Resources to Get Financial Help and Manage Bills and Debt Payments During Coronavirus

Much of our lives have been put on hold due to the impact of the coronavirus. Sadly, though, bills still keep coming in and due dates for debt payments haven’t stopped. As with many Canadians, your budget is not prepared for the potential economic impact of this pandemic illness and there is stress and anxiety right now in not being certain if you will be able to keep paying your bills and manage debt payments during the coronavirus crisis.

You may be wondering:

  • How will I pay my bills?
  • How do I keep paying my mortgage?
  • How can I save money if I’m unable to work?  
  • How will I be able to care for my family?

We know there may be little we can do to take away the fears and worries you may have right now. It may help put you at ease if you know that there are things you can do if you’re struggling to pay things like your mortgage or energy bills because of coronavirus.

Yes, you can get help and financial support if you are facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19. You are not alone in this. Many fellow Canadians are in the same boat as you. 

Here we’ve gathered as much information to help you understand what help is out there and how you can get access to them. 

Financial Support from the Government

There is help available from the federal and provincial governments. A number of helpful financial relief measures are in place or will take effect in the coming weeks to try and assist Canadians to cope under these strange conditions. Some highlights:

  1. If you have work and are unable to work because of COVID-19 related illness, injury, quarantine, or the need to self-isolate, you can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits and obtain up to 15 weeks of income replacement. 

Special exemptions to note:

    • The one-week waiting period will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined
    • Claims of those under quarantine will be prioritized 
    • Those claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
    • Those who cannot apply for EI sickness benefits now may be able to apply later and have their claims backdated. 

More information on how to claim Employment Insurance benefits can be found here.

  1. On March 25, 2020, the Government announced the release of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which would provide $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to all workers – including self-employed workers, contract workers and those without paid sick leave – who are quarantined, sick with COVID-19, caring for a family member who is sick with COVID-19, or are staying home to care for their children due to school closures.
  2. By May 2020, low- or modest-income families will get a one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) which will provide an additional benefit of $400 to single individuals and $600 for couples.
  3. The annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB), which is given in May each year, will provide an increase of $300 per child only for the year 2019-2020. This will mean roughly about $550 more for families with kids.
  4. For Canadian students currently paying their student loans, you will not be required to make repayments for six months and you will not be charged interest or penalties for this. You can also have the terms of your loan changed if you need more time to pay.  Find out more here.
  5. For Canadian seniors with Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) and Registered Pension Plans, the required minimum withdrawals is reduced by 25% for 2020.
  6. There will be more time to pay income taxes as this will be deferred until June 1, 2020. More details here.

Details on the government programs are updated as they may be revealed in the days and weeks to come. Make sure to keep yourself informed by checking here: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Support for Individuals and Families

Each Canadian province and territory also has support measures in place provided by the local government. For information on how they’re providing COVID-19 financial support, click on the link to visit your provincial or territorial government’s website:

 

Financial Help from Banks, Credit Card Companies and Mortgage Lenders

Canada’s banks and lending institutions have stepped up and are offering help to clients whose finances have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis. This assistance can include:

  • Postponement of mortgage payments for up to 6 months, 
  • Deferred payments on car loans, and
  • The possibility of temporary relief of credit card payments and other credit products. 

If you’re unable to stay current on mortgage payments, credit card payments and car loan payments, we urge you to contact your bank or credit card company to find out how they may be able to help you. Each case is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and each company will have different programs in place that can assist so you don’t fall behind on payments and face unnecessary fees and penalties.

Energy Bill and Water Bill Assistance

Many utility companies are also announcing assistance plans to provide flexible payment terms to those struggling to pay electric, gas and water bills because of COVID-19. They will also adopt other measures such as not applying administrative charges for unpaid bills, and they will not disconnect customers during this time of uncertainty.

Check with your local utility company to see what kind of relief assistance you may be able to avail.

Help from Communication Providers

Communications companies such as Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Telus, Videotron, and Cogeco are also providing allowances to help you manage your internet and phone bills during this time of crisis, which can include waiving some internet overage, long distance, or roaming fees. Check with your local provider to see what type of help can benefit you.

Financial Support for Businesses

There is also help for your business. 

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has programs in place to provide support for Canadian entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus. Clients and non-clients can avail of the relief program if they qualify. If you’re interested, you can get more information at the BDC website

The Canadian government also has measures to help support businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Check out government programs that may apply to your type of business – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan Support to Businesses

For provincial and territorial support for businesses, check out your own province’s government website for relief measures that can help your business transition through  these financially difficult times. 

