Since 2009, filing for bankruptcy has gotten more expensive and longer in Canada than ever before. If you make just $200 above the income level set by the government, your bankruptcy status gets extended for a year. As a consequence, you have to pay half the amount of your surplus income into your bankruptcy for 21 months, instead of the requisite nine months.
Bankruptcy is one of those things that is much easier to get into than it is to get out of, especially with these new more stringent rules in place. If you ask a bankruptcy trustee, they will all tell you that filing should always be your last resort when it comes to settling your debt. When you meet them, you know it's the end of the line. But, what is it like for trustees from the other side of the desk? Trustees have seen people at their most destitute, so no one knows better than they do what it takes to keep your head above water and never have to see them in a professional capacity.
Douglas Hoyes, founding partner of Hoyes Michalos & Associates Inc.
, started his career as a bankruptcy trustee for a corporation, but in 1999 he realized he'd make more of a difference aiding individuals with their financial difficulties. Now he's one of the most high profile bankruptcy trustees in the country, with appearances on Canada AM
, 'Til Debt Do Us Part
and CBC Newsworld
He makes it his business to help people rise above their financial circumstances and frequently writes about what it takes to not have to see him. Here are some of his greatest tips: