COVID-19 Resource Centre

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Help flatten the curve. Maintain physical distancing.

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Don’t feel isolated. Call, Email, Chat… Stay connected.

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Stay healthy. Stay safe.
Follow Health Canada’s guidelines.

Let’s all do our part.

Protect your health. Everything else can be fixed.

Let’s all do our part.

Protect your health. We are here if you need us.

COVID-19 Update

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Our offices are closed during this crisis, but we are working from home to assist you during office hours. We can now do everything electronically via Email, Phone, Video chat, and sign documents electronically via DocuSign®.

Practical answers to questions you may have about your consumer proposal or bankruptcy.

I have questions about my consumer proposal payments

General Questions

For status of your proposal, collection calls, issues with CRA etc., please email us at cp.inquiries@afarber.com. Please use your file code in the subject line and the nature of your request.

Payment Questions

For questions on your Consumer Proposal payments, please send us an email at payments.cp@afarber.com.

Please use your file code in the subject line and the nature of your request.

 

 

 

 

 

Transcript

I hope you are healthy and safe. To say we are in challenging times would be an understatement. Please protect your health and those around you. If you are in the Consumer Proposal Process, you may have questions about your proposal payments. Through the consumer proposal process, the law allows you to eliminate a large portion of your debt, manage your finances through our credit counselling program and get a fresh start.

 

COVID-19 has been devastating to the economy and people’s livelihood. You may find yourself with reduced income, or perhaps you have been laid off. The government has introduced several supportive measures from which you may benefit; however, at this time, there have been no changes to the legislation that governs the consumer proposal process. Even in these circumstances, you must try to do everything you can to maintain your proposal payments to reach your goal.

If you have experienced a negative impact on your income that makes it impossible for you to make your next proposal payment, please make every attempt to make a partial payment. This will ensure that your proposal will continue in good standing and not be annulled. As always, we at Farber want you to succeed in this journey. And even though we are physically distant, we are always here for you. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime.

You must try not to fall behind on your Consumer Proposal Payments.

We have requested the Government for emergency measures to prevent a deemed annulment for missed payments, but at this time, there has been no legislative change.

  • If you are current on your proposal, there is some flexibility to miss a payment while we await the Government response.
  • If you are already behind, please contact us as a partial payment may give you at least an extra month reprieve while we await the Government response
  • If you are already set up on a Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP) plan, and need to make an additional payment or partial payment, please email us at payments.cp@afarber.com
  • Cash Payments. Our offices are closed so you will not be able to make cash payments.
  • If you wish to set up a new PAP or have us make a one-time withdrawal, please provide written instructions and the two pieces of information listed below:
    1. The amount you are authorizing us to withdraw;
    2. The date you wish to have those funds withdrawn; and your account details i.e. transit number, branch, account number.

I have questions about my bankruptcy

If you are currently making voluntary payments, we will work with you to implement a payment plan.

If you are currently responsible for making Surplus Income payments, and your income has been affected, we will review.

Important:

All bankruptcy court discharge hearings have been suspended. If you’ve received a notice of an upcoming hearing, you do not need to attend. We will advise you once a new date is scheduled.

For questions about your file:

If you have any questions about your file, please call us at 1-888-432-7237 (option 2) and you will be directed to the bankruptcy administration team .our reported income and adjust your payments accordingly. In some cases, this may result in a reduction of your bankruptcy period from 21 to 9 months or from 36 to 24 months, depending on the month you are currently in.

I have questions about budgeting during this crisis

Transcript

Hi, my name is Erez Cukierman. I’m a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and I’m here today with my colleague, Raheman Dhanani. Raheman why don’t you introduce yourself?

Sure. My name is Raheman Dhanani. You can also call me Ray. I’m a Licensed Insolvency Trustee as well. We’re just going to take a few minutes to talk about budgeting. More specifically budgeting during this whole COVID crisis. First thing is that there’s a lot of information going around right now. There’s a lot of stats, a lot of figures and a lot of bad news out there as well. So, I think the first big thing for everyone to do out there right now is take a deep breath. Know that as long as you’re washing your hands, you’re following along with public health and what they’re suggesting, you and your family are gong to stay safe. The second thing you have to think about, and that’s what we’re going to discuss today, is your budget. So, with everything that’s been happening, whether you’re still working, or you’re out of work, how are you going to make sure you’re able to provide for your family and keep within a budget?

