The fear is eating away your stomach lining. You can’t sleep. You can’t concentrate. You feel like a failure in the eyes of the world.
The envelopes of the unopened bills have changed to new ominous colours. The days you could juggle minimum payments between credit cards is coming to an end as you reach your limits.
You stop answering the phone calls for fear of bill collectors . . . and then the phone stops working altogether.
Many people come to Toronto bankruptcy trustees gripped by the worst fear of their lives. They are looking at the end of their world, and who could be complacent in the face of that?
When people arrive at one of our offices for the first time, turning the handle of the front door feels as hard as moving a boulder. What our trustees try to convey at this meeting is that their visitors are not the first to have faced this situation. And while things might be dire, we are no longer a society that sends people to debtor prison. You can take concrete steps to deal with the crisis and begin the trip back to solvency and self-respect.
Of course, not all severe debt problems need to be dealt with by bankruptcy. But let’s assume you must face the worst. Does it mean that your world is over? No, absolutely not. While we cannot wave a magic wand and make everything go away, we can help you manage the process so that the road to recovery is seen clearly and followed sooner.
People ask if they will lose everything they have. No. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t lose all your assets when you go bankrupt. While there might be some things you have to give up, you will probably get to keep your furniture, personal effects, car and business tools.
What will stop the lawsuits and wage garnishees? some ask. A bankruptcy immediately stops anyone from suing or garnisheeing you, even the CRA. Only Family Responsibility Office Garnishees aren’t stopped.
Will my spouse and their property be affected by my bankruptcy? Probably not, except perhaps indirectly.
The above only touches on some of the issues a first free assessment covers. To get a full appraisal you need to come in and move the boulder on our front door. We guarantee that the knob will be a lot easier to turn on the way out.
This is a post I co-wrote with Richard Killen for the Killen Landau blog.