Debt is a difficult thing to talk about. Even in 2023, debt is still associated with feelings of shame – despite almost three-quarters of Canadians carrying some type of debt, according to Stats Canada.
If you’re not sure if you’re carrying good or bad debt or are just finding your situation too overwhelming to deal with on your own, our team is always here to listen – and it starts with a call. But, we know that picking up the phone can be scary, and you might be hesitant.
So, we spoke to Graeme Whitehead, a partner and Vice President of Central Operations and a Licensed Insolvency Trustee at Farber Debt Solutions (who’s been in the industry for 22 years!) to get the scoop.
Here is your step-by-step guide to what you can expect from your free consultation.
Step 1: Make the initial call or inquiry
First things first. You need to reach out to us online or make the call. We know it’s a difficult thing to do, and it’s a big first step. But our approach is based on over 40 years of experience, and our team is here to listen without judgement.
“We treat the call like we’re in an emergency room,” said Whitehead. “We realize that time is of the essence, and nobody wants to wait – so we do live transfers if someone is available, or schedule an appointment for the same day, or the next, whatever the person would like.”
By just taking that first step, you’ll be able to learn about all of the debt solutions available to you for free, with no pressure or obligation to move forward.
Step 2: Get your first free consultation
Next, you’ll have your first consultation. According to Whitehead, most people haven’t told anybody about their debt – including their spouses. So, it’s our job to listen, which may sound simple, but just listening can provide them with a massive sense of relief.
“I was meeting with one person, and he told me that he was really ashamed and that he felt like such a loser,” said Whitehead. “But I said to him, ‘I can tell you why you’re not a loser – losers don’t pick up the phone, losers don’t book a meeting, losers don’t talk about it – losers do nothing.'”
Your consultation with us is also a safe space for you to share your concerns with an experienced professional. Our team is available by video, phone, or in person, so you can chat with us in whichever way you feel most comfortable.
“There’s no shame in getting professional guidance,” said Whitehead. “We look forward to helping someone feel better during that first initial meeting – it’s like a big, giant exhale, like a physical burden being released.”
Step 3: Additional free consultations, as necessary
Our team takes the time to fully understand what you’re going through. We also need some key information from you to find the best solution.
For example, maybe you just wanted to start the conversation and get comfortable first, or you don’t have all the information ready – and that’s OK. Our team requires pay information, a full list of who you owe money to, account numbers, information about your investments, and information about your home if you own one. So, it could take a few follow-up appointments to determine the right solution. And, we take the time necessary to go through all of your options with you.
“We present people all of their options in bite-sized chunks so that they can understand it,” said Whitehead. “That’s also why we tend to have multiple meetings – we don’t want to overwhelm anyone.”
Step 4: Presenting the best debt solution for you
Lastly, we’ll go over what we believe is the best solution for you. It’s important to note that it might be a service with us, such as a Consumer Proposal, and it might not – and there’s no pressure either way.
“Let’s say there’s a credit counselling option that’s a better fit, we’ll send them there,” said Whitehead. “We’ll do what’s right by each person, because we believe that’s a good business practice.”
Farber Debt Solutions is legally obligated to share all of your options, and we’re more than happy to provide you with that guidance on a human level.
The bottom line
We know reaching out to book an initial consultation can be a huge first step. But this is an important part of your life, and we would love to help you find a better solution to deal with your debt.
While people often tell Whitehead that his job sounds depressing, he says it’s, in fact, quite the opposite.
“Maybe it would be sad if we didn’t have the tools to help people, but we have really great tools,” said Whitehead. “We look at it as so much more, we can save people’s marriages or houses, and that’s powerful.”
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by your debt, contact us at Farber Debt Solutions today. We’re here to listen and give you the tools to help you feel confident and relieved that a solution for your debt is possible.