Dealing with Debt
How do you know if you have too much debt?
The first step is to make a detailed list of all of your missed payments (arrears), outstanding loans, and other credit commitments and when they need to be paid.
Not sure which debts need to be paid first? Some debts are higher priorities than others, such as:
- Rent/mortgage arrears
- City/Town property tax arrears
- Fuel (electricity/oil) debts
- Second mortgage or secured loan
- Maintenance payments such as child support
- Income Tax
Any money you have left after paying your priority debts and expenses (such as mortgage/rent, heat & light, food, etc.) is called your “available income”. You can use this to pay off your lower-priority debts.
- Benefits overpayments (i.e. employment insurance, child tax benefits, GST/HST rebates)
- Credit Cards, loans and other credit debts
- Money borrowed from friends and family
Communication is Key
Keeping your creditors informed of your circumstances is very important – being upfront about potential late payments can build goodwill and leniency.
We all hit the occasional financial rough patch, but the important thing is that you’ve taken the 1st step to a fresh financial start!
And you are not alone, more than 25% of Canadians feel overwhelmed by debt. It can be hard to see the light at the end of a growing pile of too many bills. Our team of professional debt counsellors can help. You have options and you have taken the first step in taking control of your financial future.
The stress of financial problems and growing debt can be felt at work and at home. Most people that file personal bankruptcy or a consumer proposal report that their personal, family and professional lives improved once that stress was removed.
Get your finances back on track
- Contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
The first step in dealing with your financial difficulties is to get the facts by contacting one of Janes and Noseworthy, Licensed Insolvency Trustees’ seven offices across the province to schedule a free, confidential consultation. Our experienced Trustees and Personal Debt Counselors have helped more people through consumer proposals and personal bankruptcy in Newfoundland and Labrador than any other firm.
How to contact us:
- Call us toll-free: 1-800-563-9779 or call an office nearest you.
- Email us. One of our experienced professionals will contact you as soon as possible.
- Fill out the online application form
Our online application form will provide us with an outline of your financial picture (income, assets and expenses). Print it and bring it with you to your free, confidential consultation or email it to your debt counsellor before your appointment (Note: When filling out the form, be sure to ‘Save As’ if you wish to keep the data you have entered into the form.).
- Meet with a Trustee; Your Personal Debt Counsellor
When you meet with your Personal Debt Counsellor, we will review your financial situation together and give you the facts so we can figure out the best next step.
To prepare for your meeting, you should gather all your financial papers including pay stubs, income tax assessments, bills, credit card statements, etc. If you completed our online application form, bring the form with you because it is a great tool in figuring out the best way forward.
- Get the facts and know your options
Once you have met with one of our expert Trustees or Personal Debt Counsellors, gotten all the facts and listened to your options, you should take some time to review the information you’ve received.
We understand that dealing with debt can be very stressful. The important thing to remember is that you have already taken the biggest step by asking for help, gathering the facts, and learning what options are available to manage your debt.
Some of those options are:
- Debt consolidation loans or refinancing;
- an informal arrangement with creditors and/or debt counselling;
- a Consumer Proposal governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act;
- Personal Bankruptcy
Once you’ve reviewed all of the information, you can set up a second meeting with your Personal Debt Counsellor, decide which option is best for you and your family and sign any necessary documents.
- Counselling Sessions
As part of your plan to regain control of your finances, you will need to attend counselling sessions set up by your Personal Debt Counsellor. These sessions will teach you how to manage your finances and create a budget that will help you stay on track moving forward.
Other Resources to help get you started