The real question that everyone wants us to answer when they come in for a consultation is “how do I know if bankruptcy is the right thing for me to do?” Deciding that you need to go bankrupt is not an easy choice, even if it’s the right one financially, we understand that.
Our job is not to sell you a bankruptcy. Our role as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is to review your situation with you, conduct a debt assessment and present you with various options, not just bankruptcy.
Conducting a Debt Assessment
There are a lot of factors to consider, both financial and personal. To begin, when we meet, we will always ask you these three basic questions:
- Who do you owe money to?
- What do you own (a car? RRSP? House?)
- How much do you earn each month, what do you spend it on? In other words, what does your budget look like?
During our meeting we will probably ask you many other questions as well, because we need to understand your situation before recommending a solution. Are you facing a wage garnishment or any other legal matter that would cause some urgency? What is your family situation — if you are married and have children this has an impact on the financial calculations we would make in determining how much you would have to pay in a bankruptcy or consumer proposal?
Reviewing Your Bankruptcy Alternatives
We make sure you understand the impact of all your possible debt relief alternatives:
- By preparing a budget and cutting expenses, you may find that you qualify for, and be best served by, a debt consolidation loan.
- If budgeting alone isn’t enough, or if you don’t qualify for a debt consolidation loan, we may recommend a debt management plan through a licensed credit counsellor to deal with your debts.
- If your debts are too high for a debt management plan, a consumer proposal may be the solution.
- Only if all of these options are not suitable for your unique situation will we recommend that you explore the bankruptcy option.
In case you still think that when you contact us you will have to file bankruptcy that first day, here are some interesting statistics about people we have helped:
- 4 out of 5 people who contact us do not need to use our services. Many are guided to another solution to deal with their debts that is more appropriate.
- 3 out of 4 people who do file take two weeks or longer to file. Part of this time is to ensure that all the necessary paperwork is complete but most is to provide them with time to be comfortable that the decision is the right one.
Explaining the Bankruptcy Process
We want to address all your questions and concerns about the process and how it will affect you and your family. We will tell you:
Like most decisions, if you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, you need to consider a lot of different things including:
- What will it cost to file bankruptcy?
- How will my home or car be affected?
- Will bankruptcy affect my spouse?
Our Trustees will answer these questions and more at your free consultation however there is more for you to decide.
A less obvious, but equally important consideration is “How do I feel about filing bankruptcy?” Bankruptcy is one of those legal terms that everyone has heard; most people don’t know exactly what it is, but they are pretty sure it’s not good. In other words, most people feel pretty bad about even thinking about bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Is a Fresh Start
The concept behind bankruptcy is that you need relief from your debts. For whatever reason (and there are many) you have accumulated more debt than you can handle and you need to find a way out.
You’re debt payments are taking up too much of your take home pay and you may be falling behind on your bill payments. The phone may be ringing. You may be afraid to open your mail. The stress from all of these things already has you feeling pretty bad about yourself and your situation. Then someone comes along and suggests you think about bankruptcy – can it get any worse.
This is the turning point. Until you start looking for help to solve your financial problems you aren’t really in control. The lack of control is where most of the stress and the “bad feelings” come from.
If you’ve made the effort to start some research and you are experiencing financial difficulties then you should take the next step – book an appointment to see one of our professionals to review your situation (if you don’t live near any of our offices then find a local trustee to go and see).
Bankruptcy is not the only way to solve financial problems. When you talk with one of our bankruptcy trustees, we will discuss 3 or 4 different ways to approach your difficulties including a consumer proposal. The solution that you pick will depend on your situation and on what makes you comfortable.
Bankruptcy may be the fresh start you need.
Call us. We can help. No pressure, no obligation, just answers.