Guest commentary provided by Benny Mendlowitz, CA, Bankruptcy Trustee and Consumer Proposal Administrator, Bankruptcy-Scarborough.com
I meet with dozens of people every month. They don’t feel good about the fact that they can’t pay their debts in full, but they do feel better when they have come up with a plan to deal with their debts. I can’t put a “number” on feelings, but I can tell you it plays a big part in the process.
Let’s talk about feelings before they meet me. They are afraid to answer the phone because it probably is a collection call. They are afraid to look at the mail because it probably is full of overdue notices, or worse, letters from lawyers, or even worse, the courts. They don’t sleep well, if at all. They can’t concentrate at work. They argue with their family and loved ones. They drink more. They smoke more. Any of this sound familiar?
After they have met with me, they feel relief. We have found a solution to their financial problems. Why is that?
We start with a simple, and painless, debt assessment. Who do you owe money to? How much do you owe? How much can you afford to pay each month? Just talking through their situation can help them look at their situation a little more clearly.
Next we look at all their debt relief options. Many are relieved to find out that bankruptcy is not their only way out. In fact, less than 1 in 5 people who come to see me end up filing for bankruptcy. Some file a consumer proposal, an alternative that allows them to repay a portion of their debts with one simple monthly payment. Others are referred to local credit counselling agencies for budgeting help, some may be advised to consolidate their debts through a second mortgage and some just need help looking at their finances and finding a small fix that can help them solve their problems on their own.
clear the slate, get a fresh start, and get back to living again.
For more information, please see my comments on the advantages of a consumer proposal, with my comments on feelings, stress, and relief.