Will Filing a Consumer Proposal Affect My Spouse?

Many individuals often find themselves asking, “Does a Consumer Proposal Affect My Spouse?” This question arises due to the various misconceptions and lack of knowledge about the topic. In this article, we will deeply explore and unravel the truths and myths associated with the impact of a Consumer Proposal on a spouse.


When you’re drowning in debt, it can feel like there’s no way out. But the good news is that there’s a legal option available to you, known as a Consumer Proposal. It’s a formal, legally binding process that is administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). But what happens when you’re married or in a common-law relationship? Does a Consumer Proposal Affect My Spouse? Let’s find out.

The Basics of Consumer Proposals

Before delving into the effects on a spouse, let’s understand what a Consumer Proposal is. It’s an agreement set up by a LIT between you and your creditors to pay back a percentage of what you owe. The remaining debt is then forgiven.

The Impact on a Spouse

The straightforward answer to whether a Consumer Proposal affects your spouse is: it depends. If your spouse is a co-signer, joint borrower, or supplementary cardholder, they could potentially be affected. Otherwise, your decision to file a Consumer Proposal won’t impact them directly.

How Debts are Treated

Debts that are solely in your name will not pass onto your spouse when you file a Consumer Proposal. The same applies to their credit history—it won’t be affected unless they co-signed on your debts.

Considering a Joint Consumer Proposal

In a situation where your spouse is a co-signer or joint borrower, one option could be filing a joint Consumer Proposal. This can help manage the debt and ensure both parties are equally responsible for repayment.

Effects on Credit History

One of the misconceptions about Consumer Proposals is that it will ruin your credit history. While it’s true that it will appear on your credit report, it doesn’t mean your credit is ruined forever.

Financial Strains and Stress

Even if your spouse is not legally responsible for your debts, the financial stress of dealing with debt can strain your relationship. It’s important to keep open lines of communication and support each other through this tough time.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re considering a Consumer Proposal, it’s advisable to seek professional help. Consult a LIT to understand your options and the potential effects on your spouse.


So, Does a Consumer Proposal Affect My Spouse? Not necessarily. It can affect them under certain conditions, but it’s not automatic. It’s crucial to understand all the implications before proceeding with a Consumer Proposal.

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