Category Archives: Debt Help

Surplus Income Calculator

At Grant Thornton Limited in Thunder Bay, Dryden and Fort Frances, we are pleased to announce that we have created an online surplus income calculator for the benefit of people in Northwestern Ontario considering, or currently in, one of the debt solutions that we offer.

“Surplus income” is a concept incorporated in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, which is the legislation that governs bankruptcy and consumer proposals in Canada. In basic terms, the idea is that if you are bankrupt and earning more than enough money to have a basic standard of living, your creditors should be repaid at least a portion of their debt through your wages. Each year, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy publishes what the standards are for households of various sizes. Your household income is then compared to that each month, and any surplus is determined.

For many in bankruptcy, or considering bankruptcy, this is the most confusing part of the process. The most important thing to remember is that, with the exception of certain “non-discretionary expenses” such as child/spousal support, child care, and medical expenses, your household expenses are largely irrelevant. The calculation is done strictly based on your income, and the Superintendent’s Standards.

As such, it is quite easy to estimate the amount of surplus income that you will have, if you know the income of you and your spouse (if applicable) and the number of people in your household. Just plug this information in to the calculator and it will estimate your surplus income for you. Please note that this is a tool for estimation purposes only and all final calculations will be done in accordance with Directive 11R2 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

If you have any questions about how surplus income would apply to your situation, please contact us toll free at 310-8888 to arrange an appointment in Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, or Dryden. Don’t be alarmed if the surplus income calculation results in a high number for you. If this is the case, you may qualify for a consumer proposal, which could result in lower monthly payments.

The Surplus Income Calculator can be found at

Debt Levels Continue To Climb

A new week means new reports on the increasing debt levels of Canadians.  This time the reports result from a survey commissioned by the Royal Bank of Canada on the debt levels of Canadians.

As you are likely aware by now, both from reading our past blogs and from the numerous and frequent news reports on the subject, the average debt levels of Canadians continue to rise.  According to this survey, only 24% of Canadians are without non-mortgage debt, down from 26% in 2012.

This survey also tells us that 38% of Canadians are anxious about their debt levels.  This is up from 34% last year.  Wouldn’t it be great if you were among those Canadians without debt, giving you one less thing to worry about and allowing you to sleep better at night?

For some people, the way out of debt is through careful budgeting, reduced spending, and improving your income situation.  Unfortunately, for many people this path is not always realistic.  Many people that we see in our Grant Thornton offices in Fort Frances, Dryden, Marathon and Thunder Bay are already great budgeters.  However, sometimes no amount of budgeting will help if you are carrying large amounts of debt and your income is limited due to things like medical issues, loss of employment, or large support payments.  Likewise, many people who visit us for debt help bring in a decent income, but already have so much debt that it simply is not serviceable, even with a steady income.

In order for these people to join the 24% of Canadians who are without debt, some form of debt restructuring is likely required.  That is where Grant Thornton can help.  Through a consumer proposal or a bankruptcy, you can deal with your debts in a way that could leave you debt free.  For more information, please call us toll-free at 310-8888.

What Options Are There For Seniors In Debt?

One of the things that we are seeing more and more of at our Grant Thornton Limited offices in Fort Frances, Dryden and Thunder Bay is senior citizens with debt troubles. Unfortunately, during a time in their lives at which people had envisioned themselves enjoying the peace and relaxation of their golden years, many seniors are instead dealing with calls from creditors that just won’t stop.

And it’s not just us noticing this trend either. Recent articles in newspapers like The Globe and Mail and the National Post are confirming this fact as well. The debt burden of Canadians over 65 years of age is increasing at a faster rate than any other age group, according to these reports. It has been theorized that the reason for this is that seniors’ pensions aren’t sufficient to live the lifestyle that they had envisioned for themselves at that age, so some are turning to credit cards and other forms of debt in order to make ends meet.  Of course, this can only last for so long before it becomes unsustainable. Other theories are that people are living longer, sometimes to the point where they outlive their retirement savings, or that seniors can be more prone to medical issues that can lead to unforeseen costs. Whatever the cause of the financial difficulties, there is a reasonable chance that a government-licensed trustee in bankruptcy can help you to get out of them, either through a consumer proposal or a bankruptcy (if necessary).

Nobody envisions a retirement full of credit card bills and collection calls. Unfortunately though, it can happen. The good news is that Grant Thornton may be able to help you to deal with your debt in a manner that takes the stress away and allows you to enjoy life again. Give us a call at 310-8888 (toll free from anywhere in Northwestern Ontario) for a free, no-obligation consultation to explore your options.

See Us in Thunder Bay & NW Ontario for Judgment-Free Debt Advice

At our Grant Thornton Limited offices in Thunder Bay, Dryden, and Fort Frances, people from all walks of life, and from all over Northwestern Ontario, come to see us for debt solutions.  There is no “typical bankrupt”.  There are many reasons why people fall behind in their bills and come to see us to find out how to become debt free.  With the cost of living constantly increasing, and wages not always keeping pace, there are many people in the region who are living paycheque to paycheque.  As such, it can only take a small piece of bad luck, such as an illness or layoff from work, to cause people to fall behind on their bills.  Once this happens, even after you recover from your personal situation, it is difficult to bring yourself current with your bills again.  If you’re living paycheque to paycheque, there isn’t going to be much extra money each month to use to make up the payments that you missed.  We understand this, and this is why we do not judge anyone who comes to see us.

We haven’t lived your life and haven’t been through your job loss, medical issues, marital problems, or whatever circumstances put you in the position that you are in.  Stuff happens, we get that.  All you can do it make the best of your own situation, and by coming to this website you are taking a step towards that.  Bad circumstances got you into debt, and we can help you get out of the debt.  You have options, including consolidation loans, informal settlements, consumer proposals, and bankruptcy.  The first step is find out which one is right for you.  Contact us by email at or by phone at 310-8888 (toll free) to get started turning your financial situation around.

And for that, we will applaud you, not judge you.

Debt Help in Thunder Bay & NW Ontario

Are you looking for ways to get out of debt and to become debt free? Do you want to avoid bankruptcy? If your answer is yes to both of these questions then there are bankruptcy alternatives that will provide you with debt solutions on the best way to get out of debt. At our Grant Thornton offices in Northwestern Ontario, you can get debt help Thunder Bay, debt help Dryden and debt help Fort Frances.

At our offices, we provide FREE no obligation consultations both in person and by phone to review and discuss your options. Some of your possible options include: debt consolidation, informal settlement, credit counselling, consumer proposal and bankruptcy as a last resort. Frank Fabiano, the Trustee in Bankruptcy, and his staff of Grant Thornton professionals will help you navigate through some of these complicated situations to arrive at your best option. We will explain everything in detail so that you can get out of debt fast and start fresh!

Furthermore, we at Grant Thornton are not here to just sign you up and then forget about you. We want to make sure that we set you up for success and that you can complete what you decide to start. We ensure that whatever option you choose is a viable option for you, and more importantly is something that will help alleviate your financial stress on a go-forward basis for you and your family. We also make sure that we follow the spirit of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act which states, “To give an honest but unfortunate debtor a fresh start”.

We always tell debtors that Grant Thornton is here to provide them debt help in Canada; however, we also remind them that they have to be committed to the process in order to get it completed in the shortest possible time period without setting a foot in a court room and/or incurring additional costs.

To get debt help in Thunder Bay, Dryden, Fort Frances and other areas of Northwestern Ontario, call us toll free at 310-8888 for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your options. We look forward to hearing from you!