Like in many regions, St. Thomas and surrounding areas was hit hard during the recent economic downturn. The area saw two major automotive companies close, resulting in many people out of work. This was the case with a couple I recently met with. They had both been laid off from work when their employers shut down local production. The woman had been fortunate to secure a job out of town fairly quickly. Her spouse however, had only been able to find the odd temporary job, with long periods of unemployment in between. Her income was not enough to cover all of the basic monthly expenses for the family such as rent and food, so during his bouts of unemployment, like many of us, they turned to credit and credit cards to help supplement their income. They had hopes that they would be able to pay it off once he was back to work full time. Even though he has now secured a permanent position, they found that the bills had mounted up much further than they realized. The “catching up on debt” they had hoped for was not all that easy. They weren’t making the minimum monthly payments on all the accounts. The harassing phone calls to their work and home had started. The stress of their financial difficulty was having a negative effect in all areas of their lives and they were not sure how much longer they could go on. Both of them were working, they felt they should be able to make monthly payments, but just could not stretch their dollars to include everything they owed. They were hopeful that A. Farber Licensed Insolvency Trustee could help them find a solution that would satisfy all of their creditors. We discussed the consumer proposal process. A consumer proposal usually means keeping your assets and working out a repayment to the creditors, without interest, at usually much less than what is owed. We completed a full review of the couple’s current monthly income and expenses and developed a repayment plan with a monthly payment they could afford, that included all of their creditors. The couple is very relieved. They were able to avoid filing a bankruptcy. The harassing phone calls to their work and home have stopped and they feel more positive about their future than they have in long while.