Millennials, Gen Y, debt, student loans, credit card debt, credit counselling, debt consolidation, consumer proposals, bankruptcy, millennial home ownership, starting over starting nowMillennial home ownership may be out of reach because there is no doubt that Millennials are struggling with debt and it’s a serious issue. We’ve addressed this problem in two previous blogs – Millennials Debt; A Plan for Escape and Gen Y Trapped: Millennials in Debt. For those of you unfamiliar with the term Millennial, the Census Canada definition is kids born between 1977 and 1994. In Canada Millennials represent a large group; they make up approximately 27% of the population. And unfortunately they also have a lot of debt, the majority of which is student loans and a good proportion can also be attributed to credit card debt.

As a result of student debt, credit card debt and lower than anticipated salaries, many Millennials can’t even dream of buying a house and millennial home ownership is a fading dream. In fact, many can’t even afford an apartment and are living at home with their parents or sharing an apartment with multiple roommates. This situation has affected more than just the Millennials and their families; the lack of millennial home ownership has seriously impacted the housing market. “The first-time homebuyer is really absent from the market,” says David Crowe, the chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. He says only 16% of new-home sales are to first-time homebuyers. That is half of normal. And in terms of the numbers of new homes getting built, “We’re not even halfway back,” Crowe says. This phenomenon will eventually rebound, but it will take time.  Millennials will need to feel comfortable that their debt reduction plans are working before millennial home ownership, and therefore a large group of first-time home buyers, will again be able to enter the real estate market.

Millennials need help dealing with debt. Maxing out credit cards is not a solution. If you’re a Millennial in debt, you need professional help. Responsible hard working millennials deserve to have millennial home ownership included in their reality.

Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. With sound professional advice and a solid plan in place, you can conquer debt. There are many ways to deal with debt which include credit counselling, debt consolidation, consumer proposals and bankruptcy. It may sound ominous, but the Ira Smith team will guide you through the process and Starting Over, Starting Now you can live a debt free life and plan for your future.


debts, debt, retirement, credit counselling, credit card debt, line of credit, trustee, starting over starting now, seniors acquiring more debtSeniors acquiring more debt seems to be more the norm than the commercials featuring retirees driving convertible sports cars, travelling to exotic locations and wining and dining in upscale restaurants, you’ve no doubt watched. The question that seniors acquiring more debt must be asked is will debts prevent your retirement?

Seniors acquiring more debt are not going to be living the life of luxury depicted on television. How many of you are drowning in so much debt that retirement isn’t even an option? According to the BMO Retirement Institute debt is the number one barrier preventing Canadians from saving for retirement and that their priority should be to retire free of debt, including a home mortgage.

The reality is:

  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling says one-third of its 3 million clients last year were 55 or older.
  • More than 41% of families with heads of household between age 55 and 64 had credit card debt in 2010 (up from 33% in 1989), according to the AARP Public Policy Institute and the Demos research group.
  • The median total debt for 55- to 64-year-old households is $76,600, says the Employee Benefits Research Institute.

Among those retired Canadians with debt, a Harris/Decima poll for CIBC found:

  • 37% are juggling two or more debt payments a month
  • 39% are carrying credit card debt
  • 30% have debt on their line of credit
  • 16% are carrying debt on their mortgage, and
  • 14% have loan debt

What should seniors acquiring more debt, or anyone with too much debt, to get debt under control? Make a budget, stick to it and pay down high interest debt like credit card debt. If these measures are not enough to deal with your debt issues, you need professional help.

Seniors acquiring more debt should contact a professional trustee as soon as possible. The Ira Smith team are here to help. With a cumulative 50+ years of experience, we deliver the highest quality of professional service. We offer practical advice so you can clearly see the way to move forward Starting Over, Starting Now. Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. today.


Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, CRA audit, social media, social media sites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, trustee, income tax debt, debt, trustee, starting over starting now, Canada revenue agency social media, receiverCanada Revenue Agency social media investigative staff review your latest photos and news on social media sites that you post to. Did you know that? If you do post to social media sites and you did not know that Canada Revenue Agency social media investigative staff may be looking at your postings, then you’re like most of the adults online.

Sharing everything from your marital status to what you’re eating at a restaurant on social media sites has become second nature. We have a great need to share, without giving it a second thought. According to Pew Internet Research, as of September 2013:

  • 71% of online adults use Facebook
  • 17% use Instagram
  • 21% use Pinterest
  • 22% use LinkedIn

You may think that participating in social media is a harmless activity and you may even post some white lies, but after all, the Internet encourages creativity. And, who could it hurt anyways? The answer is you! It’s not just your friends checking out your Facebook page, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may be checking you out as well. The Canada Revenue Agency social media investigative staff use an audit technique called Indirect Verification of Income.

