Don’t Let a Problem Turn into a Catastrophe

  • By Jillian Taylor-Mancusi

Dealing with a Debt Crisis

We all, throughout our lifetimes, experience stressful and difficult situations. Loss of employment, marriage breakup, or the death of a relative or friend can be traumatic experiences. The grieving process, grief counselling, or just the passage of time often helps to lessen these traumas.

However, having serious debt problems can often be just as serious a trauma. Studies show that out of control debt is a leading cause of marriage breakup and health crises. To make matters worse, this is a trauma that is not going to heal with the passage of time unless concrete action is taken. In fact, it is a trauma that can turn into a full-blown financial catastrophe if not attended to. How do you deal with such a debt crisis?

Get Educated on the Options Available

Informed debtors make the best decisions. It clearly stands to reason that if you explore the options and find out as much as you can about how the system works – what can the collection agents do and how can you stop them – you are likely to make better decisions.

You may seek information from your creditors, but often the advice they give will be self-serving, rather than in your best interests. For example, asking your banker about borrowing money makes sense; asking them how to get rid of your debt (some of which may be owed to the bank), may not result in good advice. In the same way, credit collection companies have a vested interest in getting paid and are unlikely to advise you on how to eliminate the debt.

Friends and family can be another source of information, but be aware that some of what they have to offer may be hearsay, or based on what they have heard on American television. US law varies considerably from Canadian law.

The internet is one place to get information. Here, the amount of information is often overwhelming, and you may not be sure what applies to your situation or that you can trust what you read on the internet, but it can still be a good place to start. It may very well help you to identify what questions you need to be asking.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees

The best place to seek advice and information on debt problems is from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). LIT’s are the most educated and best-experienced professionals in the field of debt management. They are licensed and regulated by the federal government, to assist consumers if finding relief from unrelenting debt problems. Canada does not have debtors’ prisons. As a country, we have accepted the fact that, in order to allow our citizens to be fully contributing members of our society, we need to provide ways for them to eliminate unmanageable debt. The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada gives our citizens that opportunity to start afresh, debt-free. LIT’s are entrusted with the enactment of that process through Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcies. They are the only professionals in Canada who are licensed to offer these two very powerful tools of recovery.

While the legal terms of creditor/debtor legislation can be difficult to understand, a Licensed Trustee can clarify the issues, fill in the gaps, and answer your specific questions. They will review your entire financial situation with you and explain all of the various options that might work for you.  It is important to have a full understanding of all of the options available to you, including budgeting, debt consolidation, reorganization, Consumer Proposal, and Bankruptcy. Once you have reviewed all of your options with your LIT, you will be able to make an informed decision about what solution works best for you and your family.

Debt problems don’t go away on their own, and certainly don’t get better with time. Reach out and get the information and advice you need to prevent a financial catastrophe. We are ready to help you move forward. Call us today.

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