I quickly understood why people refer to Hamilton, Ontario as the hammer. I was in the city speaking at the Tim Hortons field in Hamilton and was very excited to see the turnout for a motivational / debt-related speech, trying to get people motivated to be financially free. It wasn’t what I expected, I generally speak to big dreams and living the good life, but that being said the biggest discovery was a consumer proposal (versus what people assumed was bankruptcy – their only option).
Instead of working to pump everyone up, it became a Q&A and I think one of the best nights of business for consumer proposal Hamilton advisors. So what did we get out of it? Well, I think we all learned a lot that night because in all honesty, I have never needed to use or work on one of these before!
So how are they different? Well, the trustees at Hoyes Michalos explain that they are in fact very different. A bankruptcy is a legal process that forces you to earn only a certain amount of income each month and give up the majority of your assets under the supervision of a trustee. By forces, I merely mean that the amount you pay is tied to the amount you earn. It will last 9 months and be on your record for 7 years. A consumer proposal on the other hand is essentially a vote among all of your creditors, where they get one vote per dollar owed and there must be a majority vote. A consumer proposal will lump all the debts together and offer so many cents on the dollar over a fixed amount over a fixed period until it is paid.
Wow – well good luck and I hope you’ve learned something you will never need!
Some would argue the first step to financial freedom is paying off the debt you owe others, especially and I say especially when it is consumer debt (versus something used to buy something else that generates money – more on that later!). Struggling with debt is frustrating and worrisome; however, there are options that can help such as paying down debt. Another option is seeking help from a bankruptcy trustee; especially if you need legal protection from creditors and to stop annoying phone calls and letters.
Talk with your creditors
Another option is to talk with your creditors. Talking with your creditors on how to make a lower payment over a longer period of time or talking with a creditor about reducing the interest charged on your debts, are two other ways to deal with debt.
Consider a debt consolidation loan
In addition, how about considering a debt consolidation loan through your bank or refinancing your mortgage? A debt consolidation loan works well for some because it lets you take care of all your creditors with one payment to your bank. This method is effective because the bank agrees to loan you the money you need and then pays the money out to your creditors.
To conclude, there are several options that can help when you struggle with debt. Choose one or more of the above options, and get out of debt! Don’t let debt wear you down! With options like credit counseling and consumer debt help, there are effective ways to deal with debt.
For more information on consumer proposals in particular, you can watch the below video: