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Overwhelmed By Debt? We Can Help!
When experiencing debt problems, the stress can seep into all parts of your life, and there may seem like there is no way out. The good news is, there are solutions that will stop the stress, stop creditors from calling, and allow you to start a fresh financial future.
Depending on your specific situation, budgeting and credit counselling may be what you need to get back on track. In other situations, an immediate legal option may be required, such as a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.
Consumer proposals and bankruptcies are the only debt restructuring options available in Alberta that are legally binding on your creditors. And only a licensed insolvency trustee has the legal authority to file and administer a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.
At Bromwich & Smith we are a team of dedicated professionals, licensed and regulated by the government, with the legal authority to act as officers of the court. So not only are we focused on both your emotional and financial wellbeing, we have the legal authority to offer you a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, which will immediately stop creditor actions and allow you to start creating your debt free future.
How do we determine which debt restructuring solution is best for you?
-We will examine your complete financial situation, including what you owe, what you own and what your earnings are.
-Find the solution(s) that best fit your specific situation.
-Provide you with concise and easy-to-understand details on the advantages and disadvantages of each debt solution available to you.
-Get you back on the road to being debt free!
Avoid Bankruptcy With A Consumer Proposal
What is a Consumer Proposal?Consumer Proposals were created as an alternative to personal bankruptcy and can be a “win-win” situation for both you and your creditors. A consumer proposal will reduce your total debt load and offer legal protection.
As a simple example, if you owe a total of $30,000 in unsecured debt, the bankruptcy trustee you engage will present a formal, legally binding, proposal to your creditors offering to pay back 50% of the debt, or $15,000. The proposal will contain a time frame and a monthly payment tailored to your financial situation. If your disposable income is $400 the proposal might offer repayment of $250 a month, allowing you a little breathing room. The repayment would be stretched out over five years, which is the maximum time frame for consumer proposals. For some situations, you may be able to offer a lump sum payment.
Creditors “win” with consumer proposals since they get some of their money back and consumers win since they can keep all their assets and perhaps feel better about themselves as they are taking some responsibility for their own debt.
Your eligibity for a Consumer Proposal will depend on your particular financial picture. To discuss your options and eligibility, give one of our Credit Counsellors at Bromwich & Smith a call today.
Stop ALL Creditor Actions As soon as a Consumer Proposal is filed and being considered by creditors, all actions against you will stop. This means collection calls will immediately stop.
Make One Affordable Monthly Payment When under the protection of a consumer proposal, all of your debts are included in one monthly payment. This payment amount is negotiated between your Bromwich & Smith Trustee and your creditors, and is set at an amount that you can afford.
Keep Your Assets. Keep Your Home. A consumer proposal does not include assets in which creditors have leins, such as car loans. Mortgages are also not included. However, you may be able to make arrangements to continue with the payments so that the asset can be retained. If an individual has a mortgage on their residence, they can continue making the mortgage payments.
No Fee Payments From You!Our fees are based on a tariff set by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, and the fees are deducted from the payments made by the you, before any funds are issued to your creditors. There is no additional cost to you above and beyond the monthly payment in the proposal.
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The Real Cost of Making Minimum Payments
(To see more informative articles, check out our Resource Centre)
But don’t be fooled by minimum payments—while it may seem like you’re not paying much, minimum payments are designed to make you pay a fortune over time.
How is your minimum payment calculated?
Your credit card’s minimum payment will vary depending on the balance of your card. The minimum payment is usually your card’s annual percentage rate, plus a percentage (usually between 1% and 4%) of the balance. As a result, the higher the balance, the higher the minimum payment.
Minimum payments can really cost you
Your payment is divided between the interest and the balance (also called the principal.) The majority of the payment goes towards interest, while the remainder is put towards the balance. For example, let’s say you have a credit card with a $1500 balance at 18% interest. Your monthly minimum payment is $37.50. You will pay $22.50 in interest. The remaining $15 of your payment goes towards the balance. Because such a small amount is applied to your balance, it takes longer to pay it off. In this case, it would take a whopping 153 months (over 12 years!) to pay off the $1500 balance.
Paying just the minimum also means you pay more in interest—a lot more. Using our example of $1500 above, if you pay just the minimum amount, you’ll end up paying over $1,600 in interest alone. That’s more than the original balance of the card!
Breaking the minimum payment trap
The best thing you can do to avoid being enslaved by your credit cards is pay more than the minimum amount. If you’re worried that your budget can’t possibly handle paying any more, it’s important to remember that every little bit helps.
For example, using our same example above, if you paid just $5 more a month to your minimum payment, you will pay off your credit card in 51 months instead of 153, and you’ll pay $650 in interest instead of just over $1600. That means you’ll pay your card off 8 years sooner and save nearly $1,000 in interest—all for just $5 a month.
Bromwich & Smith. Helping you create your debt free tomorrow, starting today!