At Hoyes Michalos, we make a simple commitment to you: meet with one of our licensed professionals for 30 minutes, and we will show you how you can be debt free. It’s that simple.
That Sounds Too Easy – How Does it Work?
We will meet with you in one of our conveniently located local offices, and we start by understanding your unique situation. We don’t have a “one size fits all” approach. Our debt free solution is uniquely tailored to you based on spending time with you to conduct a full debt assessment. If you are not sure if you need a debt assessment, keep reading to the bottom of this page for 6 reasons why a debt assessment is necessary.
The First Ten Minutes
We will start by asking you four basic questions:
- What is your biggest financial worry? We ask this question to make sure that we develop a plan that solves your unique debt problems.
- Who do you owe money to?
- What do you earn each month, and what are your typical living expenses (like rent, mortgage, car payments and groceries)?
- What do you own (a car, house, or any investments)?
The Next Ten Minutes
Now that we have some background information, we will ask you to explain your current situation. Are you getting phone calls from creditors? Are you threatened with legal action? Or are you making your minimum payments, but you are afraid you will fall behind?
This is your opportunity to explain what’s happening, and for you to ask any questions you have. At this point many people will tell us they are afraid of losing their car or their house, so it’s a great opportunity to discuss the issues that are most important to you.
The Final Ten Minutes
Now that we understand your situation and what you want to accomplish, we will lay out a debt freedom plan for you.
We will explain how we can use federal law to stop collection calls, wage garnishments and legal action.
More importantly, we explain how we can give you a fresh start.
Imagine what it would be like to be free of worries about debt. It is possible, and all it takes is 30 minutes.
Debt Free in 30
- All Hoyes Michalos consultations are with a licensed professional
- We meet with you in person, in your local office
- We don’t stop until all of your questions are answered
- We provide you with lots of free resources, including booklets and budgeting worksheets to help you make your decision
- Your local professional will give you their confidential e-mail and phone number so you can ask any follow up questions after your meeting
What if I need more than 30 minutes?
No problem. We know your time is valuable, so we can review your situation and explain the solutions in 30 minutes. If you have lots of questions, and want more time, that’s great. Our initial consultation is always free, whether it lasts for 30 minutes or one hour. If you have more questions and want a second consultation, or a third, that’s fine, and all of those consultations are also free.
We will develop a plan for you to be debt free, whether it takes 30 minutes or many hours. We won’t quit until you are debt free.
6 Reasons Why A Debt Assessment Is Necessary
When you talk to a licensed insolvency trustee at your initial debt assessment, one of the questions we will ask is “who do you owe money to?” This question, if answered properly, can provide the trustee with a lot of information necessary to determining what your next steps should be. We cover this, and more, during your 30 minute consultation.
- We will add up how much you owe in total. You must have a minimum of $1,000 to file bankruptcy under Canadian law however most people who file a bankruptcy or proposal have much larger debts than that. Knowing how much you owe helps us better review alternatives like budgeting or credit counselling with you. To be eligible for a consumer proposal your debts cannot exceed $250,000 excluding your mortgage however if they are higher you can file what is called a Division I proposal.
- We will assess how much you can afford to pay against your debt. In addition to looking at how much you owe, we will look at what you can afford to repay. Again this helps determine which debt relief program best suits your situation. If you cannot afford to repay your debts in full, we will review options like a bankruptcy vs consumer proposal. We will help you find the best, cheapest option to repay your debt.
- We check your secured debt. We break your debt into unsecured and secured debt since secured debts, like your mortgage and car loan, can’t be settled under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. We can help you find ways to keep your home and car as long as you can afford to keep up with your payments. If you can no longer afford your car payment or mortgage payment, we can help set up a plan of action that allows you to return the asset to the secured creditor and have any shortfall eliminated in your bankruptcy or proposal. The decision about what to do regarding secured assets is entirely up to you.
- We’ll ask about what other types of debt you owe. We want to know if you have debts like tax debts owing to Canada Revenue Agency. Reasons why you owe the government can be important as well as the type and amount owed to them is a great start for us to know if there are special processes we need to follow. If you have student debt, we will want to know how long you have been out of school so we can determine if your student loans will be discharged in a bankruptcy or proposal.
- We will ask who your creditors are. If you are filing a consumer proposal, some creditors like a larger return than others. Some creditors are more difficult to work with. Knowing who your creditors are and the amounts owed to them allows us to determine more quickly if more options to help with your financial situation are open to you.
- We will consider other circumstances. If you have garnishments happening or about to happen as a result of your debts, knowing this will help us put some urgency in the process. If you have joint spousal debt, we can help both spouses make a plan that works best for each of you.
Gathering all this information at your debt assessment allows your trustee to be sure we have discussed the right information with you, and will help you choose the right plan to resolve your debt crisis. And it ensures there are no surprises once you have filed for a consumer proposal or a bankruptcy.
Our Licensed Insolvency Trustees have the experience to guide you to the decision about what option will help you eliminate your debt. We won’t force you to file bankruptcy or a proposal. The decision is entirely up to you. If you want to get out of debt, a free Debt Free in 30 debt assessment is a great way to start.