvantages of Filing a Consumer Proposal in BC
Consumer Proposals contain certain advantages and disadvantages. These can include the following:
- It can significantly reduce the amount of debt you have to repay your creditors
- It can be an effective method of debt consolidation in New Westminster, 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
- 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
"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 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.
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.
Speak to a Non-Profit Credit Counsellor
Talk to a non-profit Credit Counsellor about your situation first. They'll review your whole financial picture with you and help you look into and understand all of your options to resolve your debt problems and get your finances back on track.
Only Pay a Trustee for a Consumer Proposal
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.
How a Consumer Proposal Impacts Credit
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 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.
Contact Us for More Info About Filing for a Consumer Proposal in New Westminster, BC
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 New Westminster at 604-527-8999. You can also email or chat with us online right now.
New Westminster Office: Suite 400 - 88 Sixth Street, New Westminster, BC V3L 5B3
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- The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy for BC
- List of Licensed Bankruptcy Trustees
- Glossary of Terms Used in Insolvency
- Credit Counselling Society BC office locations
The Credit Counselling Society is an award winning, non-profit credit counselling service provider in New Westminster, BC with 22 offices in communities across Canada.