At Hudson & Company, we understand that life does not always go as planned. Our goal is to provide debt relief and insolvency solutions to help get you back on track. Because every person’s financial situation is unique, we will always find a solution custom-tailored to your needs. We have over 30 years of experience helping thousands of Albertans overcome their financial challenges. Insolvency happens, and when it does, life can be stressful. There are solutions designed to help the honest, but unfortunate Canadians who find themselves in this situation. In this article we hope to answer the questions “what is a consumer proposal?” and “is a consumer proposal worth it?”
What is a Consumer Proposal?
A consumer proposal is a legal agreement designed to settle your debt by repaying a fraction of what is owed to your creditors, interest-free, without surrendering any of your assets. A consumer proposal includes a repayment plan that can significantly reduce your debts and save you as much as 80%. It also ensures that you are protected from any legal actions from those who you owe and extends the repayment period to something that is more manageable for you.
A consumer proposal guarantees:
- that you retain control of your assets (i.e. home, vehicle, investments)
- your existing debts are reduced up to 70%
- consolidation of your debts into one single affordable monthly payment
- you pay zero interest
- an immediate freeze on wage garnishments and collection calls
- any legal actions imposed by your creditors stop immediately
Administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Only a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can administer a consumer proposal in Canada. The first step is generally a free consultation with a Trustee to help us understand your situation. We will show you every option available and review how a consumer proposal would work in your case. There is no pressure or obligation to move forward after the consultation. When you are ready, your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will work with you to develop a proposal that makes sense for you and follows the rules set out by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
What Debts Can Be Included?
With a consumer proposal you can be legally released from most unsecured debts. The major exceptions are court-ordered fines and student loans if it has been less than seven years since you have completed your studies. You can even include income taxt debt to the CRA. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee can review your situation and let you know exactly what you can expect.
You can included:
- Credit cards
- Bank loans
- Line of Credit
- Tax debt
- Payday loans
- Student loans (after 7 years)
- Utility Bills
- Phone Bills
- Furniture Loans
- Personal Loans
Terms of Negotiation
In your initial appointment, your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will evaluate your personal financial circumstances and assess your best financial options. After you decide to move forward with a consumer proposal, we work with you each step of the way, ensuring that the amount offered to your creditors is something that is affordable and reasonable for both parties. There are multiple considerations to factor in. The total amount of your debt, your monthly income, secured assets, and the size of your family are all considered as part of this process. Based upon this, you and your LIT will decide:
- the amount you can afford to pay towards outstanding debt each month
- how much money your creditors could expect to receive in the event that you declared bankruptcy
- the amount your creditors would expect as a minimum payout
With this information, a consumer proposal will be drawn up for a debt repayment plan that is fair to your creditors and, most importantly, also affordable for you. Our Licensed Insolvency Trustees handle all proposal negotiations with your creditors on your behalf. In almost every circumstance, the payments you agree to are much lower than other debt alternatives. The remaining debts ban be as low as 20% of the original amount owed. Methods of repayment are typically either single equal monthly payments, or a lump sum paid throughout a three to a five-year term.
Your Consumer Proposal Has Been Filed – Now What?
- The consumer proposal must first be filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB).
- Next, your LIT will submit the proposal to your creditors along with a personal report on your personal financial situation.
- Once filed, direct payments to your unsecured creditors are stopped immediately
- Lawsuits can no longer be filed against you and creditors are not able to garnish your wages
- Creditors have 45 days to accept or decline the proposal
- The acceptance of the consumer proposal is decided by a majority vote
Credit counsellors CANNOT file consumer proposals. This service must be administered by a LIT. In Alberta, a consumer proposal is legally binding on all creditors upon acceptance. Canada Revenue, as well as any lenders who do not participate in informal debt settlement programs, are also bound by the agreement.
Consumer proposals are advantageous because they are legally binding on all creditors, even if a creditor(s) does not vote in favour of the proposal. This means you will never be left with any outstanding debt. All your debts are consolidated into a single, easy payment. A consumer proposal will make sure that all your debt is taken care of, so you can rest easy about your financial future.
The Meeting Of Creditors
A meeting of creditors is not always necessary. When a meeting held, the creditors will vote to either accept or reject the proposal. A creditor who wishes to call a meeting must request it within 45 days from the date the proposal was initially filed. In some instances, the meeting is requested by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. They can counsel the LIT to call a meeting. If this happens, the meeting date must be set within 21 days of making the request. If no meeting is requested within 45 days of filing, then by default, the consumer proposal has legally been accepted.
Once your proposal is accepted:
- You are responsible for ensuring that all payments are made (monthly, or a lump sum)
- You are able to retain control of your assets
- You are required to attend two sessions of financial counselling
Will I meet the requirements?
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee must determine if you qualify for a consumer proposal. There are specific requirements that have to be met in order to file a consumer proposal in Alberta.
- Are you able to pay a portion of your debts?
- Is the value of what you own greater than your debts?
- Are your debts less than $250,000? (mortgage, car loan, or investments not included)
- Are able to make monthly and/or lump sum payment(s)?
If you fall within these guidelines, you may be a good candidate for a proposal settlement.
Most unsecured debts CAN be eliminated by a consumer proposal!
- Avoid more serious legal action
- Repay up to 80% less than what you owe
- Get immediate legal protection from your creditors
- We will only create a payment plan that you can afford
- Creditors are legally bound by the terms of your proposal
- You can rest easy knowing that your debts have been cleared
Is A Consumer Proposal A Good Idea?
A Consumer Proposal may be a good idea to anyone who…
- Has assets they would like to keep
- Has unsecured debts under $250,000
- Would like to avoid bankruptcy
- Is required by their employer to disclose if they ever become bankrupt
- Would be required you to make large payments in the case of bankruptcy
Important note: credit councillors and unlicensed debt consultants cannot legally provide consumer proposal services in Canada. These types of services are only able to refer a client to an actual Licensed Insolvency Trustee. With Hudson & Company, no referral is required – it only adds another step to the process. Consumer Proposals must be filed with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) according to federal law. Our friendly and highly trained LITs will get started on your consumer proposal immediately. You will receive personalized care, and walk you through every step of the process.
Hudson & Company has helped thousands of people living in Alberta overcome insolvency and achieve freedom from debt. Financial setbacks do happen, and they can be unexpected. We offer debt solutions to get you back on track to no more stress and worries. Talk to us about consumer proposals or declaring bankruptcy. Schedule a free consultation with one of our LITs at any time to discuss the best options for your financial situation.
- We offer free and confidential consultations with any one of our Licensed Insolvency Trustees
- We are dedicated to finding the most affordable debt solution for you
- We never charge additional fees or interest
- We have three conveniently located offices in Calgary
- We offer evening and weekend appointments
When you come in for your free consultation at Hudson & Company, our team of debt counselling experts will help you through every step in the process with the patience and professionalism that the situation deserves.
Talk To A Professional!
As one of the leading Licensed Insolvency Trustee companies in Calgary, we will ensure that you have all the information that you need to make confident and informed decisions. From the moment you step through our doors for your first, free consultation, to that final payment. Our qualified staff will be right there beside you every step of the way! You will always receive prompt service from our supportive team. Our staff will always provide knowledgeable answers to your debt relief questions.
At Hudson & Company, we believe in helping our Calgary customers make well-informed choices regarding solutions to their financial hardships. Call 1-403-265-4357 today to get your questions answered by one of our knowledgeable professionals. We are always ready to assist you with your unique set of financial challenges. Finding our office nearest to you is as easy as one click.
We look forward to helping you become debt-free and gain financial freedom!