Debt Help & Bankruptcy Canada

At Grant Thornton Limited, we provide solutions for people with debt and financial challenges. Consumer proposals, bankruptcy, and other debt solutions.

Is a car a necessity or luxury? guess it depends on where you live….

Most people need to commute to work, there’s generally not an option, but is car ownership even possible in some locations?

If you buy a condo in Downtown Vancouver and you want a parking space, there is a good chance you are going to pay a lot for it.

In Calgary the simple act of parking your car at work is expensive: some of the most expensive parking in Canada.

An analysis in a Toronto real estate blog looked at parking, car payments or depreciation, insurance, gas, and maintenance. It found — even for Sunday drivers — the cost of ownership was $870 per month. That’s $10,400 per year.

Transportation experts  have reported the numbers are similar in Vancouver and that’s why many young urban professionals look at the other options.

What are the options? If you can’t afford a car, the good news is that you dont have to go into debt to get one either. There are many services popping up that can help you bridge the gap: Gar to Go, Uber and a few others.

“Now with car-sharing programs, more and more young people in particular have found realistic ways to get around. As a consequence, you can see they’re taking out licences less and they are not buying cars; they are finding lower cost substitutes.

But though car ownership may have become a luxury for people living downtown, it is still a necessity in some other areas. For many in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, commuting by transit is not an easy option.

A recent study by the Pembina Institute found only 19 per cent of Metro residents live within walking distance of rapid transit, compared to 21 per cent in Calgary, 28 per cent in Ottawa, 34 per cent in Toronto, and 37 per cent in Montreal.

There are options, there are always options.

Our trustees offer free consultations, credit counselling, consumer proposal administration and bankruptcy services. Call 310-8888 for a free, no obligation consultation.

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Debt Levels of Seniors in Canada – Alarming

CANADIAN SENIORS’ DEBT LOAD ALARMING

TD Bank recently conducted a study which had surprising results;  older Canadians have increased their debt load by 15% (an average of $6000/person) from the previous year. Seniors living in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec had the highest rates of debt accumulation in 2012.

This would not be as alarming if most seniors were not already living on  limited, or fixed, incomes of moderate levels. So what is causing these increased levels of debt?

Causes of the increased debt load can be partially attributed to the general increased cost of living, but with most of senior debt being credit based, what is the basis for this debt increase?

Karen Horvath, an Alberta Bankruptcy Trustee at Grant Thornton Alger Inc. notes that in the case of one spouse passing away, it becomes increasingly difficult to cover costs of presents, housing and groceries on now a single source of income.

More and more, bankruptcy trustees and credit counselors are seeing seniors in their offices seeking financial options to handle their debt load.  A debt load which is more and more carried into retirement. The stress that these older Canadians are now facing on retirement is significant.  Once on a fixed income, it is often impossible  to continue with the payments required to service debt even by making minimum payments  Seniors are often forced to postpone retirement and work into their 70’s and 80’s to keep their  households running.  Others are forced back to work after trying to retire but not being able to service their debt.  Finally there are some seniors who are incurring even more debt after retirement t to service existing debt repayment commitments.  Although there are options available, many seniors as well as other age groups are not aware of the options available to help them manage their debt.

“We have seen cases where the husband never worried about life insurance, so the surprise finding out there are not funds to cover funeral costs can be a lot to handle.” Says Karen Horvath, Trustee at Grant Thornton Alger Inc.

The stigma of seeking advice for debt problems is as a strong factor for many seniors. So what is the solution? Many people would never think that bankruptcy is a solution for seniors.[AB1]  It is not the only option seniors have; there is also the option of filing a consumer proposal to the creditors requesting a reduction in the debt or simply a deferral of payments. As  Karen says “a lot of times this can be just enough assistance that it helps seniors, and other individuals, get  relief and a solution to their debt, to be able to move forward”.


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