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An article in the Huffington Post by Sunny Freeman (“Borrow $10,000, Owe $25,000: The Fact of Predatory Lending In Canada” – July 31, 2015) outlined the plight of a single mother who tried to borrow her way out of debt. The danger of borrowing money to pay off debtIn 2005, she borrowed $20,000 to pay off some debts. Because of her credit rating, she had to borrow from an alternative lender that charged her almost 30% interest. After years of struggling with the high costs of trying to pay off the loan and other debts, she finally tried to resolve her financial problems through a Debt Management Plan (DMP) with Credit Counseling. Unfortunately, a Debt Management Plan cannot force creditors to compromise their debts or waive interest. In this case, the creditor  would not agree to waive the substantial interest. Even with a DMP, she still had to struggle with payments and eventually took the creditor to court. Instead of trying to borrow her way out of debt or trying to deal with unmanageable debt loads through a Debt Managemet Plan, if this unfortunate debtor was made aware of the option to file a Consumer Proposal, her debts would have been eliminated and her credit rating cleared. She also could have avoided time in court battling with the creditor. Fortunately, a Consumer Proposal allows individuals to pay only a portion of their debt. In many cases as low as 30% of the total unsecured debt. Once the payments are completed, the entire debt is eliminated. Unlike a Debt Management Plan, a Consumer Proposal does not require acceptance by 100% of the creditors for it to be binding on all creditors. It simply requires acceptance by the majority of creditors to be binding on all. The federal legislation that allows the filing of a Consumer Proposal also provides complete protection from creditors. After the Consumer Proposal is filed, creditors are prevented from commencing or continuing a legal action. A Consumer Proposal can only be filed through a federally Licensed Administrator, such as A. Farber & Partners.

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