Right, so if you were to look at the first thing, where would you start? Where do you think you’d begin this whole project with?

Well I think the thing is you’ve got to look at what’s coming into your household, and I don’t mean germs or anything like that. I’m actually talking about what are you earning right now? What support are you receiving? Do you have to apply for EI? Are you already receiving EI? Do you have to, you know, tell your boss to give you that ROE? You need to figure out what money is coming into your household and what can you first work with. And I think that’s the first step, to be honest.

Yeah, I know. Those are. There are all these government programs that are coming out, but based on everything that I’ve read, I think for the most part funding won’t start for several weeks. Things aren’t up and running just yet. But if I’m not mistaken, one of my colleagues is going to create a video and talk to people about how to, or what programs are available, and actually how to apply to get those funds. So, watch out for that video as well.
Absolutely.

Yeah, if there’s one piece of advice I’d give to everybody, it’s that money, sitting on cash right now, having that available cash is the most important thing. So, you know, you’ve got to be cautious with all your expenses. And you don’t want to spend on things you don’t need to spend on, and so when you’re, when you’re coming up with a budget, yes look at money that’s coming in and expenses that go out and hopefully you add the two together and you get a number where there’s some extra cash to sit around and to do things. But you know really the focus be on how do you minimize your expenses right now? And so, what would you typically do, Ray, to deal with that specific issue?

So honestly the first thing you have to do is you have to break it down. And I agree, just to echo what you were saying, sometimes what you’re receiving is not so much, or what you’re bringing into the house is not so much as what you’re spending. Like you want to make sure you’re cutting down with your spending, so break it down into what do you really need. What is just a want? And that’s the first part. So, categorize them. So obviously you’re going to need a house over your head, you need to pay for your rent. You’re going to have to feed yourself, feed your family, you’re looking at your food costs, your cellphone to keep in touch with people, your internet to keep mentally sane half the time. If you’re going to work, how are you going to cover your transportation, and more so than that, there’s your house insurance, your car insurance.

I thought you were supposed to social distance?
You can social distance, but you can do it through Skype calls, or how we’re social distancing right now.

I think that’s funny, actually, but talk about social distancing, it’s not really social distancing. You need to be in touch with people and see them face-to-face. What I think they’re trying to encourage is physically distancing.
That’s exactly it. Yeah, look during this time you want to keep in touch with your family and keep in touch with your friends. You just want to keep them at a six-foot distance. I think the best way for Canadians to know it is that it’s the length of a hockey stick. That’s how far you’ve got to stay away from the next person.

Yeah, so it you break down your budget, you’ve got some needs, you’ve got some wants. The things that you don’t want to typically buy are what, like brand name clothes?

Yeah, like all the stuff that you can say “Oh, I really want that.” Right there, if you’re saying “Oh, I really want that,” that’s probably something that you’ve got to think to yourself, hold on do I need it though right now? So brand name clothing, eating out at places that are… you don’t really need to go to a restaurant. Maybe you can just buy in as groceries. Like I know, us personally, we stopped doing any UberEATS and a lot of our deliveries, instead what we chose to do is we’re going to do grocery shopping and we’re going to try our best, for the next little while, to cook all our food and see how long we can do that for.

You know you’re going to laugh, but on my last grocery list, on my last grocery run, my wife had put in all sorts of interesting ingredients until it lifts, so we can start making things at home like baking our own cakes and our own salad dressings, and we will be eating a lot of salad. That’s good for my physique.

I was going say, I think that’s a bit of a hint for yourself there!

Yeah, but, yeah no, there are tons of things, and they’re actually really good things to do with kids by the way. Getting them involved in cooking is a lot of fun.
Yeah, and you know what that A) keeps them entertained for al little while, so you’re saving money for a little while and you’re teaching your kid a valuable lesson and at the same time, you’re eating up that time of the day that they’re awake and you’re trying to figure out how do I keep them interested, how do I keep them involved in something?
Yeah, that’s for sure.

It’s a great idea. To be honest, another want, like for myself I have a gym membership usually. I put it on hold. I figured, you know right now I can’t go to the gym because they’re closed anyways. I might as well pause that, and I’ve been doing workouts online at home. Just go onto YouTube, search whatever workout you’re looking for and I bet you someone’s made a video for it. Yeah, and look, you use stuff around the house as weights when you need to. Otherwise take the stairs. You’ll see there’s a lot of exercise that can happen around your place.

Yeah, no, I’ve definitely been trying to count my steps. That being said, if you’re really, really struggling and having a difficult time, I actually watched a great commercial on TV today from Ford Credit, talking about how they’ve been around in business for so long and they’re here to help, and I would say that all the financial institutions, everyone in general, is trying to help people out because these are unprecedented times and so if you can defer payments on things like your mortgage, on car payments, if you’ve got a small amount of credit card debt you can defer, or a line of credit you can defer those payments as well, these are all things that will help you so that you can buy groceries instead of worrying about making these payments. Right now, you’ve got to defer as much as you possibly can.

Yeah, and I think the big thing to second that is only defer what you really need to defer. Think about it. They’re not giving you forgiveness. They’re not saying don’t pay us anymore. All they’re saying is that, well, you’re still going to have to pay us, you’re just going to have to pay us six months down the line. Or three months down the line. So you have to pay that money sooner or later, so to your point, if you need to defer because you have to cover your rent, or you have to cover your food, take advantage, But if you can make those payments today, or you can still work your budget to keep making those payments—do it. And just to add, when you’re talking about deferring payments, if it comes down to your rent, talk to your landlord. They may be able to give you a break on your rent or maybe you can continue to pay a smaller amount for the next couple of months and pay the rest over the remainder of the year, or the remainder of your lease. A lot of people are going through this right now and I think there’s a lot of people out there that are trying to give a helping hand where they can. So, don’t be scared to ask.

Yeah, these are all great points. And hopefully we can talk about other things that are very, very important. Let’s work at home, process, and I’m sure we’ll be making more videos together, Ray.
Absolutely. Take care.
You too.

CREDIT CARDS

Banks have temporarily dropped interest rates to provide you with some relief. Please check with your bank for more information.

I have questions about the relief programs that I can benefit from

 

Watch our video on government resources available to you

 

 

 

Transcript

CERB

Hello – my name is Brett Luckin, and I am a licenced insolvency trustee with A Farber & Partners.

As a followup to our last video on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit we have compiled this video to provide better clarity on questions that were until recently largely unanswered.

So lets get to it:

What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) or SERB as some have started to call it?

Simply put, it is a benefit created by the federal government, created literally in the last month or so, to help anyone who is not working as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

How much does it pay?

The CERB will pay $2,000 a month to eligible individuals who are off work and without an income as a result of COVID-19. The benefit will be paid for a maximum of 16 weeks – so that’s 4 cheques of $2,000. A note here that your payments will be retroactive to your eligibility date, meaning that your first cheque will include all payments you are entitled to under the CERB up to the point of application. So for example – if you were eligible for the CERB from March 15 2020, and only applied in May 2020, you will get the benefit paid to you from March 15 as a lump sum when you apply. Note that these benefits are taxable, and you will need to report any payments received on next year’s tax filing.

So who is eligible?

There are some obvious base criteria of eligibility:

You must be a resident of Canada and you should be at least 15 years old

You must have had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 OR the 12 months before the date of your application. Income in this section includes pretty much any type of employment related income – direct employment income (wages etc), and self-employment income, it also includes maternity or parental benefits under EI and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec.

You are without income either because you are not working for reasons directly related to the COVID-19 virus OR you should currently be eligible for ordinary EI or sickness benefits.

You will have to make a declaration that you have been already without employment for 14 consecutive days in the initial 4 week period OR you expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial 4-week claim period.

Some things to note are:

The CERB does not cover those who voluntarily quit.

You do not need to be laid off to receive the benefit. So examples of people who fall into this category are people who are still employed but the business they work for has closed temporarily as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Or people who have to stay home and look after their children because daycares are closed – so are not laid off, but are also not receiving pay cheques.

The income does not have to be earned in Canada, but you need to reside in Canada.

The Application Process

The application process has some nuances you should be aware of. Because of the large volume of people who both qualify for and are applying for the CERB, the application process has been set up to streamline applications according to the month of birth of the applicant:

So:

Mondays are for those born in January, February and March

Tuesdays are for April, May and June

Wednesdays July, August and September

Thursdays are for October, November and December

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday individuals of any month of birth can apply. They are taking applications 7 days a week.

How do you apply?

Probably the most efficient way of applying for the CERB is through your Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) My Account. I say this because the CERB hotline is often busy and beyond capacity, so getting through by telephone is more luck than anything else. Some people I have spoken to say they got through by staying up until midnight. To apply using your CRA My Account:

  • Login into your CRA My Account
  • Click on the COVID-19: Canada Emergency Response Benefit in the alert banner at the top of the page
  • Select the period you want to apply for (period of no income)
  • Declare that you qualify for the benefit
  • Confirm that CRA have the right payment information (bank account)

You can also apply by phone by calling 1-800-959-2019 and following the voice prompts. I warn you again that this may take some time before you get through. Once you do get through, you will be asked to provide your SIN#, your postal code, the period you are applying for and you will asked to declare that you qualify for the benefit.

If your lack of income continues, you can re-apply for a payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods).

Some side notes here. The application process has been made very simple and streamlined. There are no detailed questions and the process doesn’t require supporting documentation. Anecdotal evidence is that other than actually getting through, the application process is relatively easy and cheques arrive within days of approval. Don’t let that encourage you to make inaccurate declarations during the application process. Remember that CRA will do their own due diligence later on your eligibility – and funds that were paid out incorrectly will be claimed back later.

EI or CERB

As a final note, if you are trying to decide whether you should be applying for EI or CERB, there is a simple little graph in the script copy of this video below. Take a look at it. In brief, if you applied for EI after March 15 you will be processed through the CERB. If you applied before March 15, you will receive your EI as normal, and if it ends before October 3 2020 and you are still unemployed, then you will be eligible for CERB – remember you still need to apply. If you are eligible for normal EI and sickness benefits you can still access these if you remain unemployed after the 16-week period that is covered by the CERB.

cerb

The impact of the COVID-19 virus has reached far beyond the disease itself, far beyond the illness and personal tragedy it has caused and will still cause. Its impact is also massive social disruption and economic uncertainty. Now is the time for community. Reach out to friends and family – stay in touch – provide help to those who need it. Remember also that licenced insolvency trustees are excellent sources of information on how to deal with financial hardship, and arming yourself with knowledge in a time of unknowns can limit stress and help you breathe again. We are available right now by phone or video – so if you feel that now is the time to resolve your debt situation – Call us, we are here to help.

And stay safe.

FEDERAL RESOURCES

(None of the opinions expressed in this information are those of Farber. The information is for interest only and Farber carries no liability for its accuracy.)

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
Government of Canada support for individuals, businesses and industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
If you’ve stopped working because of COVID-19, the CERB may provide you with temporary income support.
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

Canada Emergency Response Benefit – Application
How to apply for the CERB
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

PROVINCIAL RESOURCES

Ontario

The Ontario government’s online resource webpage for COVID-19.
https://covid-19.ontario.ca/

Global News: Here’s who will receive assistance under Ontario’s $17B coronavirus aid package
https://globalnews.ca/news/6733198/coronavirus-ontario-aid-package-highlights/

Global News: Coronavirus: Ontario releases gradual reopening plan, though no dates provided
https://globalnews.ca/news/6871656/ontario-reopening-framework-economy-coronavirus/

British Columbia

British Columbia’s COVID-19 provincial support and Information webpage.
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support

Daily Hive: You can now apply for BC’s temporary rental supplement
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/applications-bc-temporary-rental-supplement-open-coronavirus

Daily Hive: FortisBC offering 3-month bill deferrals for residential and small business customers
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/fortisbc-customer-recovery-fund-coronavirus

CBC: The B.C. provincial vehicle insurer is allowing a deferral of insurance payments for 90 days and licence renewal by phone.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/icbc-payments-covid-1.5508854