 Getting Help from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee 

Getting help from trusted professionals is one of the best ways to learn how to manage your bills and debt payments during the coronavirus crisis. For one, they can provide accurate information on the best ways to deal with debt. Licensed insolvency trustees, for example, can look at legal options that can provide you with legal protection from creditors. A LIT can also evaluate your unique circumstances and determine if you are creditor proof. 

As Licensed Insolvency Trustees, Richard Killen and Associates are committed to providing free consultation to our clients throughout Toronto and the GTA who may want to find out the best ways to manage changes to their finances during the current crisis. 

Our team is working from home and our phones and emails are always open for counseling and consultation. If you feel the need to talk, please feel free to contact us or leave a message at our website and we will get in touch with you as soon as we can. Due to the COVID-19, our staff is available for  consultation via phone or video chat. Call us a 1-888-545-5365.

Alternatives To Bankruptcy In The Greater Toronto Area

Alternatives To Bankruptcy In The Greater Toronto Area

In this video, Richard Killen, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in bankruptcy with offices in Durham, and the Greater Toronto area talks about alternatives to bankruptcy for an insolvent person.

People come to see us and the very first thing that comes out of their mouth is “I don’t want to go bankrupt.”

Therefore, alternatives to bankruptcy is foremost in people’s minds when they come to see us.

Bankruptcy is a tool. It is a solution to a problem that needs some kind of a resolution and it’s there to be used as such. When we talk about alternatives to bankruptcy, we look at the idea that if you have financial problems, you ask yourself as to what degree do I have these problems and you start by thinking to define the level of the problem to be able to use bankruptcy as a solution.

There is an insolvent person. Being insolvent, in a legal definition, means being unable to pay creditors at least in the minimum way that they demanded to be paid. If a person is not insolvent, he or she can’t do a bankruptcy because there are other options that are open to them.

When people come to see us, they have already sought other ways of dealing with their problems. They have talked to relatives, friends, banks, and a few people. They are looking for the magic bullet that’s going to solve their problem. If they are insolvent and if they are not able to deal with creditors, they have five options open to them. Option number one, which is often tried by people, is to consolidate debts in to a consolidation loan.

One reason they may have problems is that they have so many creditors and they just can’t keep paying all of them. They have no means to pay for them. But if they approached a bank or a finance company, they might be able to get a loan and pull all those debts into one. Very often in that situation, the one payment you have to make for the bank is going to be less than the total payment of all the miscellaneous payments that you have to make previously. However, if you have trouble and you are insolvent, and chances are you are behind with your payments, therefore you will not be able to get a consolidation loan from a lender.

Assuming that a consolidation loan Toronto won’t work, there is another option. The option would be to talk to the creditors to find some kind of compromise. You must to do this with each one of the creditors because if one or two of them don’t go along with you or with the other creditors, what they can do if you are behind your payment is that they can mess up your plans by suing you.

Between the consolidation and the renegotiation with the creditors, we call these things the commercial options because you don’t need a guy to help you with that. What you need is to find a lender or you need to make a deal with your lender. However, if they don’t work, then you’re probably going to look at the legal options that the trustee can provide.

That’s why people come to see us. They know that the first two options that I was talking about are no longer available, so they come to the trustee. The trustee will offer them and provide them options. One of them is the proposal which is an alternative to bankruptcy.

When you’re doing a proposal, you are getting all the protection that the bankruptcy process offers you, such as putting a stop to creditor pursuits and creditor harassment. If you are to do a proposal, which the vast majority are now calling a consumer proposal, you are going to essentially make a deal with your creditors. Instead of having a one-on-one with them like in Option Two that I have mentioned, you can make a deal with your creditor all in one. The negotiations are with the group and are usually done by a trustee. Therefore, there’s quite a load off your mind and off your stress level.

If the creditors agree, then you have taken all those various debts and consolidated it into one payment every month. You make the payment to the trustee and the trustee distributes the money to the creditors in accordance with whatever arrangement that you and the creditors agreed on.

Not everyone can make a proposal. Some people don’t have the means to do it. They don’t really have anything to offer. But it’s surprising that some people come here and when they have heard the proposal, they feel that they don’t have the means to do it. They do not believe they can offer anything that the creditors would accept and in many cases they do.

The creditors have decided that it’s better to go on to a proposal than to force people to end up to bankruptcy where very often, creditors get nothing or next to nothing.

