Alberta Licensed Insolvency Trustees are available to help residents develop a consumer proposal or to discharge debts in bankruptcy. These individuals are regulated by the federal government of Canada, as are the fees they charge. Most provide free consultations so men and women can learn more about what their best options are and how to proceed. The programs allow consumers to make a fresh start when they have become overwhelmed with debt.
A consumer proposal is similar to Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the United States, but not exactly the same. Chapter 13 always creates a repayment plan in which the person makes payments to a trustee each month for three to five years. A consumer proposal also can have this arrangement, but it may instead have a lump sum payment that the creditors all agree on for their portion. The rest of the debt is discharged.
Student Loan Debt
Canada also is more helpful for people struggling with student loan debt. This debt often can be discharged in bankruptcy for men and women who have not been a full-time or part-time student for seven years. If their hardship is significant enough, the debt might be discharged within five years. Consumers who qualify are able to restructure the loan debt into a more affordable repayment plan.
An Increase in Filings
Trustees are seeing an increase in insolvency filings over recent years. They cite some reasons that are assumed to be causing the increase. One is rising interest rates that make it more difficult for people to pay credit cards and loans because the required payments are higher. Another is the trend toward people struggling financially to take out high-interest installment loans instead of short-term payday loans.
Payday loans also have high interest but they must be paid back quickly. Installment loans can be made for much higher amounts and then require high payments monthly or twice monthly. People obtain these loans out of desperation and then find it impossible to keep up with the payments. An installment loan might be $5,000, for example, but a payday loan is commonly no more than $500.