consumer proposal definition, starting over starting now, trustee, BIA, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, debt, bankruptcy, trustee in bankruptcy, consumer proposal, debts, Office of the Superintendent of BankruptcyConsumer Proposal definition

It is important to know what the consumer proposal definition is.  A consumer proposal is a relatively new addition to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA), even though it has been around for 23 years.  Although the origins of the current BIA can be traced back to the original 1869 An Act respecting Insolvency, the consumer proposal section was enacted with the 1992 amendments to the BIA.

According to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, the consumer proposal definition is:

“A consumer proposal is a formal, legally binding process that is administered by a bankruptcy trustee. In this process, the trustee will work with you to develop a “proposal”—an offer to pay creditors a percentage of what is owed to them, or extend the time you have to pay off the debts, or both. The term of a consumer proposal cannot exceed five years.

Payments are made through the trustee, and the trustee uses that money to pay each of your creditors.”

My consumer proposal definition

My consumer proposal definition is THE GREAT alternative to bankruptcy.  It’s available only to individuals, whose total debts do not exceed $250,000, not including debts secured by their principal residence. Working with a trustee in bankruptcy you make a consumer proposal to:

  • Pay your creditors a percentage of what you owe them over a specific period of time
  • Extend the time you have to pay off the debt
  • Or a combination of both

Watch this short video

I hope that you enjoy the video.  Most people facing financial challenges, or insurmountable debt that they can never repay, cannot focus on the consumer proposal definition.  We understand that what you need is an experienced trustee to advise you on solutions tailored specifically to your situation.  Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. for sound, professional advice and a solid financial plan for Starting Over, Starting Now.



household debt, Canadian household debt, how to pay off debt, debt, mortgage debt, interest rates, financial danger zone, credit card, credit card spending, Moneris Solutions, Equifax, auto loans, seniors, trustee, lifestyle, Canadian debt, Canadian economyCanadian household debt at a record high

The ratio of Canadian household debt to disposable income has hit a record high of 164.6%. This means for every $1 of after tax income Canadians earned, they owed nearly $1.65 in credit market debt – mortgages, credit cards and other kinds of consumer loans. The reality is that many Canadians are living in a financial danger zone. They’re walking a financial tightrope where anything like the loss of a job or an increase in interest rates can throw off this delicate balance and plunge them into financial disaster.

Increase is no surprise

TD Bank economist Jonathan Bendiner wrote about Canadian household debt, “The increase came as no surprise. Rising mortgage debt drove most of the growth as interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada earlier in the year spurred borrowing, especially in the hot housing markets in British Columbia and Ontario”. The great concern now is what happens once interest rates rise to more typical levels. How many Canadian will no longer be able to pay their bills or carry their household debt?

5 reasons why for the increase in Canadian household debt

Why is Canadian household debt at an all time high? In addition to rising mortgage debt it may come down to one simple word – lifestyle:

  • Credit card spending rose by 8% this year (Moneris Solutions Corp.)
  • Spending on restaurants and fast food rose by more than 12% (Moneris Solutions Corp.)
  • Home improvement spending soared nearly 10% in the second quarter of the year compared with the same time last year, led by sales of glass, paint, wallpaper and flooring (Moneris Solutions Corp.)
  • Furniture sales are up more than 17% (Moneris Solutions Corp.)
  • Auto loans rose nearly 4% in the second quarter on the back of record vehicle sales (Equifax)

Has income kept pace with Canadian household debt?  No!

Unfortunately incomes haven’t increased in the Canadian economy to compensate for the increase in spending and Canadian household debt. A Bank of Montreal report states that approximately 80% of Canadians are in debt and nearly 66% would have trouble affording their household debt if interest rates went up by just two percentage points. Canadians now spend an average 14% of after tax income on their debts. Sadly, the group that’s struggling the most is seniors. According to Equifax, for the first time in five years, 90-day delinquency rates rose among seniors in the second quarter.