Are there alternatives to bankruptcy? Yes. There are a lot of alternatives. Most people have looked at them to some extent before they come to see us. When they come to see us, we are going to make sure that they do know about all the other options. Quite frankly, if somebody can avoid bankruptcy as far as I am concerned, that is a good move.

A Person in Toronto Asks -Should I Go Bankrupt?

A Person in Toronto Asks -Should I Go Bankrupt?

In this video, Richard Killen, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in bankruptcy with offices across Toronto answers the question.
I don’t know how many times I have been asked by somebody during the course of the free consultation we provide to consumers at the beginning. What do you think, should I go bankrupt?

My answer is always the same for people. Its not up to me to tell you to go bankrupt.
Bankruptcy is a personal decision. What might work for one person, might not work for another person. Although what you can get from a trustee is a good idea of what is going to happen if you do a bankruptcy opposed to a consumer proposal.

So to answer the question, should I go bankrupt? My answer is you need to decide that.

What happens to my tax refund in a bankruptcy or consumer proposal in Brampton?

Can I Include My Taxes If I Go Bankrupt?

In this video, Richard Killen, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Ontario with offices in Durham region (Pickering & Oshawa) talks about whether a person’s income tax debt can be included in a personal bankruptcy in Ontario.

Something that comes as a big surprise to a lot of people is when they find out an income tax debt, an ordinary income tax debt is something that is dischargeable in a bankruptcy or can be taken care of in a consumer proposal. The people of Durham or people from across the Greater Toronto Area ask me that question numerous times. It is not a strange thing as ordinary income tax debt is treated as a debt.

There is nothing special about the fact it is a debt owed to the government. A debt to the government is not anything special in a bankruptcy situation. Therefore, in a bankruptcy in Durham or anywhere in Ontario, a tax debt is dischargeable.

If you are behind on your taxes or are have other debt problems, consider talking to one of our trustees and debt experts. We can help you review all your options for debt relief.

Contact our Durham office us for a fresh start at (905) 420-6565

Can I Include Income Tax Debt In My Bankruptcy in Durham, Ontario?

In this video, Richard Killen, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Ontario with offices in Durham region (Pickering & Oshawa) talks about whether a person’s income tax debt can be included in a personal bankruptcy in Ontario.

Something that comes as a big surprise to a lot of people is when they find out an income tax debt, an ordinary income tax debt is something that is dischargeable in a bankruptcy or can be taken care of in a consumer proposal. The people of Durham or people from across the Greater Toronto Area ask me that question numerous times. It is not a strange thing as ordinary income tax debt is treated as a debt.

There is nothing special about the fact it is a debt owed to the government. A debt to the government is not anything special in a bankruptcy situation. Therefore, in a bankruptcy in Durham or anywhere in Ontario, a tax debt is dischargeable.

If you are behind on your taxes or are have other debt problems, consider talking to one of our trustees. We can help you review all your options for debt relief.

Contact our Durham office us for a fresh start at (905) 420-6565

What is the minimum debt required to Declare Bankruptcy in Scarborough Ontario?

What Is The Minimum Debt Required Before You Can Declare Bankruptcy In Scarborough Ontario?

In this video, Richard Killen, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in bankruptcy in Scarborough Ontario talks about the minimum requirements for personal bankruptcy in Ontario.

I often am asked by people in Scarborough, what is the minimum debt before I can declare bankruptcy in Ontario? Many people feel that if they do not owe that much, perhaps its too low to get a trustee involved.

Legally, whether it is in Scarborough or anywhere else in Ontario, the minimum you must owe is $1000. Of course there are other qualifications as well. However as far as the actual amount it is only one thousand dollars. Therefore, as long as the amount you owe is greater than the minimum, you qualify to use the bankruptcy act.

We welcome any questions you may have on bankruptcy, debt counselling or consumer proposals in Ontario.

Contact us for a fresh start (416) 285-9511

Richard Killen on Tunedin with Lucy Zilio

Richard Killen on Tunedin with Lucy Zilio

In this video, Lucy Zilio talks with Richard Killen on Richard Killen & Associated 25th Anniversary.

Richard, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) talks about more and more people with debt challenges choose a consumer proposal over bankruptcy in Toronto. Watch the video for more information.

Will I Lose My Home If I Go Bankrupt?

Will I Lose My Home If I Go Bankrupt?

In this video, Richard Killen, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in bankruptcy Toronto answers the question most homeowners ask, which is “Will I lose my home if I go bankrupt or do a consumer proposal?”