The CRA is on the lookout for folks living a high income life – big house, fancy cars, and exotic vacations – without reporting the income to sustain such a lifestyle. This kind of behaviour is a huge red flag for the CRA and you could be in for an audit. Rest assured that the CRA, including the Canada Revenue Agency social media investigative staff which is an  increasingly important component of the investigation side, will leave no stone unturned in search of the unreported income.

We had an interesting file that demonstrated exactly how deep in trouble you many find yourself if you post everything on social media sites, and lie. A high income earner was trying through a Proposal to compromise $400K of his income tax debt (amongst others). Throughout his entire professional career he had photos of himself in front of yachts, mansions and fancy cars to show how successful he was. The only problem was that none of it was ever his. It took a year to convince the CRA that neither he nor his spouse ever owned such assets!! Ultimately we were successful in satisfying CRA’s concerns and the CRA voted in favour of his Proposal.

Before you post your life story on social media sites, ask yourself what the Canada Revenue Agency social media investigative staff will think if they crawl your pages.

If you’re having serious financial issues related to income tax debt or any other cause, contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. With a solid financial plan in place Starting Over, Starting Now you can free yourself of debt.


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Ignoring a non-compete clause can be very tempting, especially if you left your employer feeling that you weren’t given proper notice or that you were owed wages or commissions. Don’t let this type of situation cloud your better judgement because ignoring an enforceable non-compete clause can be very costly. Even bankruptcy won’t discharge you of this debt.

Recently there was an action that demonstrates clearly why not to ignore a non-compete clause. An employer terminated its agreement with one of its associates. Although a non-compete clause was in place, the associate chose to ignore it and continued doing business with several of his former boss’s customers or former customers. The employer brought action against his former associate to recover losses allegedly sustained as a result of the former associate ignoring the non-compete clause in his contract and therefore breaching his agreement with his former employer.

The claim under the judgement the employer obtained against the former associate for loss of profits was not discharged by the former associate’s bankruptcy, given that it was ruled to be a debt incurred for breach of fiduciary duty, which is a type of debt not discharged under section 178(1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada).

Don’t let your emotions cloud your better judgement. Even if you think your former employer owes you wages, ignoring an enforceable non-compete clause is not the answer. As you can see by this action, whether you leave an employer voluntarily or otherwise, if there is an enforceable non-compete clause in place, and you take customers away from your former employer during the non-compete period, not only can they obtain a judgement for the lost profits, bankruptcy also won’t discharge you of that debt.

For more information on this or any issue related to insolvency or bankruptcy contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. We’re an insolvency and financial restructuring practice for individuals and companies in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) facing financial crisis. Our speciality is serving individuals and the private company entrepreneurial market, regardless of size. If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, we can help you recover financially Starting Over, Starting Now.


living paycheque to paycheque, living paycheck to paycheck, bankruptcy, alternatives to bankruptcy, credit counselling, debt consolidation, consumer proposals, starting over starting now, trustee, high earners, norma walton, ronauld waltonIt may surprise you to learn that high earners, earning a six figure salary is not a guarantee of financial stability or security. A big house, luxury cars and exotic vacations frequently don’t tell the real story. You may be looking at a lot of smoke and mirrors. Often these high earners become victims of their own success.

The costs of maintaining a high flying lifestyle eventually becomes too great and a debt spiral begins. No one is immune. Famous actors and actresses, lawyers, doctors and captains of industry file for bankruptcy just like the working poor living paycheque to paycheque. According to the Wall Street Journal “some high earners end up leading a lifestyle that they can barely afford, saving little or nothing for retirement and living paycheck to paycheck”.

This problem appears to be global, with no sign of letting up. In fact we reported on it last year in two blogs titled “Is Canada’s 1% Immune from Insolvency or Bankruptcy?” and Famous Celebrity Bankruptcies Happen Too. A recent study at Princeton University calls this phenomena “wealthy hand-to-mouth”. The study reports that the wealthy hand-to-mouth behave in many respects like households with little or no net worth. So, whether you’re a high earner or have little or no net worth, if you’re living paycheque to paycheque, you’re in the same boat and your options are the same.

If you are one of the high earners, or just a normal person, the time to end the spiral of debt is now. There is no time to waste. Debt doesn’t go away on its own. You need professional help and a sound plan for moving forward. Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. 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.