What is a person to do?

Are you walking a financial tightrope? If interest rates rise will you be able to afford your household debt? Better yet, would you know how to pay off debt?

Don’t wait for disaster to strike! The time for professional help is NOW. Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. We’re experts in debt and debt management. We approach every file with the attitude that corporate or personal financial problems can be solved given immediate action and the right plan. Starting Over, Starting Now we can give you financial peace of mind.




X alternative to bankruptcyX BankruptcyX bankruptcy vaughanX consumerX consumer proposal vaughanX consumer proposalsX consumer proposals vs. debt settlementX debt settlementX debt settlement companiesX Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc.X proposalX serious financial problemsX starting over starting nowX trusteeX vaughan bankruptcyX vaughan consumer proposalConsumer proposals vs. debt settlement companies

If you have serious financial problems, there is an option available to you to avoid debt settlement companies and bankruptcy. In fact more Canadians are now choosing consumer proposals instead of declaring personal bankruptcy.

The advantages of consumer proposals with a Trustee can save you from debt settlement companies.  Here’s how. Unlike a trustee in bankruptcy, debt settlement
companies have long been a hot button issue and as a result we’ve posted several blogs on the subject:

How successful are consumer proposals vs. debt settlement companies?

One of the advantages of consumer proposals vs. debt settlement companies is a high probability of success.  Consumer proposals filed by a trustee have an excellent chance of being accepted by creditors. The consumer proposals our office files have experience virtually 100% acceptance by creditors.  We know of other trustees who say their success rate with consumer proposals is in the high 90% range.

According to the Canadian Bankers Association only 10% of offers received from debt settlement companies are accepted and it’s estimated that only 3% are successfully completed.  As you can see, consumer proposals vs. debt settlement wins hands down!

Advantages of using a licensed trustee

The reason for the advantages of consumer proposals is because a licensed trustee understands the behaviour of your creditors, is obligated to review all options with you and explain why a consumer proposal is a better option than other ones available, including personal bankruptcy.  A trustee can advise you properly on how to reach a mutually satisfactory compromise on your debt that you can actually complete it successfully, taking your family income and situation into consideration.

If you are considering consumer proposals vs. debt settlement companies

The advantages of consumer proposals vs. debt settlement companies are simple; a trained, educated, licensed financial services professional delivers results.  Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. for sound, professional advice and a solid financial plan for Starting Over, Starting Now.


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Canada middle class – what is your definition?

My definition of Canada middle class is the group under a new economic attack because of housing costs.  Affordable rental housing for Canadians has become an oxymoron in term. In fact, rental housing has enslaved young Canada’s middle class, forcing them to spend so much of their incomes on a place to live, that many are in danger of becoming homeless.

What Statistics Canada says

According to the experts, spending more than 30% on housing is unaffordable. This doesn’t take into account food, clothing, transportation or any of the other necessities of life. According to data from Statistics Canada:

  • There are more than 4 million renters in Canada
  • Over 40% of all renter households are spending in excess of 30% of their gross income on rent
  • 20% of all renter households are spending in excess of 50% of their gross income on rent which housing advocates say puts them at high risk of becoming homeless
  • In Vancouver and Toronto, 45% of renter households are spending more than 30% of their income on rent

Not just a big city problem for Canada middle class

The lack of affordable rental housing is not a problem exclusive to the big cities. Renters in small cities across Canada are also struggling financially. In the Toronto area, average rents are higher in the suburban communities of Milton and Vaughan than in the City of Toronto. And, Mississauga ranked among the worst cities in the country when it comes to a shortage of affordable rental housing.

Traditionally people rented apartments in order to save money and eventually buy a house. With young Canada middle class enslaved by rental prices, buying a house isn’t even on their radar; keeping a rental roof over their heads is a primary concern.