Because you may have debt problems, you may be concerned with losing your home and most people figure that “if they go bankrupt they are never going to keep their house.”  And for most people, that is a very traumatic thought, however, it can be avoided.

I found that over the last 10 years, very few people who own a home with equity have to lose the home if they don’t want to. They can find a way to keep it. The only way to keep it is to deal with the matter of equity. The trustee is responsible for obtaining the equity from the property in order to pass the money along to the unsecured creditors. They have the right to their money.

Therefore, if a person or family wants to keep their home, they’re going to need to arrange for financing or to pay the creditors. Of course, it depends on how much equity there is in the home. If you really want to keep your home, generally you can. You can keep it whether it’s a bankruptcy or proposal. In fact, if it’s a consumer proposal your home equity is not up for grabs. This really only applies to a homeowner declaring personal bankruptcy.

If you are a homeowner and considering a debt solution, I encourage you to call our office. Why lose sleep wondering what will happen. Your initial meeting is free, and in that meeting, we will explain all of your options so you may make an educated decision on the best option to obtain debt relief.

What assets are you allowed to keep after you go bankrupt?

Assets Allowed To Keep After Bankruptcy?

In this video, Licensed Insolvency Trustee in the GTA area, Richard Killen, talks about the facts and misconceptions when it comes to losing assets in a bankruptcy procedure. Typically, people are scared to lose their important belongings should they undergo bankruptcy in Toronto. In this video, Richard goes on to clarify that in the most common cases, this is simply not the case.

Here are a few key takeaways from Richard’s informative clip:

  1. There is a great urban myth about losing assets when you go bankrupt.
  2. Most people can keep whatever they want to keep as long as the creditor’s rights are respected, so you may have to pay to keep it.
  3. Basics such as furniture, personal effect, tools of your trade and one vehicle (as long as it isn’t worth too much) are generally never lost.

Should you still feel uneasy about your debt and losing your assets, it’s definitely worth it to give a Licensed Insolvency Trustee a call or a visit so that they can give you all the information you will need to make this important decision and also to alleviate any worry and stress you may have.

There is no cost for your initial meeting and we will explain all of your options to you. We can meet with you during business hours or book after hours appointments if that is more convenient. Richard Killen and Associates is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in bankruptcy Scarborough and have 10 locations across the Greater Toronto Area. Call us at (416) 285-9511

 

Licensed Insolvency Trustee Advice: 4 Things for Debt Solutions

What Are The 4 Things For A Debt Package?

In this video, Richard Killen, Licensed Insolvency Trustee based in Toronto, Scarborough, and 8 other debt relief locations in Ontario talks about 4 important things to keep in mind before deciding on a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

When people start looking for insolvency solutions, they are usually operating under a fair amount of stress for quite some time. Which is why you should always keep the following in mind before you go any further in your search.

  1. Always use a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) – this is one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll be able to handle all the stress associated with bankruptcy procedures. Richard Killen and Associates is licensed by the federal government to administer the processes provided by law which is the quickest way to deal with all the stress and worry you may be experiencing.
  2. LIT will review all your options with you – an LIT is legally obligated to review all your options and help you make the right decision based on your financial situation.
  3. Stress relief happens immediately – some may be reluctant to visit an LIT due to the negative impression of filing for bankruptcy. Fortunately, LIT can offer bankruptcy alternatives and explain to you all of them which alleviates the stress of feeling like you have no other options.
  4. Misinformation – there has been so many myths and false information available today about bankruptcy and the insolvency process that you shouldn’t immediately believe. The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act – the law that we operate under – provides bonafide solutions to problems that can’t be solved in any ordinary manner. These are solutions that work.

So remember, only a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can work with you and show you all of your options and help you find the right solution for yourself and we can put that solution into effect as soon as possible.

There is no cost for your initial meeting and we will explain all of your options to you. We can meet with you during business hours or book after hours appointments if that is more convenient. Richard Killen and Associates is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Scarborough and have 10 locations across the Greater Toronto Area. Call us at (416) 285-9511

About Richard Killen & Associates


Since 1992, Richard Killen & Associates, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, have helped thousands of people resolve their financial problems. With 25 years experience in this industry, our president, Richard Killen, and the rest of our team understand the difficulties that honest people can sometimes find themselves in. This expertise makes it possible to provide you with a service that effectively deals with the issues.


Contact us now for a fresh start!
1-888-545-5365


"Serving the GTA for 25 years."