Consumer Proposals are considered the #1 alternative to bankruptcy.   This is for a good reason.  They are the only Government approved debt settlement program in Canada.   The number of individuals choosing a consumer proposal as their preferred debt solution has risen significantly in the past number of years as more people learn about them.

We have compiled a list of Advantages and Disadvantages of a Consumer Proposal in Canada:

Advantages of a Consumer Proposal:

For those who qualify, a consumer proposal has several key advantages over bankruptcy:

  1. You Keep your Assets – One of the main and biggest advantage of a proposal is that your assets are protected and you can keep all including tax refunds, investments and home equity.
  2. Lower Monthly payments – In a consumer proposal, you repay only a portion of your debt depending on the terms and agreements made with your Trustee.  It is not uncommon to see debts reduced as much as 70% of amount owed.
  3. No Surplus Income – Unlike in a bankruptcy, where the more you earn, the more you pay,  consumer proposals have a fixed payment amount that does not increase.
  4. Creditor Protection – Once a proposal is approved by your creditors,  a consumer proposal will provide you with creditor protection that will stop collection calls and garnishments.

Key points:

  • It is a negotiated debt settlement
  • Repay only a portion of your total debt
  • One affordable payment is made monthly over no more than 5 years
  • Interest is frozen
  • Filing a proposal is legally binding for you and your creditors.

Disadvantages of a Consumer Proposal:

  1. Time – Although a consumer proposal is a top choice for many debtors, they are not always the best option.   A proposal will usually take longer to complete than a bankruptcy.  Lowering your monthly payment means longer time paying back, however, if your situation improves, you CAN pay off a proposal early.
  2. Credit Rating is still affected. – A consumer proposal DOES affect your credit.  It will show as an R7 rating and stay there for 3 years after completion.
  3. Proposal Terms –  You must adhere to all proposal payments and agreements. You cannot miss payments or fall behind,  or your proposal terms will be terminated.
  4. If you do not have a significant income, and do not own assets that would be seized, then a consumer proposal would not be of benefit.  In this case, filing personal bankruptcy would possibly be your best option.

Only an LIT can act as a consumer proposal administrator.  If you think a consumer proposal is the right solution for you, the next step is to talk with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
Contact us today to find out if a consumer proposal is right for you.