What to do if you have debt problems

Are you living paycheque to paycheque because you’re enslaved by rental prices? We can’t help you find a cheaper place to live, but we can help you deal with what may seem to be insurmountable debt. Call Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. today. We’ll review your file and come up with a plan so that you can be Starting Over, Starting Now.


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This short video explains the differences between a consumer proposal vs. personal bankruptcy.  A consumer proposal is a deal to eliminate your debts.  A consumer proposal is a legally binding process that is administered by a licensed trustee.  Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. is a Toronto bankruptcy trustee and consumer proposal administrator.

We have written previous blogs about consumer proposals, including:

We provide personal bankruptcy and consumer proposal services, as well as corporate restructuring and corporate receivership and bankruptcy services to residents of the Greater Toronto Area.  We explain the differences between a consumer proposal vs. personal bankruptcy.  In most cases we can get a consumer proposal done and it usually results in a substantial reduction in the amount you have to repay.  The amount you are required to pay when you file a consumer proposal depends on a number of factors as explained in this short video.

If you are experiencing financial problems, or you know that you are insolvent and are considering a consumer proposal vs. personal bankruptcy, or looking at all of your realistic options, including all alternatives to bankruptcy, contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. We offer sound advice, a free consultation and a solid plan for Starting Over, Starting Now so that you’ll be well on your way to a debt free life in no time.


bankruptcy, Canadian debt, credit card, credit card debt, debt, debt relief, grey charges, free-to-paid, free trials, how to reduce debt, phantoms, subscriptions, starting over starting nowThe need for credit card debt relief

Debt relief from credit card debt is something we see in our personal insolvency cases all the time.  We read in the newspaper and hear in the media about the high level of Canadian debt.  Credit cards, after mortgages, are one of the main types of debt being carried.

People always ask us how to reduce debt and the first way is to have realistic expectations about what you can afford.  The next way, is not to fall for advertisements that seem too good to be true and require you to input your credit card information for a “free trial”.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”; that may be true for free trials as well. These so called free trials most commonly incur what we call “grey charges”. Grey charges are big business and responsible for big debt. According to Aite Group, there are 233 million grey charges a year, amounting to $14.3-billion (U.S.).

What are grey charges?

  • Free-to-paid are the most common grey charges. You sign up for a free trial period (typically a magazine or online service subscription) after which it becomes a paid subscription if you forget to cancel by a certain deadline. How many people forget to cancel by the deadline? There are over 115 million free-to-paid transactions a year, adding up to over $6 billion, according to Aite Group.
  • Phantoms are extra products and services added onto another transaction.
  • Zombies are subscription fees continually billed to you even after cancellation.

We are seeing more grey charges creeping into credit card debt requiring overall debt relief.

Why are they called grey charges?

They’re called grey charges because although they’re legal, they are morally in a grey area.

These grey charges can go on year after year and all the while you’re accumulating debt. “Nine out of 10 people don’t check their credit card charges carefully,” says Mick Weinstein, vice-president of software company BillGuard. “And even if they do, it’s too time-consuming to dispute those charges. So most people simply let them go.”

So the first avenue to obtain debt relief, is to look at all your credit card charges closely and take the time to dispute the ones that do not look authorized.

Four ways to catch grey charges

Don’t be on auto-pilot when it comes to your finances. Take action against grey charges with these 4 tips.

  1. Check your credit card statements carefully each and every month. These may seem like small charges, but they can add up and hurt you.
  2. Don’t sign up for free trials. Remember, there’s always a hook. So if you wouldn’t pay monthly for it, don’t sign up. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
  3. If you do sign up for a subscription, make sure you read the fine print. You need to understand exactly what your financial obligation is.
  4. Check for phantoms. You may be paying for features you don’t want or need.

Serious debt requires serious professional help

Debt is serious business that requires the help of serious professionals. If you’re struggling with debt and are in need of debt relief, contact the Ira Smith Team as soon as possible. We’re a full service insolvency and financial restructuring practice serving companies and individuals throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) facing financial crisis or bankruptcy that need a plan for Starting Over, Starting Now. We have helped many individuals obtain the debt relief they so desparately require.  Take the first step towards financial freedom today.


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Whenever we speak to groups about divorce and bankruptcy, and especially to grey divorce support groups, the same questions always arise regarding the interplay between the Federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and the Ontario family law provisions.  I thought it would be best to address one such interesting issue in this week’s blog.

You may hate your soon-to-be ex, but the courts won’t allow you to use bankruptcy as a weapon against that spouse. Bankruptcy is legal proceeding involving an insolvent person or business that is unable to repay outstanding debts. It is not a way to avoid paying alimony or child support. There was a recent case that clearly demonstrates the court’s view on this very issue.

Blatherwick v Blatherwick

The case is Blatherwick v Blatherwick, 2015 ONSC 2606 (CanLII). The parties separated after 39 years of marriage. The wife was seeking spousal support and equalization, among other things. The husband disputed the amounts that the wife was seeking. The wife obtained a Mareva injunction which is a court order preventing a defendant from transferring assets until the outcome of the associated law suit is decided. However, the husband breached the Mareva injunction by declaring bankruptcy. And, to make matters worse he made false representations in bankruptcy, including the valuation of corporate assets and reporting of income. The husband thought that if he declared bankruptcy he would be putting his assets beyond the reach of his wife’s claim for equalization. (In a bona fide bankruptcy, it is true that an equalization claim is not a claim provable in the bankruptcy, unlike a claim for alimony and child support which cannot be extinguished as a result of a bankruptcy).

The Judge’s view on Mr. Blatherwick’s bankruptcy

The Judge stated:

“303      I find as a fact that Mr. Blatherwick made false statements which were significant in his Statement of Affairs.

304      I find as a fact that he made the assignment into bankruptcy to avoid making an equalization payment to Mrs. Blatherwick and to avoid his financial obligations arising from his voluntary disclosure to Revenue Canada.

305      I find as a fact that the purpose of Mr. Blatherwick going bankrupt was to obtain a collateral benefit in the matrimonial proceedings.

306      I conclude there was no bona fide financial reason for making a voluntary assignment into bankruptcy.”

Accordingly, the court annulled the bankruptcy.  In the truest sense, it was as if the bankruptcy never happened at all.


Trying to cheat the system by making false statements on your sworn statement of affairs to make yourself appear insolvent is never a good idea and can even lead to criminal charges. The bankruptcy can, as demonstrated in this case, be annulled.

If you are insolvent and are considering bankruptcy, contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. We offer sound advice and a solid plan for Starting Over, Starting Now so that you’ll be well on your way to a debt free life in no time.


:bankruptcy alternatives, alternatives to bankruptcy, bankruptcy questions, debt, debt problems, debt settlement, debt settlement companies, licensed trustee, starting over starting now, trusteeYou probably have many bankruptcy questions if you’re experiencing serious debt problems and you are no doubt going through a very stressful time in your life and you may not know where to turn. Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. is here to tell you that there is help available, answers to your bankruptcy questions and there are solutions to your debt problems. The best thing that you can do is contact a Licensed Trustee as soon as possible. There is a popular misconception that Licensed Trustees only deal with bankruptcy, but that is only one of our many functions. We can and do help with debt problems considering various alternatives to bankruptcy also.

Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. for a free consultation today. We can help you with your debt problems and answer your bankruptcy questions. Starting Over, Starting now you can live a debt free life.


credit score, credit scoring, Facebook, Facebook credit score patent, Facebook friends, loan, social media, credit ratings, social network, credit score, loan applications, financial danger zone, trustee, debt, social media, starting over starting nowWhat does credit scoring have to do with your Facebook Friends?

