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Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposal Articles

The Toronto Licensed Insolvency Trustees at Hoyes, Michalos & Associates have helped thousands of people in the Greater Toronto Area solve their debt problems and build a stronger financial future. Every day we answer emails and phone calls from people just like you asking questions about their situation and looking for answers. In our Toronto Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposal blog, our trustees answer many of the top questions about filing personal bankruptcy in Toronto and how it can affect you and your family. We provide informative articles about how a consumer proposal can be a great alternative to bankruptcy. Our trustees and counsellors also provide useful budgeting and savings tips to help you on your way to become debt-free.

Using Your Home Equity to Consolidate Debt

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Home values across Ontario are up, and in the GTA specifically – they are booming. With home values steadily increasing year after year and mortgage interest rates at historical low, how can you use your home equity to consolidate your consumer debt? If you’re one of many Canadians with high credit card debt, unsecured lines of credit and personal loans that are at their limit, you aren’t alone. Can my home equity help? If you own your home, and have seen its value increase over the past few years it is very possible that your path to debt relief lies…

Filing Bankruptcy With or Without Your Spouse

filing bankruptcy without your spouse

Quite often when I am meeting with people discussing their debt problems they say, “I don’t want my spouse involved in this” Or “how do I make sure my spouse won’t be affected by my bankruptcy”. Many people believe that since they are married their spouse in some way can be made responsible to pay their debt. This is simply not true. If your spouse did not agree with your lender to be responsible for the debt and sign as a co-signer or guarantor then they cannot be made to pay your debt. If you hold debt in your name…

How Do I Fix An Error On My Credit Report?

Your credit report is your first impression on a new potential lender. Your credit report needs to make a good first impression because it affects the interest rate, and amount of loan a lender is willing to give you. If you have errors on your credit report, it’s important to address them immediately. How to Check Your Credit Report The two credit reporting agencies in Canada are Equifax and TransUnion. Each company allows you to order one free copy of your credit report each year. If you want to check your credit report more than once a year you have…

Who Files My Tax Returns During Bankruptcy?

When you file an assignment in bankruptcy, you are dealing with your debts as of that date. Debts owing as of the date of bankruptcy, including tax debts, are included in your bankruptcy. Similarly assets you own as of the date of filing are to be realized on by the trustee. Those assets include any income tax refund(s) in the year you file for bankruptcy. Practically, this has an impact on how your income tax returns are filed when you claim bankruptcy. While every trustee has their own policies, the following is a common approach. Why Two Tax Returns in…

The Cost of a University Education: A Scarborough Bankruptcy Story

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The cost of a university education is very expensive these days but the cost may be even more than people imagine. Often students have a difficult time finding a career that allows them to address their loans when they first start working. But other than the students, the cost of a university education can be felt by other members of the household. I met with John and Irene (not their real names) in my bankruptcy office in Scarborough at the beginning of the summer. Between them, they had ten credit cards that had reached the maximum credit and the collection…

Prepare Your Child For Student Loan Debt

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Back to school advertising seems to start the day after the kids get off of school, but no matter when it starts, the reality is that the cost of education today can be quite high. Clothes, supplies and technology are all needed to setup the returning student for success. If that student is heading off for post-secondary schooling at college or university, the demands are going to be large – and often unexpected.  Items such as tablets and laptops that used to be “nice to haves“, are now expected, and in many cases, are required resources for students.  This piles additional…

Is it Time to Consolidate Your Debts?

consolidate your debts

Do you want to consolidate your debts? Perhaps the better question is do you need to consolidate your debts? Why Consolidate Your Debts? There are three main reasons why people choose debt consolidation: To consolidate several debt payments into one single amount. Often when people have numerous debts, whether it is a number of credit cards or a number of payday loans, they lose track of exactly how much debt they have and when to make their payments. To arrange for a lower monthly payment than you were paying before. This can mean the difference between affordable debt payments and…

Six Ways To Prepare For Filing Bankruptcy

bankruptcy pay off debt

Making the decision to file for personal bankruptcy can be a stressful one. Often when I meet with someone in financial distress they tell me they are losing sleep, it’s affecting their personal relationships and they just don’t know how they’re ever going to get out from under their debt. My advice is to think of personal bankruptcy as your opportunity for a fresh start. Your trustee is going to guide you through the process, but the following are some tips to keep in mind to help make the whole process less stressful for you: 1. Make a list of…

Separation Agreement Will Not Protect You From Debt Obligations

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Marital breakups can be difficult for any family. It causes a flurry of emotions, decisions, and unforeseen consequences – especially when it comes to your personal finances. If you had joint accounts throughout your marriage, you’re in a particularly vulnerable position, even with a separation agreement. What is Joint Debt? Joint debt is any type of loan that you are both liable for. Even though there are two people assigned to the type of credit, that doesn’t mean you’re only responsible to pay half. If you pay half, but your spouse (or in this case, ex-spouse) refuses to pay, the…

I’m Getting A Raise. Can I Increase My Consumer Proposal Payments?

can-i-increase-consumer-proposal-payments

There are many advantages to using a consumer proposal to deal with your debts. You are able to pay back whatever you can over a set period of time (but no longer than five years). A consumer proposal is a legal contract with your creditors. They vote on the offer you make and have 45 days to consider it and provide you with an answer. If the majority of your creditors agree, then it is a legally binding contract. This means that both you and your creditors are to uphold that agreement. If your income goes up, your contract does…