BC Bankruptcy Alternatives & Options
Bankruptcy Alternatives in British Columbia
Bankruptcy is the thing that many people consider when they realise just how much they are struggling to pay their utilities and debts.
Having lots of debts can feel overwhelming, and extremely stressful – in some cases, it can even provoke a physical response.
Acting sooner, rather than later is always recommended, but you should never make a snap decision on how to handle your debts without exploring all of your potentialities.
Bankruptcy could potentially be the right solution for many, but there are other solutions, and exploring them all first is key to ensuring you make the right decision for you and you alone.
Many people feel that they can breathe a sigh of relief after filing for bankruptcy, but knowing your options and how the process works will give you confidence and hope for the future.
The last thing you want to do is file for bankruptcy if you could have taken another step first that allowed you to keep your assets and pay off part of your debts.
Misconceptions About Bankruptcy
There are numerous misconceptions about bankruptcy.
Many people believe that when they file for bankruptcy the slate will be wiped clean – like magic.
They think they won’t have anything to pay and that they will have gotten away with all of their debts scot-free, but unfortunately, this is not the case.
Bankruptcy can get rid of many of your debts, but some debts may not be included in your bankruptcy and this means you still need to pay them.
All of this will be explained and arranged with you by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee beforehand, and they will ensure that you will be able to handle it and fulfill the bankruptcy duties.
What are the debts excluded from bankruptcy?
- Your car loan, mortgage, and other secured debts;
- A student loan less than 7 years old;
- Child support payments/alimony payments that are not up to date.
Creditors may also ask that you pay more before declaring bankruptcy if you still owe them money.
It’s also worth noting that important procedures are in place when declaring bankruptcy.
These procedures ensure that the bankruptcy is carried out in a way that is reasonable for every party involved, and that you are able to avoid getting back into financial trouble again in the future.
For example, you may be required to attend credit counseling sessions, and it could take 9 months to complete the process from start to finish.
Credit counseling sessions are designed to help you with your financial education so that you can move forward with an entirely different mindset than the one that got you in this situation in the first place.
There are also costs and fees involved that you will be required to pay to your trustee, so bankruptcy is not a get out of jail free card.
Although it will depend on your circumstances, you may also need to pay extra to your creditors – this will delay the process, too.
Not everybody loses their assets when they file for bankruptcy, but if there are assets above what you are allowed to keep, they will be sold by your trustee.
For example, you may only be able to keep a car to the value of a set amount, and if you have a second car, this will need to be sold off.
Many people prefer to look at other options before bankruptcy as it means paying debts and keeping assets, which is the ideal situation for everybody.
Bankruptcy Alternatives in BC
Now that you’ve learned a little more about bankruptcy, you may be wondering what alternatives there are and how they might work for you.
It may be the case that one option alone is not right for you, and you need to use a combination of options.
This is something that one of our representatives at Bankruptcy Canada can discuss with you to ensure you’re happy with the solution.
You may want to look into options such as:
- Consolidation loans – you’re not loaning more money when you consolidate your debts. You simply pay off your debts with another loan and they merge into one monthly payment. The consolidation loan is the total amount you owe, and because you only have to worry about one payment each month, this can make it less stressful and easier to pay. Many people save thousands in interest when they consolidate their loans thanks to the lower rates and shorter term.
- Debt repayment programs – a repayment program will be set up through a credit counseling agency and shows your creditors that you’re serious about paying what you owe.
- Debt settlement options – sometimes, paying back just part of a debt may be all that’s possible for you. Offering a settlement to creditors requires a lump sum of money, and although it may seem out of the question at first, it could be easier than you think if you have a plan in place that suits your financial situation. If your debts are old, your creditors may accept a lump sum payment for 50%, or even 20% of the amount owed. Your credit will still be damaged, but you will have paid off some of your debts and you will stop collection calls.
- A consumer proposal – this is a legal alternative bankruptcy and could be just what you need to pay off your debts and keep your assets without having to declare yourself bankrupt. You simply have one arranged by a trustee and make monthly payments to pay back part of what you owe. Creditors have the option to agree to the proposal or not, so it is possible that they may reject it if they are not happy with what has been proposed. Your payment will be an amount you can afford and all of your debts will be covered. This is often the best alternative to bankruptcy in Canada.
The solution you go for will depend entirely on your situation and what you owe.
Money troubles can be extremely stressful, and you may want the collection calls to stop so badly that you will do anything – this can make it hard to look at your options objectively.
Bankruptcy Canada can help those in BC looking at bankruptcy alternatives and options.
We will assess your financial situation without judgement and give you a better idea of what could work for you.
Situations like this can be confusing and scary, but taking action now will be the best thing you can do.
Who Should Create A Consumer Proposal?
For those who would like to avoid giving up their assets and want to come up with a plan to pay their debts, a consumer proposal is the ideal solution.
This is the number 1 alternative to bankruptcy in Canada with good reason.
There are both pros and cons to a consumer proposal, but for those who qualify, there are several benefits:
- A negotiated debt settlement;
- You repay a portion of your total debts;
- One monthly payment of a reasonable amount that you pay over 5 years;
- Interest is frozen upon filing;
- Legally binding for both you and your creditors.
When you declare bankruptcy, you pay more as you earn more.
Consumer proposals, however, have a fixed payment that never increases.
You also have lower monthly payments, get to keep your assets, and have creditor protection.
Bankruptcy is not the worst thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s the solution you should automatically turn to when struggling to pay your debts.
A consumer proposal could be the thing that helps you to get back on track and enjoy a fresh financial start all in the span of 5 years.
How Bankruptcy Canada Can Help in BC
Bankruptcy Canada has been active for over 20 years, helping people in varying financial situations from all walks of life.
We can do the following for you:
- Assess your financial situation;
- Provide a financial plan/budget to help you meet your goals;
- Provide financial education/credit counselling sessions;
- Create a consumer proposal for you;
- Help you to declare bankruptcy.
Get In Touch Today To Find Out What Bankruptcy Canada Can Do For You
Although BC is one of the wealthiest provinces in Canada, many people still file for bankruptcy and look into options to partially pay their debts.
While bankruptcy may erase many of your debts, you will likely also need to agree to give up some of your assets in the process.
If you’d like to avoid this and get some useful advice on the next action steps to take, get in touch with Bankruptcy Canada today.
We can help you to keep your assets and pay your debts with a consumer proposal – we hope to hear from you soon!