There are alternatives to bankruptcycredit counselling, debt consolidation and consumer proposals or ultimately bankruptcy may be the answer – for both high earners and normal people.  Don’t make living paycheque to paycheque a lifestyle. Call us today and take the first step towards a debt free life.


bankruptcy trustees, financial distress, financial tool, bankruptcy, too much debt, collection letters, collection calls, bankruptcy alternatives, personal bankruptcy, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, bankruptcy legislation, corporate bankruptcy, bankruptcy protection, Air Canada bankruptcy, American Airlines bankruptcy, consumer proposal, starting over starting now, bankruptcy trusteeBankruptcy trustees advise people in financial distress to think of bankruptcy as just another financial tool.  Bankruptcy still carries a stigma with it for many people, but if you have too much debt, cannot repay your debts and are afraid to open the mail or answer the phone because of all the collection letters and collection calls you receive, you need to take some positive step to eliminate this stress in your life by finding a responsible and realistic solution.

Bankruptcy trustees will tell you that none of their clients wanted to call and for sure did not wish to see them.  People come to bankruptcy trustees feeling ashamed, guilty and worthless.  It is normal to feel that you have failed in such circumstances, but it is also important for your emotional and financial well-being to think of bankruptcy or one of the various bankruptcy alternatives as another financial tool and to use one of these tools to fix the situation for yourself.

Our media promotes the feeling that personal bankruptcy is somehow equated with failure, instead of it being described as merely a negative financial outcome for the honest, but unfortunate person.  Everyone deserves a second chance, and using bankruptcy, or one of the bankruptcy alternatives is a way to get that second chance.  Many people have done so in the past, and many will do so in the future; that is why Parliament created the laws forming our bankruptcy legislation, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.  Keep in mind, many famous people have previously filed for bankruptcy.

It is interesting that our media casts personal bankruptcy in a negative light, but shows corporate bankruptcy protection as something positive.  When we heard years ago about Air Canada filing for bankruptcy protection, or more recently, American Airlines filing for bankruptcy, people did not stop flying the airlines because they were disgusted that a company would dare to make use of the bankruptcy financial tool, but rather, people were worried about whether or not they would lose any of their airline point privileges!

Why can’t we think of personal bankruptcy as the same positive step forward financial tool in dealing with an unfortunate situation?

Bankruptcy trustees are the people licensed by the Government of Canada to administer the provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.  Bankruptcy trustees need to obtain a full understanding of your assets and liabilities and understand your personal situation in order to advise whether you should go bankrupt, or if you are a candidate for a consumer proposal instead.  No doubt people seeking the assistance of bankruptcy trustees have many questions needing to be answered also.

Are you suffering financially for any reason? Don’t be ashamed; contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. Debt won’t go away on its own. You need professional help Starting Over, Starting Now so that you can regain your dignity and resume on a path to debt free living.

Watch this 5 minute video to listen to how another bankruptcy trustee explains it.



I recently read an article on millmillennials, millennials debt, Gen Y, Boomers, Baby Boomers, bankruptcy alternatives, debt, student loan debt, trustee, bankruptcy, credit, counselling, debt consolidation, consumer proposals, restructuring and turnaroundennials debt that actually referred to Millennials as “The Generation of Debt”. We recently reported on this very serious problem in our blog “Gen Y Trapped: Millennials in Debt”. Pew Research reports that Millennials are more distrustful of people than ever, less likely to belong to a party or religion, more in debt, and say they are unable to marry because they lack a solid economic foundation. In addition Millennials are also the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles.

I found this millennials debt issue particularly interesting because just a few days ago I had a conversation with a Millennial who said that as a whole her friends felt disenfranchised and angry with the Baby Boomers who have enjoyed benefits that they expected and will never have like company defined pension plans and old age security benefits at age 65.

Clearly one of the major issues is that Millennials had expectations but no financial plan and many are now trapped in a debt cycle that they don’t know how to escape. Millennials debt is a problem that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. And dealing with debt is not a DYI project. If you’re a Millennial facing serious debt issues and an uncertain financial future, contact a professional trustee. Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. There are many ways to deal with debt in addition to bankruptcy which include credit counselling, debt consolidation and consumer proposals.

We’re here to help. We can discuss with you the various bankruptcy alternatives for the restructuring and turnaround of millennials debt and your entire financial life leading to your overall well-being.  We can put you back on the path to lead a healthy and productive life so that you can escape the millennials debt trap.  Make an appointment with the Ira Smith team today so that Starting Over, Starting Now you can live a happy, productive, debt free life.


senior financial abuse, senior abuse, elder abuse, financial fraud, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Emergency - Grand Parent Scam, Prize Scam, Bank Inspector Scam, debt, trustee, senior abuse in Canada, elder financial abuse awareness, senior citizen money scams, scams on senior citizensSenior financial abuse has caused the golden years to not be golden for many of our retirees. Many of our elders have become victims of senior financial abuse, taken in by senior citizen money scams resulting in increased debt because they are viewed as easy prey. Typically they live alone, have disposable income and are generally quite trusting.

