You have decided to buy a house (mortgage), buy a car (car loan) or go into business (operating line of credit to finance inventory, accounts receivable, etc.). You go to your bank and they look at your credit score. The credit score is a number (from 300 to 850) that is based on a number of factors such as your payment history (35% of total), how much of your available credit have you already used (30% of the total), what type of credit you have and how long have you had the credit, as well as how many creditors that you have in total.
Before you start the loan application for that big purchase, consider ordering a copy of your credit report yourself. They are available free by regular mail from both Equifax Canada and Trans Union of Canada. Read the report carefully so that you know what the bank will be looking at. If you spot a mistake, notify the credit bureau immediately to correct their report. The notification is by filling out the Consumer Update Form that the credit bureau will send you with your credit report. It is always advisable to attach any proof or documents that you might have to prove what you are saying is correct. Unless the error is self-evident, please allow time for the credit bureau to investigate your report of the error and correct their records. Always ask the credit bureau to confirm to you that they have updated your credit report.
Gambling is gambling. Whether you play bingo, online poker, buy scratch cards or just put in $2 every week to the office pool. Gambling becomes a problem when the money that you are losing damages your work, home, family or personal life. Make no mistake about the fact that casinos, charity bingos, the government lottery and online gambling sites are in business to make a profit and you are the source of the cash for that profit.
Yes, they all play in “lip service” to stop the extreme problem gambler from committing suicide, but that is only because it is bad for business. I wonder how much is spent on advertising gambling versus how much is spent on rehabilitation for the problem gambler.
At the end of the day, most people will make a bet or gamble at least once each year. Years ago, it was the charity bingo in a church basement. Today, the growth is focused on online gambling. The younger generation can gamble on their computer, tablet or smart phone at their work during the day and at home during the night. Isn’t technology great? You can gamble, get depressed when you lose and have insomnia while you try to win back your losses. And all of this from the privacy of your home.
In Ontario, the advertising slogan is: “Know your limit, Play within it.” This is good advice. Gambling can be fun. There is a thrill when you win. Just be very careful.
Anyone you owe money to can garnishee your wages. The real question to be asked is how they are able to garnish your wages. For Canada Revenue Agency, it is easy. They just issue a Third party demand and your employer is obligated to follow the instructions from CRA. It is a great world when you can issue the Third Party collection demand without bothering to go to court. All you have to do is pass a law that benefits only you. For the rest of your creditors to garnishee your wages, they must first sue you in court, obtain a judgement against you from the court and then obtain permission from the court to garnish your wages. You are notified at each stage of the process and are given the ability to attend court and convince the court that you do not owe the debt or that the court should refuse the judgment or refuse to give permission to garnish your wages.
If you do nothing, you will lose by default.
If you are contacted by a collection company who threatens to garnishee your wages, treat what they saying as just a threat. They are required to follow the same rules and procedures as everyone else. The original creditor (that hired the collection agent) could sue you themselves but everyone else must hire a lawyer or paralegal who is licensed by the Law Sociey of Upper Canada (L.S.U.C). If a collection agency threatens a lawsuit or a garnishee, simply ask them to make sure that they send you a copy of the legal papers which MUST show the court file number on the upper right corner of the first page. Without this number, it is just a bluff.
If you decide to file an Assignment in Bankruptcy or a Consumer Proposal. All lawsuits, garnishee orders and judgements are immediately stopped regardless of what stage the legal proceedings are at. If you are at the stage of having collection companies threaten to do all of these nasty things to you, perhaps, you must take action to stop everything and put your life back together.
There is nothing that prevents you from buying a car while you are bankrupt. If you are financing the purchase of a car, you must disclose that you are an undischarged bankrupt. This is the period between the date you filed the assignment in bankruptcy and the date that you are discharge from the bankruptcy process.
Even if you do not disclose this, the company financing the car will find out when they get a credit report on you. Now you have lost credibility which may result in a higher interest rate due to the risk factor or they will cut back on the amount they are willing to loan you. You might have to settle for a less expensive car that does not require a lot of financing. In Ontario, a vehicle is exempt up to a value of $6,600. If the vehicle is required as a “Tool of Trade”, the required exemption is increased to $11,300.
It would be wise to discuss your budget with your Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) at the start of your bankruptcy as the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Directive 11 R2) may result in you having to pay part of your income to your creditors. If someone in your family is giving you the money for the car, they should register a lien on the car for the amount of the money that they are giving you. This will make sure there is no equity that will accrue to your creditors. In the same thought, someone may give you a car while you are bankrupt in order to help you. You do not want your trustee to consider this as an asset for your creditors.
Consider the options:
1. Lease the car in their name and add your name to the insurance. Consider increasing the insurance to give the family members maximum protection.
2. If the vehicle is transferred into your name, the donor could put a lien on it for the value of the car.
There are always options for you to consider. Please discuss them with your trustee.