A consumer proposal is a legally binding agreement regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. If you are facing financial challenges, you are within your rights to ask for debt forgiveness.
If you are no longer able to pay back all of your debts, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) can reduce your debt load to a fraction of what you owe, often between 30-70%, by negotiating with your creditors on your behalf.
A consumer proposal offers you protection from your creditors. It will stop your creditors from taking legal action against you, garnisheeing your wages, and even calling you.
A consumer proposal does not include secured debt, such as a mortgage debt or a vehicle loan, and remains separate from these financial commitments. As long as you’re able to keep up with your mortgage or car loan payment during the term of your consumer proposal, you can keep these assets. In many cases, a consumer proposal makes keeping up with secured debt payments a lot easier, because the rest of your financial situation is under control.
To qualify, you must meet certain requirements before filing a consumer proposal.
For many people who find themselves unable to pay back their debts, a consumer proposal is an effective strategy for eliminating debt without losing any of your assets. Many people who fear they might have to declare bankruptcy are often able to solve their debt problems by filing a consumer proposal.
Learn more about the key differences between a consumer proposal and bankruptcy here.
Provides immediate relief from unmanageable debt.
Reduces and consolidates your debt repayment into one manageable monthly payment.
Usually less expensive than other types of repayment options.
In the example below, a woman named Mary is carrying $25,000 in credit card debt. She files a consumer proposal, and a Licensed Insolvency Trustee negotiates with her creditors so that she only has to repay 60% of her debt, or $15,000, over a period of five years.
|Mary's consumer proposal
|Pay back 60% of original amount owed
|Pay debt in full with no interest, plus a "fair share fee" equal to 10% of the debt
|Debt consolidation loan
|Pay debt in full at 12% interest, compounded annually
|Pay debt in full at 19% interest, compounded annually
Compared to other forms of debt relief, the consumer proposal is the most cost efficient and puts you on a path toward becoming debt free.
A consumer proposal can provide immediate debt relief and a path to becoming debt-free, but it will temporarily affect your credit rating.
Once your LIT files your consumer proposal, it will result in an R7 rating on your credit report, the second lowest rating that reporting agencies, like TransUnion or Equifax, use. The consumer proposal will remain on your credit report for six years from the date of your filing or three years after you are discharged from the proposal, whichever comes first.
A consumer proposal impacts your credit, but it doesn’t last forever. Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee can advise you on the different ways you can rebuild your credit, during and after your consumer proposal.
A consumer proposal can free up significant financial resources that could help you in the short term and the long term. It’s a chance to create breathing room in your budget so can focus on meeting your financial goals.
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) is the only professional licensed and authorized to file a consumer proposal on your behalf.
An LIT is the most qualified to help you understand your financial situation and the different debt relief strategies that are available to you, from debt consolidation to bankruptcy, and everything in between.
Your first meeting with an LIT is free. During your consultation, your LIT will be able to give you a full debt assessment, an explanation of each option and their recommendation for your best step forward. The initial consultation usually lasts about one hour, and you are under no obligation to pursue any of our services.
In this example, a woman named Mary is carrying $25,000 in credit card debt. She files a consumer proposal, and a Licensed Insolvency Trustee negotiates with her creditors so that she only must repay 60 per cent of her debt, or $15,000, over a period of five years. Here’s how her consumer proposal compares to other debt relief solutions:
Mary’s Consumer Proposal
Debt Consolidation Loan
Pay back 60% of original amount owed
Pay back debt in full with no interest, plus a “fair share fee” equal to 10% of debt
Pay debt in full at 12% interest, compounded annually
Pay back debt in full at 19% interest, compounded annually
Any form of unsecured debt (debt that is not backed, or secured, by an asset you own—like how a mortgage loan is secured by your house) can be included in a consumer proposal. Types of unsecured debt include:
Lines of credit
With a consumer proposal, you will pay the same amount to your Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) every month; in bankruptcy, the monthly amount you pay can vary based on your surplus income.
Most importantly, when you file a consumer proposal, you will not lose any of your assets. By filing bankruptcy, some of your assets will likely be sold to repay a portion of the debt owed to your creditors.