Tag Archives: #tbay

Where Should I Go to Get Debt Help In Thunder Bay?

These days, in Northwestern Ontario, there are two options for debt help in Dryden, Fort Frances, and Thunder Bay. These options are bankruptcy, or a consumer proposal. Both options are only available through Trustees in Bankruptcy.

Trustees in Bankruptcy are individuals and/or companies that are licensed by the Government of Canada to assist individuals and businesses with their debt troubles. This assistance can take many forms, and doesn’t just mean bankruptcy. In many instances, a Trustee in Bankruptcy will work with the consumer debtor to file a consumer proposal, as opposed to a bankruptcy. A consumer proposal is a settlement to creditors to repay less than the full amount of debt owing. This repayment amount can even be as low as 25% of the amount owing. The actual amount in each case will depend on things like income, assets, and debt. Consumer proposals are an excellent tool to help people deal with their debt. And do you know who the only people in Canada licensed to file consumer proposals for people are? Trustees in Bankruptcy! This may seem strange, because a consumer proposal certainly isn’t bankruptcy, but it’s the case. The reason for this is that consumer proposals are a relatively new tool for debt management, whereas the term “Trustee in Bankruptcy” has been around for years. Sometimes though, like in this case, this older term doesn’t fit.

You may come across other entities out there calling themselves “debt management”, “debt solutions” or “life solutions” companies. Don’t be fooled, however. These companies are not legally authorized by the federal government to file consumer proposals. They may eventually direct you to a Trustee in Bankruptcy, who, as noted above, is licensed to do this, but not without taking a hefty “consulting fee” first!

So, if you have questions about your debt, cut out the middle man and contact us directly today.

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 www.gtdebthelp.com/surplus.

Tougher laws for debt settlement companies receive Royal Assent

On December 12, Royal Assent was granted to Bill 55 in Ontario.  As many of you know, Royal Assent is the final step before a bill becomes law, meaning that these new regulations for debt settlement companies are now in place.  We’re thrilled by this news.  As we have posted before, we have met many people looking for debt help in Northwestern Ontario who have fallen victim to a debt settlement company.  Without regulation, these companies were free to make wild promises to consumers that they often did not deliver on.

Among others, this Act will bring in the following restrictions on debt settlement companies:

–          All terms of the agreement must be disclosed

–          The effect on your credit rating must be disclosed

–          A written copy of the agreement must be given to you

–          Only one settlement agreement can be in place with each debtor at a time

–          They cannot demand payment in advance of providing the services

–          They cannot take security against their services

–          They must provide a refund if certain terms are met

We applaud the actions of the Ontario Government in this matter, bringing provincial legislation in line with that of other provinces, such as Manitoba and Nova Scotia, that have already cracked down on these companies.

As always, we recommend consulting with a government-licensed trustee in bankruptcy as a part of confronting your debt.  We are local, in your community, and we can meet you face to face to discuss your difficulties.   Visit our web site at www.thunderbaybankruptcy.com.