What Debts Can a Consumer Proposal Cover?

Exploring the Debts Covered by a Consumer Proposal

Canadians facing overwhelming debt often find themselves searching for viable solutions to regain financial stability. Among the various debt relief options available, the consumer proposal has emerged as a powerful tool that can provide meaningful debt consolidation and reduction. But what exactly can a consumer proposal cover? In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the debts that can be included in a consumer proposal, empowering you to make an informed decision about the best path forward.

Understanding the Basics of a Consumer Proposal

A consumer proposal is a legally binding agreement between an individual and their creditors, facilitated by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. This unique debt relief solution allows Canadians to consolidate and reduce their unsecured debts, offering a more affordable repayment plan compared to the original obligations. By entering into a consumer proposal, individuals can often negotiate a lower overall debt amount, a reduced interest rate, and a manageable payment schedule, providing a clear path to becoming debt-free.

Debts Eligible for Inclusion in a Consumer Proposal

When it comes to the debts that can be included in a consumer proposal, the scope is quite broad. Here’s a closer look at the various types of obligations that can be consolidated and addressed:

Unsecured Debts

The cornerstone of a consumer proposal is its ability to manage unsecured debts. These include:

  • Credit card balances
  • Personal loans
  • Lines of credit
  • Payday loans
  • Utility bills (electricity, gas, phone, etc.)

By consolidating these unsecured debts, individuals can streamline their repayment process and potentially negotiate more favorable terms with their creditors.

Government Debts

Surprisingly, a consumer proposal can also encompass certain government-related debts, such as:

  • Personal income tax obligations
  • Benefit overpayments (including CERB, EI, and CPP)
  • Federal and provincial student loans (with some exceptions)
  • Business GST/HST debts

This flexibility allows individuals to address a wide range of financial liabilities, including those owed to government entities.

Co-Signed and Joint Debts

If an individual has co-signed or jointly held a debt with another party, that debt can also be included in a consumer proposal. However, it’s important to note that the co-borrower may still be responsible for any remaining balance after the proposal is completed.

Secured Debt Shortfalls

While secured debts, such as mortgages and vehicle loans, cannot be directly included in a consumer proposal, any shortfall or deficiency remaining after the asset has been surrendered can be incorporated into the proposal. This can provide a solution for individuals who need to part ways with an expensive asset but still have outstanding obligations.

Business-Related Debts

For self-employed individuals or those with small, unincorporated businesses, business-related debts can be included in a consumer proposal. This includes personal liabilities incurred through the operation of the business, as well as obligations such as HST and source deduction payments.

Debts Excluded from a Consumer Proposal

While the scope of a consumer proposal is broad, there are certain types of debts that cannot be included in this debt relief solution. These include:

Secured Debts

Debts that are secured by an asset, such as a mortgage or a car loan, are not eligible for inclusion in a consumer proposal. Individuals have the option to either continue making payments on these secured debts or surrender the asset to the creditor.

Child Support and Spousal Support

Court-ordered support payments, including child support and spousal support, cannot be included in a consumer proposal. These obligations must be maintained separate from the debt consolidation process.

Student Loans (with Exceptions)

Generally, student loans can only be included in a consumer proposal if the individual has been out of school for at least seven years. However, there may be exceptions or hardship provisions available, which can be discussed with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

Fines and Restitution Orders

Legal penalties, such as court fines and restitution orders, are also excluded from the scope of a consumer proposal.

Navigating the Complexities of Debt Inclusion

It’s important to note that the specific eligibility and inclusion of debts in a consumer proposal can be nuanced and dependent on individual circumstances. Factors such as the nature of the debt, the timing of when it was incurred, and the individual’s financial situation can all play a role in determining which obligations can be consolidated.

To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the debts that can be included in a consumer proposal, it is highly recommended to consult with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. These professionals have the expertise to analyze your unique financial situation, identify all eligible debts, and guide you through the process of crafting a proposal that best addresses your needs.

The Benefits of Consolidating Debts through a Consumer Proposal

By consolidating eligible debts through a consumer proposal, individuals can enjoy several key benefits:

  1. Debt Reduction: In many cases, a consumer proposal can result in a significant reduction of the overall debt burden, often by 50-80% or more.
  2. Frozen Interest Charges: Once a consumer proposal is in place, no further interest charges are added to the consolidated debts, making the repayment process more manageable.
  3. Affordable Payments: The consumer proposal process allows for the negotiation of more affordable monthly payments, tailored to the individual’s financial capacity.
  4. Flexible Repayment Terms: Consumer proposals typically offer repayment periods of up to five years, providing a clear timeline for becoming debt-free.
  5. Protection from Creditors: The consumer proposal process triggers an automatic stay of proceedings, shielding the individual from further collection efforts by creditors.
  6. Preservation of Assets: Unlike bankruptcy, a consumer proposal allows individuals to retain their assets, including the equity in their home and other valuable possessions.

Choosing the Right Debt Relief Solution

Navigating the complexities of debt can be a daunting task, but with the guidance of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, individuals can make an informed decision about the most suitable debt relief solution for their unique circumstances. While a consumer proposal may be an excellent option for many, it’s important to carefully consider all available alternatives, including personal bankruptcy, to determine the path that best aligns with your financial goals and long-term well-being.

By understanding the debts that can be included in a consumer proposal, you can take the first step towards regaining control over your financial future. Reach out to a trusted Licensed Insolvency Trustee today to explore your options and embark on the journey towards a debt-free life.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.