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What Is A Consumer Proposal Winnipeg

Are There Disadvantages to a Consumer Proposal?

What is a Consumer Proposal?

To put it in its simplest terms, a Consumer Proposal is a settlement offer to your creditors. When filing a consumer proposal Winnipeg residents – and all other Canadians – can no longer be targeted for collection actions by creditors. A Stay of Proceedings is put in place upon the filing of a consumer proposal. In this way, filing a Consumer Proposal is similar to filing for bankruptcy.

What are the requirements for filing a Consumer Proposal?

You must be insolvent, (insolvency means you are unable to pay your debts as they come due, or the value of your property is less than your debts) owe between $1,000 and $250,000, and be a resident of Canada in order to file a consumer proposal. Winnipeg residents, and all Canadians, owing more than $250,000 can still file a proposal, just not a consumer proposal. Couples filing a joint proposal can file if they jointly owe under $500,000.

What happens after a Consumer Proposal is filed?

Once a consumer proposal is filed, creditors have 45 days to respond to the proposal and vote on the proposal. If 25% or more, by dollar value, of your creditors vote against the proposal and request a meeting of creditors, a meeting of creditors must be held. At the creditor meeting, the proposal will be accepted or rejected by a simple majority of creditors. If the proposal is initially rejected, it can be amended to something that will hopefully be accepted. If an agreement cannot be reached, bankruptcy is always an option.

What are your duties in a Consumer Proposal?

In a consumer proposal Winnipeg residents, and all Canadians, are required to attend the same two counselling sessions as in a bankruptcy. If the counselling sessions are not attended, the Consumer Debtor is not eligible for a certificate of Full Performance, which would otherwise be received once all payments are made.

What are the benefits of a Consumer Proposal?

  • No loss of assets
  • No surplus income payment requirements 
  • No impact on professional designations 
  • No fees in addition to the proposal payments offered to creditors 
  • No loss of tax refunds
  • Credit rating improves to R7 once completed
  • A Consumer Proposal can be a path to affordably repaying at least a portion of what you owe
  • The end result of a Consumer Proposal will be to get you out of debt
  • A Consumer Proposal may be an avenue to affordable payments
  • A Consumer Proposal will eliminate additional interest charges
  • Once your Consumer Proposal is filed, you will be automatically protected from collection efforts by your creditors through a Stay of Proceedings
  • A Consumer Proposal will protect you from garnishments
  • Consumer Proposals are by nature flexible – yours can be tailored to your unique needs

Are There Disadvantages to a Consumer Proposal?

  • A Winnipeg Consumer Proposal may cost more and last longer than a bankruptcy
  • If you fail to uphold your side of the Proposal and complete all payments, you will again owe the full amount (less payments already made to your creditors). Your debt will only be erased when agreed upon payments are made in full.
  • Some debts cannot be discharged through a Consumer Proposal, including: loans under the Canada Student Loans Act where the Consumer Debtor ceased to be a full or part time student within 7 years of filing the proposal; alimony, maintenance, and child support; fines and penalties issued by the court; debts resulting from fraud or misrepresentation; awards of damages by a court resulting from intentional injury claims

How much does a consumer proposal cost?

It’s impossible to determine how much your consumer proposal will cost without first acquiring the necessary details. The cost of your consumer proposal will vary based on these factors: 

  • Amount owed
  • Assets owned
  • Income earned
  • Other factors which will be determined in your meeting with the Trustee

The best way to get an estimate on your consumer proposal is to meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Get in touch and we’d be happy to work with you on finding a solution that will free you from your debt.

Is there a consumer proposal calculator?

Similar to the answer above, unfortunately, there’s no easy way to quickly determine the exact amount to pay for your consumer proposal without first meeting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (the only person that can actually file a consumer proposal). So there is no consumer proposal calculator per se. 

At Caplan Debt Solutions, we go out of our way to ensure that the entire process is totally transparent and straightforward. You’ll understand where every dollar is going and why it’s going there, ensuring that no details are missed or money misallocated; we’re here to help you get free from your debt as quickly and respectfully pain-free as possible.

Is a consumer proposal worth it?

That’s a decision that only you can make. From a numbers perspective, it is often highly advantageous for you to work with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to develop your consumer proposal. You will most often end up paying only a fraction of the total that you owe.

