Bankruptcy Counselling

Bankruptcy in Vancouver is a legal process, service offered to individuals, business and business people to deal with too much debt when unable to repay under existing terms. One of the primary purposes of bankruptcy counselling is to help those hopelessly over­burdened with debt relieve themselves of excessive financial obligation, start afresh ­ so that they can better serve their citizenship role in society and reduce their need for public, social and health support of all kinds.

As our financial culture is based on human nature, self-interest, tamed somewhat by rules (law) that extend to prohibiting and labelling interest rates greater than sixty percent (60%) per year as usury, defining the limits of opportunity and entrepreneurship in lending (ranging from your local credit union, bank, extending to finance companies and payday loans), and recognizes hope and optimism power life and that mistakes are human, our financial culture provides various ways to resolve debt when people cannot pay in the normal course of affairs through various government (gov’t) debt relief, financial restructuring programs, including bankruptcy.

In Greater Vancouver, Bankruptcy law holds both parties to debt, borrower and lender alike, responsible for the situation they find themselves in and mandates debt write­off by the lender in the case of an honest debtor who cannot pay (may have been overly optimistic, borrowed to live, lost employment, suffered divorce, business failure, illness [including gambling and substance abuse], repossession, foreclosure, tax assessment or reassessment, garnishee, lack of insurance, or any of a myriad other causes of financial difficulty) under commonly accepted, federally legislated rules, standards which define reasonable repayment ability, if any, in specific individual and family circumstance and situation.

The decision to file for bankruptcy is individually yours. No lender can prevent you from using Canadian bankruptcy law for debt relief, financial restructuring. Only a government (gov’t) Licensed Insolvency Trustee can lawfully protect you from your creditors, lenders, the taxman, etc. ­ which is where we come in.

Meet with Burnaby-based Westgeest & Associates, your gov’t Licensed Insolvency Trustee, in private and confidence to discuss your unique situation and whether or not bankruptcy is an option for you. No recommendation or referral is required. We are happy to provide you with a detailed evaluation of your financial circumstance and describe the legal solutions available to you to resolve your over­indebtedness, as well as the repercussions of each option outlined.

A bankruptcy allows you to make a fresh, new monetary start. All of the annoying and inconvenient telephone calls, threatening letters from collectors and lawsuits will stop upon filing, including those from the tax department. Lots of people avoid bankruptcy because they do not like the way it sounds, but it can be better over the long haul to start anew, afresh, and begin rebuilding your credit rather than continue to struggle month after month, year after year with little or no progress on debt reduction or rebuilding your credit rating, score, excluding you from the benefits of credit.

When filing for bankruptcy, part of acquiring your discharge, release from debt, includes two (2) mandatory credit counselling sessions with the professionals at Westgeest & Associates. The first session takes place in the second month of your bankruptcy proceeding, with the second following in the sixth month. The function of these sessions is to help you understand the past and learn to manage your spending, future credit, and your financial affairs generally to avoid future financial trouble and re-incorporate you back into our financial, credit culture as a smarter, wiser consumer to contribute to economic growth.

Collection, lawsuit, claims, wage and pension garnishees, and execution against assets and bank accounts are suspended on filing bankruptcy. Your creditors will stop calling you and deal directly with us, your gov’t Licensed Insolvency Trustee. More times than not, you are relieved of all past financial obligation upon discharge from bankruptcy, which can be as soon as nine (9) months after filing. There are specific exceptions such as alimony and child support, court fines, debt involving fraud, misrepresentation, embezzlement, damages awarded in respect of causing intentional bodily injury, sexual assault and so on.

All matters involving social issues society wants to either encourage or discourage as the case may be. Then there are behavioural issues such as gambling and substance abuse, for which suspension of discharge for a period of time is most often levied in the absence of an ability to pay as discussed hereafter – in recognition of the health and financial issues involved.

A first time bankrupt case in which all assets are exempt: furniture, clothes, car, home, tools of the trade, medical aids, RRSP’s, pensions, life insurance, etc. to prescribed, legislated amounts, the case for the overwhelming majority of Canadians filing for bankruptcy every year, and earns monthly income below the Canadian poverty line, presently $2,062.00 (2015) disposable cash per month (after tax income) for a single individual, increasing with family size (number of individuals in household), an amount greater than most Canadian public safety net programs, including minimum wage employment, employment insurance, welfare, disability, and seniors trying to live off CPP and OAS which together maximize at some $1,600.00 per month, can complete a bankruptcy filing, shed their debt load, in as little as nine (9) months without ever encountering anyone in the court system or outside the trustee’s office. These bankruptcies, like consumer proposals, are not publicly advertised and constitute the large majority of the one hundred thousand plus (100,000 +) Canadians who file for consumer proposal and bankruptcy each year.

For those with more income, the process can last as little as twenty-one (21) months, allowing individuals or families with income greater than the poverty line to make some reasonable repayment on their debt in prescribed, legislated amount they can afford during that time: mandated as fifty percent (50%) of net monthly income (after tax take home pay) over and above the sum of the applicable poverty line guideline for the individual or family (see above paragraph) plus non-discretionary expenses such as child support, court ordered payment(s), fines, tax deductible alimony, medical and work-related expense.

At Westgeest & Associates, we charge gov’t regulated, court-supervised fees and costs (tariff) paid out of amounts recovered by creditors in prescribed, legislated amount at no additional cost to yourself. A practice which guarantees you the least possible cost in your time of need.

For more than thirty (30) years, the well-informed staff at Westgeest & Associates have supplied debt relief, financial restructuring to thousands of customers throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and British Columbia. As a gov’t Licensed Insolvency Trustee, we are the people who can protect you from creditors and help you overcome a load of debt.

If you are struggling to pay your financial obligation and need more detail about bankruptcy or alternative gov’t debt relief, financial restructuring programs, contact us today. Our dedication to helping you in your time of need will help you make an informed decision to better your life.

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221-3993 Henning Dr | Click for Map
Burnaby, BC, V5C 6P7

Main: 604-291-9151
Fax: 604-291-2040


Mon 9:00am – 5:00pm
Tue 9:00am – 5:00pm
Wed 9:00am – 5:00pm
Thu 9:00am – 5:00pm
Fri 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sat Closed
Sun Closed