Debt help, tips and pitfalls
OTTAWA (ON), November 9, 2022 /CNW/ – Is your debt spiraling out of control? Not sure where to turn for help? You’re not alone.
As part of Financial Literacy Month 2022, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) and the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP) are working together to help Canadians find advice and reliable solutions to settle their debt. The OSB and CAIRP websites provide important tools and information to help consumers deal with financial difficulties. But what about finding the right professional? When looking for help dealing with your debts, here are some things to consider:
- Beware of unregulated and unlicensed debt advisers claiming to be licensed to help you with insolvency options. Some charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for services they are not authorized to provide, or for unnecessary services offered before, during, or after a consumer proposal or bankruptcy filing.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of high-pressure sales tactics or unrealistic promises to quickly resolve your debt problems or fix your credit score. Signs can include high fees, high interest rates, late payments, and advisors encouraging you to make further advances on your credit card or take out a high-interest loan to pay their fees.
- Meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). LITs provide independent and impartial advice on debt management options. They are required to assess your financial and personal situation and discuss all options available to resolve financial hardship, including insolvency and non-insolvency options.
- The BSF has a directory of SAIs and SAI companies. SAI services are available nationwide, even in remote areas.
- An LIT can recommend non-insolvency options such as talking to your creditors, consolidating your debts, establishing and following a budget or a debt management plan (DMP). If necessary, they will refer you to a reputable credit counseling agency, for example, to access DMP services.
- If your financial situation is more serious, an LIT may recommend an insolvency option such as a consumer proposal or bankruptcy. SAIs are the only professionals licensed to administer these government-regulated insolvency options.
- Ask for a free consultation. Initial consultations with an LIT can be free, so people facing debt problems can get advice without obligation and without upfront costs.
- Most importantly, be a well-informed consumer by consulting trusted sources of information, asking questions, and seeking second opinions. This can help you avoid paying unnecessary services or fees.
“Those who face Desperate financial situations are susceptible to false promises of a quick fix to their debt problems. Anyone considering a consumer proposal or bankruptcy should first meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. LITs are the only federally regulated professionals who can offer debt relief options such as bankruptcy and consumer proposals. LITs are bound by a code of ethics and required to explore all debt relief options to help debtors find the best solution for their needs.”
– Elizabeth LangSuperintendent of Bankruptcy.
“When seeking advice from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Canadians can be assured they are dealing with someone who has demonstrated that they have the knowledge, experience and skills to help them make choices. enlightened to settle their debt. They are the only debt relief professionals Canada legally required to offer a full financial assessment, explain all debt relief options and offer unbiased advice.“
– Jean-Daniel BretonPresident of CAIRP.
- The OSB’s Debt Solutions Portal provides accurate and reliable information, including a practical questionnaire, to help consumers deal with their financial difficulties.
- CAIRP is the national professional association representing nearly 1,500 members and associates, primarily LITs who have obtained the Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional designation.
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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), [email protected]; Angela Joyce, Media Relations, Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals, 403-681-9286, [email protected]