As mentioned above, there are consumer proposal pros and cons. But your specific, unique circumstances can provide a clearer picture as to whether a consumer proposal Canada is right for you. 

That said, of the consumer proposal pros and cons, if you have assets that you are certain you want to protect and your debt is becoming unmanageable, a consumer proposal could perhaps be the only option that allows you to get out from under that debt without losing those assets (opposed to bankruptcy).

How long does a consumer proposal take?

The first step is meeting with Bruce Caplan, our Licensed Insolvency Trustee at Caplan Debt Solutions. Bruce has over 25 years of experience helping people take back control of their finances through consumer proposals in Winnipeg. 

Bruce will work with you to carefully assess your situation and help you chart a path forward. 

A condition of the consumer proposal is that you have up to 60 months to pay it out. You can offer payments on a shorter term than 60 months, but creditors tend to prefer the full five year schedule. Increasing the amount of the payments, after acceptance of the proposal would, however, shorten the term.

Will I have a lower credit score after a consumer proposal?

The impact will be similar to what happens during a bankruptcy. 

Equifax (one of the most widely used consumer credit reporting agencies) removes a consumer proposal from your credit report 3 years after you complete your payments on the proposal.

As mentioned above, a proposal generally lasts 5 years, but if you are able to pay off your debts in a shorter period of time, it will be stricken from your credit report more quickly. 

Compare this to a bankruptcy which, at minimum, is on your Equifax credit report for at least 6 years once you are discharged from bankruptcy and can remain on there for up to 14 years if you are filing a second bankruptcy. 

In other words, while your credit score after a consumer proposal will be impacted, you have the opportunity to more quickly remediate that impact with a consumer proposal vs bankruptcy.

How to file a consumer proposal?

To get the process started, you must meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Bruce Caplan has over 25 years of experience helping people take back control of their finances, and would be happy to help you with yours. A consumer proposal in Manitoba (and throughout Canada) can only be filed by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

What happens when you file a consumer proposal?

After meeting with your Licensed Insolvency Trustee (in this case, Bruce), he will work with you to craft your proposal. One meeting with your Licensed Insolvency Trustee is mandatory. Then, the proposal can be filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). You now no longer make payments directly to your unsecured creditors, and any wage garnishment or lawsuits actions are halted. 

Your Trustee will then submit the proposal to your creditors and include a report that details your personal situation, the causal factors of your financial difficulties and the estimated returns in a consumer proposal compared to what your creditors might receive had you chosen to file an Assignment in Bankruptcy. The creditors then have 45 days to either accept or reject the proposal. A meeting is held if one or more creditors accounting for over 25% of the total debt owed requests one. This must be done within the 45 day period. The OSB can also direct the Trustee to call a meeting within those 45 days. 

Following a call for a meeting, the creditors have 21 days to meet. They will then vote on the proposal. The proposal will be accepted if creditors holding collectively 51% or more of the debt approve. If an agreement cannot be made, bankruptcy is always an option. 

There are more details, but that presents a basic, broad overview. Bruce would be happy to explain more – speak with him today.

For More Information Call Caplan Debt Solutions.

If you have questions about consumer proposals, bankruptcy, Winnipeg financial counselling services, or other services offered by Caplan Debt Solutions, feel free to contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.  

You can feel confident at Caplan Debt Solutions that your financial future and wellbeing will be carefully looked after.

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Client Testimonial

I just want to take this opportunity to thank Bruce for preparing Consumer Proposals for my wife and I. We had been purchasing tax programs for seven years, and when Revenue Canada suddenly disallowed the program, we found ourselves in a position of a large tax arrear. In trying to service the large tax debt, we fell behind in our other payments to the point where they became unmanageable. It was at this point we looked for help. We were referred by a friend to a company, and after discussing our situation they said Bruce Caplan was the man we should speak to. We were grateful for that referral. We met with Bruce and found him professional and knowledgeable. He put together our two proposals and had them quickly approved. Bruce was also very accessible during the preparation of the proposals, which we found very helpful. My wife Sarah and I (Peter) can refer Bruce Caplan to you as a true Professional in his work.

Peter and Sarah