debt relief winnipeg

Sleepless Nights? Debt Help in Winnipeg Is Only a Phone Call Away

  • By Leigh C. Taylor, LIT

There’s no doubt about it—debt and money problems can cause serious stress. In fact, one study from Sun Life Financial found that nearly 90% of Canadians experience stress about money and work. Worries about finances can take a toll not only emotionally, but physically as well. So how can you put an end to the sleepless nights and find much-needed debt help in Winnipeg?  It’s just a phone call away.

Where to Get Debt Help in Winnipeg

Finding reputable help for your financial problems can be difficult. Many consumer credit companies and agencies that claim to offer debt help, actually prey on people in desperate situations and charge exorbitant fees for their services. They often make promises they cannot keep. Promises like:

  • They can stop calls from debt collectors 
  • They can ensure that all of your creditors will honor an agreement that you make through them.
  • They can file and administer a Consumer Proposal 

The truth is that they do not have the legal power to enforce either of those promises, and they are not licensed to file and administer Consumer Proposals in Canada.  The proposals that they can offer are informal, with no legislative authority behind them. 

There is only one place where you can be sure that all of these promises can and will be kept. That is with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). An LIT can provide a number of services and solutions for people in debt. Unlike consumer credit companies, which are unregulated, LIT’s are licensed and regulated by the federal government, which means that they have the authority needed to stop collection practices, and ensure that creditors and debtors alike honor their agreements. They are the only professionals licensed to file and administer Consumer Proposals.  Trustees are also governed by a set of guidelines they must follow themselves. Even their fees are regulated. 

A few of the services trustees can provide to help you manage your debt include:

1. Credit counseling

Trustees are also credit counsellors. During credit counselling, you’ll learn how to better manage your debt and finances. The trustee will look over your finances and help you identify the reasons for your financial problems. Together, you’ll develop a budget and debt reduction plan.

2. Consumer Proposal

If your debt is more than you can handle on your own, you may want to consider a Consumer Proposal. This is a legal agreement between you and your creditors that settles your debts for less than you owe. Your trustee works with you to determine what you can afford to pay, and over what period of time.  Once that is decided, the proposal is filed, and the creditors are notified by the Trustee.  The creditors then get to vote for or against the proposal. Once a majority of creditors has accepted the proposal, it is binding on all your unsecured creditors.

When the proposal is accepted, you then make one payment each month to your trustee until the settled amount is paid off.  5 years is the maximum length of time allowed for a Consumer Proposal — most last for a period of 2 to 5 years. However, within the 5-year limit, they can be designed to fit an individual’s unique situation. A Consumer Proposal can provide legal protection from your creditors. That means no more collection attempts or garnishments, starting the day you file your proposal before the creditors have voted on it.

A Consumer Proposal works best for people who have a steady, long-term source of income, and who may wish to protect certain non-exempt assets. Keep in mind, however, that a Consumer Proposal should pay the creditors more than they would receive in a Bankruptcy. For this reason, while non-exempt assets can be retained, their value must be taken into account when determining how much would need to be paid out over the course of the proposal.

3. Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is another option for people who cannot manage their debt by refinancing or better budgeting. The advantage to a Bankruptcy is that it is almost always finished quicker than a Consumer Proposal, and nearly always costs less.  

However, if you have assets that are not considered exempt from seizure in your province, you may lose those in a Bankruptcy. The assets in question would be things that are largely recreational — such as a pleasure boat — but you would also lose tax refunds for the year of bankruptcy and any prior years. Most assets that are needed for day-to-day living are considered exempt. For example, in Manitoba, your household furnishings and personal effects, RRSP’s or registered pensions, tools of the trade, including a car to get to and from work, as well as limited equity in your home are all exempt and would not be forfeited in a Bankruptcy. Farmers in Manitoba have even more extensive exemptions.   

When you’re deep in debt and don’t see a way out, Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start by eliminating your debts in a relatively short period of time.

Finding Debt Help

There are many places you can turn for debt help. In Winnipeg, however, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is the best and most reliable source for real solutions. LIT’s are the best trained, and most experienced professionals in the field of debt solutions. They have tools that other agencies simply do not have. 

Your first step in taking control of debt is to make an appointment with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. The initial consultation with a trustee is free of charge. At LCTaylor, we don’t limit the time for your initial consultation, and we will meet with you as often as necessary to find a solution that works for you. During your confidential consultation, your trustee will go over your finances with you and help you to identify a solution that will allow you to get your finances back under control. The sooner you reach out for help and information, the more options will be available. Once debt is too far out of control, the options become more limited.  

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Leigh C. Taylor, LIT

Leigh has been working in the insolvency field since 1975. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. Leigh began his career as an Official Receiver with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. He is a Certified Professional Accountant, and he attained his license as a Licensed Insolven Read More Leigh has been working in the insolvency field since 1975. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. Leigh began his career as an Official Receiver with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. He is a Certified Professional Accountant, and he attained his license as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in 1980.Leigh has been a member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP) since its inception. He is a Past President of several organizations, including the Manitoba Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (MAIRP), the Armstrong Point’s Association, and the Manitoba Opera. In addition, he has served for numerous years in leadership roles in Winnipeg churches. Close


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