Licensed Insolvency Trustees Who Speak Your Language

Debt Help & Debt Relief in Toronto & GTA

If you are having financial difficulty or are on the verge of personal bankruptcy in Toronto, the GTA or in Southern Ontario, debt help is available for you at Harris & Partners Inc. Licensed Insolvency Trustee (formerly known as a Trustee in Bankruptcy). We can put you on track to eliminate your debt.

Debt Relief Options

There are various types of debt relief options that can help you manage and eventually eliminate your mounting debt: 

1. Consumer proposal – A consumer proposal is an agreement with creditors, outlining the percentage of the debt you owe them and allowing you to extend the amount of time you can pay back this debt.  The payments are made through the Licensed Insolvency Trust (LIT) which will pay the creditors on your behalf.  This is typically the safest and most effective way to pay down debt 

Government debt relief program 

Keep in mind that a consumer proposal is also the only Canadian government debt relief program. It is under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act – which makes it a legal debt settlement option to help you avoid bankruptcy.  

2. Debt settlement – you hire a company to negotiate the debt with the creditor. You pay a fee, and the company will work to lower your overall debt and propose a lump-sum payment.  

3. Debt management – a credit expert will review your circumstances and help you determine a repayment plan that works for you (how much and how often you will pay creditors). 

4. Debt consolidation – you consolidate various debts under one loan to pay back to creditors. This approach can help you save on interest over time. 

5. Declaring bankruptcy – with the help of a lawyer, you can go to the court to declare bankruptcy. They will evaluate your debts before granting you bankruptcy discharge – to wipe out your existing debt. This is typically the last resort after you’ve exhausted your other debt control options. 

It’s important to choose the debt relief option that makes the most sense for you.  

How Do Debt Relief Plans Affect Credit?

Debt relief plans can affect your credit in a number of ways and depending on the approach you choose – it can be good or bad. Although, if you are searching for debt relief options it’s likely the case that your credit has already taken some hits, fortunately debt relief plans can help to ensure further damage isn’t done to your credit score.  

Debt Solutions

You will always have debt issues unless you start determining ways to get ahold of and prevent debt in your daily life.We recommend the following 6 steps to help you on the road to reducing your debt:

 

1. DEBT SOLUTIONS START WITH CREATING AND LIVING WITHIN A BUDGET

An important step in starting to tackle your debt is to create and live within a budget. Calculate your monthly spending and find a way to reduce your expenses so you save at least 10% of your income every month. Living below your income and saving in this way helps:

  • Shrink your debts over time
  • Put money away to apply against your debts
  • Give you a financial cushion when unexpected emergencies occur
  • Invest in your future

2. PAY DOWN DEBTS WITH THE HIGHEST INTEREST RATE FIRST

If you have multiple debts at various interest rates, it is important to prioritize which debt you should aggressively tackle first. While you should always pay at least the minimum amount on any debt you incur, it’s best to focus extra efforts on debts that have the highest interest rate.

3. SHIFT YOUR DEBT FROM HIGH TO LOW INTEREST RATES

One way to start eliminating your debt faster is by taking advantage of a line of credit. Since a line of credit is always at a much lower interest rate than other debt, if you have a line of credit, try to pay off your credit card debt with the line of credit. Ask your bank if they will increase your line of credit limit, if needed, to make it possible to pay off your credit card debt.

If you own a house or condominium unit, you can inquire about refinancing your mortgage or getting a second mortgage to pay off your higher interest debt. These strategies essentially consolidate your debt at a lower interest rate.

4. TRY TO INCREASE YOUR INCOME

If at all possible, look for ways you can bring in a little extra cash every month. Any extra money you put towards your debt will help. If you can take on extra hours at work or manage a second job, the added income will help make your debt repayment easier. If you can take on a roommate, boarder or renter, the extra income will reduce your debt more quickly.

5. BARTER FOR SERVICES WHERE POSSIBLE

Instead of spending money on certain expenses, see if you can trade services to keep your expenses down. For example, if you can offer professional services in one area (e.g., child care, elder care, hair cutting, cooking, bookkeeping, dog walking, personal training, lawn care, snow removal), you may be able to barter with other service providers instead of paying from your income.

6. FOCUS ON PAYING YOUR DEBT

Like any other goal you want to accomplish, paying off debt requires a plan that will help you take the necessary steps to eliminate your debt. Set specific goals for reducing your debts. Credit counselling can help you see your spending more objectively and help you reset your expectations and habits to fit your new financial goals.

Implement your debt reduction strategy by setting up a payment calendar with due date and the payment amounts you expect to make. Sign up for overdraft protection and set up automatic bill payments through your bank or register for online payments.

CONTACT TRUSTEES SERVING TORONTO (AND ALL OF ONTARIO) AT HARRIS & PARTNERS

Bankruptcy is only one debt relief option, but it should be viewed as a last resort. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help you determine the best way to get out of debt. Our team has the knowledge and experience for solving debt problems – get relief today. 

If you need help from those who specialize in solving debt problems, contact us at Harris & Partners Inc. Licensed Insolvency Trustee. In TorontoNorth YorkBramptonSt. Catharines, Ottawa,  PickeringOshawaHamiltonKitchenerBrantfordBarrie and Markham, our federally Licensed Insolvency Trustees can help you achieve long lasting financial solutions. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-268-8093.

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