Are There Typical Consumer Proposal Terms?

Consumer Proposal Payment Terms

When individuals find themselves overwhelmed by debt, one potential solution is to file a Consumer Proposal. This formal and legally binding process offers a reduction in unsecured debt, an extension of time for repayment, or a combination of both. While each Consumer Proposal is unique to the individual’s circumstances, there are common structures and terms that can be considered. Let’s explore the different types of Consumer Proposal terms and how they can be tailored to meet specific needs.


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Fixed Monthly Payments

The most common structure for a Consumer Proposal involves fixed monthly payments over a specified period of time. This provides individuals with a clear repayment plan and allows them to budget accordingly. The term of the Consumer Proposal typically ranges from three to five years, but it can be paid off early if the individual is able to increase their monthly payments or make lump sum payments.

For example, let’s say Jeff has $50,000 of unsecured debt. He works with a licensed trustee to create a Consumer Proposal with fixed monthly payments of $500 for five years. This structured plan allows Jeff to gradually repay his debt while maintaining a manageable monthly budget.

Variable Payments

Some individuals have fluctuating income due to seasonal work or other factors. In these cases, a Consumer Proposal can be structured to accommodate variable payments. Higher payments can be made during peak earning times, while lower payments can be made during periods of lower income. This flexibility helps individuals adjust their payments based on their financial situation.

For instance, Nor works as a freelance graphic designer and her income varies throughout the year. With the help of a licensed trustee, she creates a Consumer Proposal that allows her to make higher payments during her busy months and lower payments during slower months. This tailored approach ensures that Nor can meet her financial obligations while accounting for the fluctuations in her income.

Step Up Payments

In some cases, individuals may anticipate an increase in their income over the term of the Consumer Proposal. This can be due to expected promotions, career advancements, or other factors. A step-up payment structure can be utilized to gradually increase the monthly payments over time.

For example, Rod is starting a new job with a higher salary in six months. He works with a licensed trustee to design a Consumer Proposal that starts with lower monthly payments for the first six months and then increases to higher payments once his income rises. This allows Rod to manage his debt in a way that aligns with his changing financial circumstances.

Step Down Payments

Conversely, some individuals may expect a decrease in their income during the term of the Consumer Proposal. This can occur due to retirement, career changes, or other life events. A step-down payment structure can be employed to start with higher monthly payments and gradually decrease them over time.

For instance, Anne plans to retire in five years and wants to ensure that her debt is manageable throughout her retirement. With the guidance of a licensed trustee, she structures her Consumer Proposal to include higher monthly payments for the first few years and then gradually decreases the payments as she transitions into retirement. This allows Anne to comfortably repay her debt while adjusting to her reduced income.

Lump Sum Payments

In certain situations, individuals may have access to a lump sum of money that can be used to settle their debts. This can occur when a third party, such as a family member, is willing to contribute funds towards the Consumer Proposal. The lump sum can be paid upfront or in installments, depending on the agreement made with the third party.

For example, Daphne’s parents are willing to help her resolve her debt by contributing $10,000 towards her Consumer Proposal. With the assistance of a licensed trustee, Daphne structures her proposal to include this lump sum payment, which is divided among her creditors. This allows Daphne to reduce her debt significantly and make more manageable monthly payments moving forward.

Payments from the Sale of Assets

In some cases, individuals may have assets that can be sold to generate funds for their Consumer Proposal. This can include properties, investments, or other valuable assets. The proceeds from the sale can be used to repay a portion or the entirety of the debt.

For instance, Raymond owns a second property that he no longer needs. He works with a licensed trustee to sell the property and directs the proceeds towards his Consumer Proposal. By utilizing the funds from the sale, Raymond can significantly reduce his debt and expedite the repayment process.

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Amendment to an Existing Consumer Proposal

In extraordinary circumstances, an existing Consumer Proposal can be amended if there is a material change in the individual’s circumstances. This may involve modifying the existing Proposal structure to better align with the individual’s current financial situation. However, any amendments made to the Proposal must be approved by the creditors through a voting process.

For example,  Nor experiences a sudden loss of income due to a medical emergency and is no longer able to meet the monthly payments outlined in her original Consumer Proposal. She contacts her licensed trustee, who helps her amend the Proposal to accommodate her new financial circumstances. The amended Proposal is then presented to the creditors for their approval.

Tailoring Consumer Proposal Terms for Success

Consumer Proposals offer individuals a flexible tool to address their debt problems. The terms of a Consumer Proposal can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual. It is important to work with a licensed trustee who has experience in negotiating with creditors and understands the preferences of different creditors.

During the initial consultation with a licensed trustee, individuals can discuss their financial situation in detail and explore various options. The trustee will provide examples of different Consumer Proposal structures and payment terms, allowing individuals to make an informed decision. By reviewing all available options, individuals can determine which course of action is best suited for their circumstances.

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While there may not be a “typical” Consumer Proposal in terms of structure, there are common terms and options that can be considered when filing a proposal. Fixed monthly payments, variable payments, step-up or step-down payments, lump sum payments, payments from the sale of assets, and amendments to existing proposals are all methods that can be employed to tailor a Consumer Proposal to an individual’s needs.

It is crucial to consult with a licensed trustee who can guide individuals through the process and negotiate with creditors on their behalf. Each situation is unique, and a licensed trustee will work closely with individuals to determine the best course of action and structure a Consumer Proposal that provides the greatest benefit to both the individual and their creditors.

In conclusion, while there may not be a one-size-fits-all approach to Consumer Proposal terms, the flexibility of this debt relief option allows for customized solutions that can help individuals regain control of their finances and pave the way towards a debt-free future.

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During our initial meeting, they took the time to understand my debt and financial circumstances. They explained the various options available to me and helped create a personalized plan that would be most beneficial for my situation. With their assistance, I was able to avoid declaring bankruptcy by presenting a consumer proposal to my creditors. Fortunately, my proposal was accepted, and I am extremely relieved to finally be free of debt, all thanks to BankruptcyCanada. The burden on my shoulders feels significantly lighter now, and I truly believe that Bankruptcy Canada has the most skilled specialists in debt relief.