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Bankruptcy is not your only option

People who are going through difficult times financially, there are more than you think. To help you regain your peace of mind and a debt-free life, Le Soleil asked the experts at Jean Fortin et Associés to answer the most frequently asked questions by their clients.


Q. Is bankruptcy the most common solution among those who consult you?

A. The answer may surprise many: no, on the contrary, it is the solution for less than one in three people who consult. Indeed, for the majority of customers, a financial analysis allows us to identify different solutions and present them with our recommendations. One thing is certain, the more people react before the financial problems are too serious, the more options they have.


Q. What are the other possible solutions?

A. The very first option that is analyzed is budget reorganization. We work with the client to review their variable and fixed expenses, identify items where we can cut and agree on a realistic debt repayment plan. Like a slimming diet, this option requires a lot of discipline.

Then, if fiscal reorganization is not sufficient or possible, it is assessed whether debt consolidation with a financial institution could be a feasible solution. By grouping all the (unsecured) debts, we seek to reduce the interest costs we pay on credit card debts and by having only one payment per month, we thus facilitate the management of our finances. On the other hand, this option requires a good credit record and the financial capacity to repay all your debts in 5 years.

When these 2 options are not possible, we can turn to the consumer proposal which is a settlement offer that the trustee negotiates with your creditors. This is the most popular solution for people who want to avoid bankruptcy because there is no need to have a good credit record. Indeed, the trustee does not ask for a new loan, but rather negotiates with your existing creditors a payment agreement that corresponds to your financial capacity. The fact that the law provides that any amount is repaid without interest means significant savings and monthly payments lower than consolidation.

In summary, each option has its share of advantages and disadvantages and each situation is unique. Once well informed, the client will be able to make an informed decision with the help of the professional he will trust.