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Consumer Proposal in Nova Scotia: A Step-by-Step Guide [2023]

Debt can be a burden that weighs heavily on individuals, affecting their financial well-being and overall quality of life. In Nova Scotia, consumer proposals offer individuals an alternative to personal bankruptcy, providing a structured and manageable way to repay debts while avoiding the harsh consequences of bankruptcy. In this article, we will explore the concept of consumer proposals, how they work in Nova Scotia, and why they can be a viable option for reducing debt payments without declaring personal bankruptcy.

Understanding Consumer Proposals in Nova Scotia

If you’re knee-deep in debt and feeling the heat, a consumer proposal in Nova Scotia might be your life raft. A consumer proposal is a legal agreement between an individual and their creditors, allowing the individual to propose a repayment plan to repay a portion of their debts over an agreed-upon period. This arrangement is based on the principle that it is in the best interest of both the debtor and the creditors to avoid bankruptcy and find a reasonable compromise for debt repayment.

Consumer proposals are governed by Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. This Act ensures that the process is fair and transparent, and also protects the rights and interests of all parties involved.

Advantages of Opting for a Consumer Proposal

A consumer proposal in Nova Scotia can be the lifebuoy you need when drowning in debt. But why choose this route over other options? Here’s what makes it attractive:

  • Reduced Debt Payments: One of the main benefits of a consumer proposal is the ability to reduce debt payments. By consolidating unsecured debts into a single monthly payment, individuals can regain control over their finances and work towards becoming debt-free
  • Legal Protection: Once a consumer proposal is accepted by the creditors, the individual is protected from further collection actions or legal proceedings by a Stay of Proceedings. This protection offers peace of mind and allows individuals to focus on repaying their debts as agreed upon in the proposal.
  • Avoiding Bankruptcy: Consumer proposals provide an alternative to personal bankruptcy. Choosing a consumer proposal instead of bankruptcy allows individuals to maintain their assets and minimize the impact on their overall financial profile.
  • Structured Payment Plan: Consumer proposals provide a structured repayment plan that takes into account the individual’s income, expenses, and overall financial situation. This ensures that the repayment plan is realistic and tailored to the debtor’s capacity to pay, while also considering the interests of the creditors.

The decision to start a consumer proposal should not be taken lightly though; make sure it aligns with your long-term financial goals and current circumstances. A consumer proposal can be utilized to help one out of a tricky financial predicament and back onto a more secure footing.

The Process of Filing a Consumer Proposal in Nova Scotia

When it comes to filing a consumer proposal, the first step is finding help. The process of creating a consumer proposal involves working with a licensed insolvency trustee. These professionals are authorized by the government to administer consumer proposals and guide individuals through the process. In Nova Scotia, that means reaching out to Golding & Associates, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

You’ll start by scheduling an appointment for an initial consultation. During this meeting, you’ll discuss your financial situation and potential options with us.

If you decide to pursue a consumer proposal as your best option, we’ll work with you to draft the document. Based on the assessment, we’ll formulate a consumer proposal that outlines the proposed repayment plan, including the amount to be repaid, the timeline for repayment, and any other conditions relevant to the agreement.

Once the consumer proposal is approved, the individual begins making monthly payments to the licensed insolvency trustee, who then distributes the funds to the creditors. The debtor must adhere to the agreed-upon repayment plan until all obligations are met.

Potential Challenges and Limitations of Consumer Proposals

While consumer proposals can offer a lifeline for those drowning in debt, they come with their own set of challenges. One significant hurdle is the need for creditor approval. Your creditors have to agree to your proposal, which isn’t always guaranteed. However, we are very experienced and the approval rate on our proposals is over 98%, so we an help you file a proposal with the best chance of approval.

Another challenge lies in sticking to the repayment plan. Missed payments could lead to annulment of the proposal, leaving you back at square one.  If you miss 3 payments in your consumer proposal it is automatically deemed annulled.

While a consumer proposal in Nova Scotia allows for the consolidation of unsecured debts, it is important to note that not all debts are eligible. Secured debts, such as mortgages or car loans, are typically not included in the proposal – unless you are letting the asset go.   However, unsecured debts such as credit card debt, personal loans, and certain types of taxes can be consolidated and included in the repayment plan.

A final limitation? The impact on your credit rating. A record of your consumer proposal will stay on your credit report for three years after completion—a potential obstacle when seeking future financing. Learn more about how it affects credit scores here.

Conclusion

Consumer proposals in Nova Scotia provide a viable option for individuals who are burdened by debt and wish to avoid personal bankruptcy. With the ability to reduce debt payments, protect assets, and regain control over personal finances, consumer proposals offer a structured and manageable method for repaying debts. 

By working with a licensed insolvency trustee and adhering to the agreed-upon repayment plan, individuals can take positive steps towards achieving financial stability and ultimately becoming debt-free. If you are facing overwhelming debt, it may be worth considering a consumer proposal and consulting with a licensed insolvency trustee to explore this alternative to personal bankruptcy. For those who are looking to find a brighter financial future, get in touch with our team to learn more about a consumer proposal in Nova Scotia