CTV News: B.C. imposes moratorium on evictions, offers $500 a month for renters
https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/b-c-imposes-moratorium-on-evictions-offers-500-a-month-for-renters-1.4867923

CityNews: B.C. government says help on the way for renters, but no specifics
https://www.citynews1130.com/2020/03/21/bc-government-help-for-renters/

Global News: $1,000 cheque coming to British Columbians out of work due to coronavirus.
https://globalnews.ca/news/6720161/coronavirus-1000-cheque-british-columbians/

News Release: BC Hydro announces bill help for customers affected by COVID-19
https://www.bchydro.com/news/press_centre/news_releases/2020/bill-relief-covid-19.html

Alberta

COVID-19 info for Albertans
https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Government of Alberta’s Emergency Isolation Support program
https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-isolation-support.aspx

PANDEMIC INFORMATION & UPDATES

Information and links updated on an ongoing basis as the pandemic unfolds across Canada.

CBC News: Students can apply for COVID-19 emergency aid beginning Friday
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/students-covid19-aid-1.5567701

Maclean’s: Trudeau’s daily coronavirus update: Seniors to receive additional financial support
https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/trudeaus-daily-coronavirus-update-seniors-to-receive-additional-financial-support-full-transcript/

CBC News: Ottawa will distribute pandemic money now, ‘clean up’ fraudulent claims later, PM says
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/clean-up-cerb-fraud-1.5566440

Weyburn Review: Ottawa expands CERB, tops up essential workers’ pay as economy shrinks 9% in March
https://www.weyburnreview.com/ottawa-expands-cerb-tops-up-essential-workers-pay-as-economy-shrinks-9-in-march-1.24118160

ipolitics: CERB eligibility expanded to part-time and seasonal workers, Trudeau says
https://ipolitics.ca/2020/04/15/cerb-eligibility-expanded-to-part-time-and-seasonal-workers-trudeau-says/

Financial Post: Changes to emergency-relief program coming to expand eligibility, Trudeau says
https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/emergency-relief-program-changes-expand-eligibility-covid-19

Cassels: COVID-19 Impact: New Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
https://cassels.com/insights/covid-19-impact-update-on-the-new-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy/

Financial Post: Businesses seeing 30% revenue drop eligible for 75% wage subsidy, Trudeau announces
https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/canadian-press-newsalert-large-business-non-profits-charities-all-eligible-for-wage-subsidy-trudeau-says

Global News: Trudeau promises 75% wage subsidy for businesses hit by coronavirus pandemic
https://globalnews.ca/news/6741037/coronavirus-wage-subsidy-canada/?utm_source=Other&utm_medium=MostPopular&utm_campaign=2014

ToDoCanada: COVID-19: Eligible Canadians to Get $2000 Under Canada Emergency Response Benefit
https://www.todocanada.ca/covid-19-eligible-canadians-to-get-2000-canada-emergency-response-benefit/

Vancouver is Awesome: Here’s everything you need to know about deferring your mortgage right now
https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/covid19/mortgage-deferral-canada-covid19-2187386

Daily Hive: FortisBC offering 3-month bill deferrals for residential and small business customers
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/fortisbc-customer-recovery-fund-coronavirus

FortisBC offering 3-month bill deferrals for residential and small business customers | Urbanized
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/fortisbc-customer-recovery-fund-coronavirus

Global News: Coronavirus: Trudeau announces $9B aid for students, including monthly benefit
https://globalnews.ca/news/6851363/coronavirus-canada-trudeau-students-aid/

Global News: Trudeau announces rent relief of 75% for small businesses affected by coronavirus
https://globalnews.ca/news/6862466/coronavirus-canada-business-rent-relief/

Given the situation things are changing almost daily, and therefore federal and provincial government programs may continue to evolve.

We endeavour to keep this page updated so please visit this page often to stay current on the relief available to you.

HOW WE ARE DOING OUR PART.

PROTECT YOUR HEALTH FIRST.
EVERYTHING ELSE CAN BE FIXED.

Hear Kelley Keehn, personal finance educator, talk about how our money habits have changed during COVID-19