The short answer is yes. There is always a “But.” The review of the trustee in bankruptcy will take into account the following:
How long before the bankruptcy did you buy the car?
What did you pay for the car?
Did you pay cash? – if so, was any part of the cash from cash advances on your credit cards or from lines of credit?
If you financed all or part of the purchase price of the car, do you still owe money to the finance company? Did the finance company put a lien on your car as security until they were paid? If the answers are yes and you wish to keep the car, you will likely just continue to make the car payments and keep the car
What is the car worth on the day you filed the assignment in bankruptcy?
The answers to all of the above questions determine what action, if any, the trustee will take. Obviously, the length of time between the purchase of the car and the date of filing bankruptcy and the current value of the car are the two most important factors. If this situation applies to you, you would be wise to review the details with your trustee before you file bankruptcy.
If you realize you have a financial problem or your debt is out of control, you need to start by committing yourself to creating a strategy to pull yourself out of debt. Realize you do not have all the answers but start by paying the minimum or perhaps less than the minimum on all debts. If possible, combine all debts into one debt and make the calls to your credit card companies to explain your financial situation. Ask to pay less, ask to reduce the interest and ask for help. If you begin to change your financial behaviour, your financial life will begin to improve. If you and your partner are in debt together, you need to have a real discussion about who will pay off certain bills based on income.
What are the disadvantages of hiring a debt settlement firm?
Anyone searching for debt relief options on the internet will likely see ads for firms offering debt settlement services to Ontario residents. These firms might be traditional debt settlement firms—which are supposed to hold the necessary license issued by the Ontario
Government—or they might be a firm exempt from this requirement. This latter group includes law firms, credit counselling agencies, and bankruptcy trustees. Debt settlement involves an informal agreement between a creditor and a consumer under which the creditor agrees to accept a one-time lump sum payment for less than one hundred percent of the outstanding balance as settlement in full. This is an alternative to a consumer proposal which is only available through a bankruptcy trustee.
No creditor will agree to an informal proposal unless your account is a minimum of six months overdue. In contrast, there is no such requirement for making a consumer proposal. Compared with a consumer proposal, debt settlement—or an informal proposal—has a number of disadvantages.
You will receive collection calls
You might be sued
Results are not guaranteed
It may be expensive
If you are an Ontario resident and you hire a traditional debt settlement firm then the fee they can charge you for settling a particular account is capped at ten percent of the amount of the debt on the date you signed a debt settlement agreement. If, however, you hire a law firm, you might pay substantially more in fees.