Understanding Consumer Proposals in Cochrane

When faced with overwhelming financial distress, finding a safe and effective way out can be challenging. One such solution for Canadians, particularly in Cochrane, is a Consumer Proposal. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of this financial solution, its pros and cons, and how to navigate through it effectively.

Exploring the Consumer Proposal Framework

A Consumer Proposal is a structured agreement under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. It’s designed to help individuals with unsecured debts below $250,000 negotiate with their creditors to repay part of what they owe. The amount repaid is usually based on the debtor’s income and assets.

The proposal can only be arranged and administered by a licensed bankruptcy trustee and costs approximately $1,500 to file.

The Proposal Process

The proposal process involves an initial setup fee, after which the trustee talks to your creditors to arrange a single monthly payment for a set period of time. If the arrangement is acceptable to your creditors, you then pay the balance to continue the process.

Cochrane Consumer Proposal Office

Advantages of a Consumer Proposal

A Consumer Proposal offers several advantages, particularly for those who cannot afford to pay back all their debt but can cover a single monthly payment. It can be an effective way of consolidating debt in Cochrane, Alberta. Here are some advantages to be aware of:

  • Significant reduction in the amount of debt required to be paid.
  • It puts active collection of student loan payments on hold.
  • One of the final ways of avoiding bankruptcy.

Disadvantages of a Consumer Proposal

Like any financial solution, a Consumer Proposal also has its drawbacks. Here are some of the notable ones:

  • It’s not private. A proposal is filed as a permanent public record.
  • The Consumer Proposal must be approved by a Judge.
  • Not all debts can be included (like secured loans).
  • Depending on the type of assets you have, some might need to be sold.

Watch Out for the Big Debt Rip-Off

Consumer Proposals have also become a way for some companies and their salespeople to exploit vulnerable Canadians. Only a government licensed bankruptcy trustee is permitted to file paperwork for a Consumer Proposal.

How to Prevent Getting Ripped Off

To avoid falling into a trap, follow these suggestions:

Consult with a non-profit Credit Counsellor about your situation first.

Never hand over money to anyone for Consumer Proposal services except a government licensed bankruptcy trustee.

Find out how the person helping you is compensated.

How a Consumer Proposal Impacts Credit

Filing a Consumer Proposal leaves a note on your credit report in the public records section. Your creditors may report a “7” rating on the debts included in the proposal.

Exploring Alternatives to a Consumer Proposal

While a Consumer Proposal can be a good option for some people, it isn’t the right choice for everyone. There are many ways to deal with debt in Canada, and to find out what options might be right for you, it’s recommended to consult with a professional Debt Counsellor.


A Consumer Proposal in Cochrane can be an effective way to resolve financial distress. However, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons and seek professional advice before proceeding. By doing so, you can make an informed decision that best suits your financial situation and future goals.

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