In case you don’t think this is a widespread and very serious problem, according to a 2011 study conducted by MetLife and the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech about elder financial abuse, the annual financial loss suffered by victims of senior citizen money scams of financial fraud is estimated to be $2.9 billion. In addition many seniors are facing serious debt as a result of family obligations, divorce, recession and lifestyle choices.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, senior abuse in Canada as a result of senior financial abuse are from 3 prominent scams on senior citizens:

  1. The “Emergency – Grand Parent Scam” which is aimed at persuading seniors to believe a family member or friend is in trouble and in need of financial aid.
  2. The “Prize Scam” which targets seniors into believing they have won a lottery/sweepstakes.
  3. The “Bank Inspector Scam” targets seniors into verifying a possible fraudulent cashier at a bank by withdrawing funds for a supposed investigator.

How can you protect yourself? Here’s some great advice from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to assist in elder financial abuse awareness:

  • Never give cash to someone you don’t know or are meeting for the first time.
  • Financial institutions will never solicit assistance from you for internal investigation.
  • Contact police or the financial institution immediately to verify the telephone call you received.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of senior financial abuse fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or

Are you a senior who is suffering financially for any reason? Don’t be ashamed; contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. Debt won’t go away on its own. You need professional help Starting Over, Starting Now so that you can regain your dignity and start back on a path to debt free living.


Payday loan companies continue to prey on thopayday lenders, payday loan, payday loans, payday loan companies, bad credit loans Toronto, bad credit loans, bad credit loans Toronto, Canadian payday loans, debt, instant loans Toronto, guaranteed bad credit loansse in need financially looking for guaranteed bad credit loans. We’ve devoted several blogs to warning the unsuspecting public about these unscrupulous companies but sadly people are still falling for their pitch.

Bloomberg Businessweek recently caught up with 3 payday lenders who are living the life most of us can only dream of from their ill-begotten profits. Living carefree in St. Croix, they while away the hours on luxury yachts. Their company, Cane Bay Partners, makes millions a month in payday loans to desperate and unsuspecting people who don’t realize that they’re paying more than 600% interest a year. Bloomberg discovered that the cost for a $500 loan is $100 to $150 in interest every two weeks, according to four contracts from the websites.

Cane Bay of course denies this saying that they are a management consulting and analytics company but a former employee confirms that Cane Bay runs,, and at least four other payday loan websites. They are able to circumvent the laws because their payday loan sites use corporations that are set up in Belize and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As U.S. States and Canadian provinces crack down on payday loan companies, they’ve moved online. In fact according to John Hecht, an analyst at Jefferies Group, Internet payday lending in the U.S. has doubled since 2008, to $16 billion a year, with half made by lenders based offshore or affiliated with American Indian tribes who say state laws don’t apply to them.

Although we’ve been under the impression that most people are using payday lenders for sudden and unexpected expenses, a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that instead payday borrowers typically end up rolling old debts into new loans, often increasing how much they owe each time. This clearly indicates that many people are not aware of the sensible, financially sound options to dealing with debt.

Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. and make an appointment today. Instead of looking for instant loans Toronto paying exorbitant interest rates at payday loan companies, we can solve your debt problems with a sound financial plan for moving forward so that Starting Over, Starting Now you can live a debt free life.


debt, Millennials, Generation Y, Gen Y, Baby Boomers in debt, seniors in debt, student debt, student loans, credit card debt, bankruptcy, trustee, financial plan, gen y debt, starting over starting now, trustee, millennials in debt, gen y in debtMillennials in debt is an important issue.  There’s been a considerable amount of press surrounding the problems facing Baby Boomers in debt and seniors in debt and we’ve devoted quite a few blogs to these very serious issues:

However, the Millennials (children born between 1982 and 2002), also known as Generation Y or Gen Y, feel trapped as millennials in debt. Only now are we realizing how dire their situation is. BMO recently did a survey of Millennials in debt and discovered that:

  • 56% are so anxious about their debt they think about it multiple times a day.
  • 50% said debt has made them lose sleep.
  • Their household debt is $73,305.
  • 50% feel ashamed at the level of debt they’ve accumulated.
  • 50% of Millennials in debt have had arguments with family, friends and partners over debt.
  • 51% have borrowed money from friends or family to manage household debt levels.
  • Nearly 60% viewed their debt as a major personal problem.

In addition Millennials in debt are more burdened by student debt than their elders, according to David Coletto, chief executive officer of Abacus Data. He goes on to say, “People are maxing out their student loans and getting loans from family to supplement.”

The reality is that debt is increasing across all demographics and the issues facing Millennials in debt should not be ignored. Whether their debt originated with student loans, credit card debt or some other issue, it needs to be managed as quickly as possible by a professional trustee. Contact Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. for professional advice and a solid financial plan so that you can live a debt free life Starting Over, Starting Now.