You may be facing more debt than you can pay back, and/or dealing with financial institutions and companies that are aggressively seeking larger payments, larger than you can afford while still keeping your home and family together.
If you're experiencing financial difficulty with your creditors, there are several options available to you as a consumer. Selecting the best one for you depends on:
Based on your individual situation, you may be successful:
Be a wise consumer if/when you choose to seek help in dealing with debt and collection services.
Several companies claim to offer debtor assistance services. It's important to research these companies before you commit to a plan. Company advertising may suggest a connection with the Debtor Assistance programs offered by the province of Nova Scotia, where none exists.
Here are some things to watch out for:
The Province of Nova Scotia, through Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, offers Debtor Assistance programs. You can meet with a licensed Administrator, who will review your situation and discuss with you, what options are available to you at no charge.
Should a registered Consumer Proposal be an option available to you, there are fees which are by tariff and you may discuss at length with one of our licensed Administrators located throughout the province at various Access Nova Scotia Centres.
Consumer proposals are designed to provide you with an opportunity to make a proposal to your creditors to pay off your debts. You may make a proposal to your creditors to pay off a percentage of your debt, extend the time you have to pay off the debt, or propose some combination of both. Consumer proposals are administered by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations under the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
If you are facing financial difficulty, you may make an appointment to meet with staff of this Section. An Administrator will ask that you provide information on your financial situation - and together you will discuss the best option for you.
Some of the benefits of a consumer proposal are that your creditors may not be able to take legal steps to recover the debt from you (such as seizing property or garnishing wages). If you have debts less than $250,000 (not including a mortgage on your residence) you may be eligible to make a proposal. Staff will discuss your financial situation, and work with you to develop a proposal that's best for you and your creditors. A report is filed with your creditors and with the Official Receiver. Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations presents the consumer proposal to your creditors and asks them to indicate if they accept or reject the terms. An Administrator will call a meeting of creditors if necessary. Creditors have up to 45 days to indicate if they wish to have a meeting of creditors.
If the creditor responds positively, or does not respond, the proposal is considered accepted. If a sufficient number of creditors accept the proposal, it becomes binding on you and all of your creditors under the consumer proposal. If your consumer proposal is accepted, you must comply with the terms of the proposal. If you stop making payments, the proposal is no longer valid. Your creditors could then claim the full amount owed to them before the proposal (minus what you paid during the proposal). There is a fee to make a consumer proposal which is collected from your payments to your creditors.