To improve your credit scoring, you are going to have to choose your Facebook Friends more wisely.  Many people believe that when it comes to social media, it’s a numbers game and whoever has the most, wins. As a result they will “friend” anyone who asks. They don’t care who they are or why they want to be Facebook friends; the only thing that matters is that their number of friends keeps going up. That may now be a very dangerous game to play. Those Facebook friends that you’ve been amassing may be a liability if you apply for a loan.

It’s well known that Facebook mines data from its users for the purposes of pushing targeted advertising. However, Facebook now has a patent for authorizing and authenticating a user based on their social network on Facebook. Although this patent can be used for several benign functions like helping with search queries, it also states very clearly that it could be used to approve a loan based on a user’s social connections. In other words, the new Facebook algorithm can be used by lenders in determining your credit scoring when applying for a loan or mortgage.

The Facebook credit rating patent

“When an individual applies for a loan, the lender examines the credit ratings of members of the individual’s social network who are connected to the individual through authorized nodes,” the patent reads. “If the average credit rating of these members is at least a minimum credit score, the lender continues to process the loan application. Otherwise, the loan application is rejected.”  So your Facebook Friends credit scoring, affects yours too!

Lenders are already using social media when considering your loan application

In case you find this shocking and futuristic, social media strategist and University of Sydney academic Laurel Papworth says that lenders in 36 countries are now using Facebook data as part of their tools for approving or rejecting loan applications. This puts a lot of power in the hands of your Facebook friends, especially when you consider that according to CNN there are 83 million fake profiles.

So do you really know your entire list of Facebook friends well and better yet, their financial situation and credit scoring? It’s time to take a serious look at your Facebook friends and start trimming the fat. Who you don’t actually know, and who you do know with poor credit scoring, can hurt you.

If you have been rejected for a loan – take action now!

If you have been rejected for a loan application because of a poor credit scoring, chances are that you are in a financial danger zone. The best thing you can do is contact a professional trustee as soon as possible. The Ira Smith team is here to help you conquer debt and live a financially healthy life Starting Over, Starting Now.



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Identity theft definition

Identity theft and fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain[1]. When we think of identity theft we have images of shady characters lurking in the shadows who perpetrate fraud upon us for the purposes of stealing our personal information.

Identity theft awareness

As a result we’re often remiss in really understanding who has access to our personal information and what an assumed trusted source can legally do with it. Did you know that when a company goes bankrupt, your personal information can be sold to the highest bidder, leaving you potentially exposed to identity theft?

Identity theft company bankruptcy

According to David Fraser, a privacy law expert at McInnes Cooper, when a company goes bankrupt, it is legally obligated to sell off its assets in order to pay off its creditors. Although information is not property like a computer or a printer, records are considered an asset of the business and can be sold. However, the conditions of the privacy policy usually still hold, and the data can only be used for the purposes for which it was originally collected. Although this sounds like your personal information would remain secure, that is not always the case.

Nicholas Johnson, a professor at Sheridan College, reviewed the privacy policies of about 30 websites and uncovered some startling information. He looked closely at what kinds of information companies were asking for and what protections they offered, if any, in the event of a reorganization. He then detailed how personal information can easily fall into the wrong hands.

  • Most companies have privacy policies that allow for customer data to be transferred to a third party in the case of bankruptcy or a restructuring
  • Almost every company requested email address, first name and last name from its customers
  • In about 10 cases, companies asked customers to opt-in to email notifications or for credit card information
  • Few companies actually detailed what would happen to this information if the company was sold

Identity theft is a real problem and the number of victims is growing at an alarming rate. We need to be more diligent about safeguarding our personal information. What, if anything, are you doing to protect your personal information?

Problem from identity theft

If you’ve been a victim of identity theft and are now experiencing serious financial problems or have serious debt issues for any reason, contact the Ira Smith team as soon as possible. We work with individuals and companies throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) facing financial crisis or bankruptcy that need a plan for Starting Over, Starting Now. Don’t let debt ruin your life. Contact us today.

[1] United States Department of Justice website.