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Case History: ‘Pamela’ – Loss and Recovery with a Consumer Proposal

Finding Her Way

In her mid 50s, Pamela (not her real name) suffered a severe emotional loss.

During the next few years she tried to fill her sense of emptiness with shopping, expensive gifts to family, and travel.

Pamela earned a reasonable income – but her out-of-control spending began to put her into serious debt.

Her and her husband took out a second mortgage against their home to pay off her debts – but she continued to spend.

She cashed in her RRSP’s to pay off her debts – but she continued to spend.

And then, within a three-month period:

    • Pamela’s husband’s health failed and he was no longer able to contribute to the household income.
    • Pamela, who had wanted to work past 65, was facing imminent retirement due to her own poor health.

With nothing left to cash in and debts continuing to pile up, Pamela became desperate. Finally, accepting how serious her situation was, she got in touch with a grief counsellor and an accountant.

The counsellor helped Pamela to begin her emotional recovery.

The accountant advised her to contact David Sklar & Associates to begin her financial recovery.

**** ***

Pamela met with Ashley Carter, an Estate Administrator at David Sklar & Associates, to discuss her situation and find out what her options were. Non-judgemental, professional and caring, Ashley helped Pamela review her finances and options in detail.

At the time of their meeting, Pamela owed the following unsecured debts – all of which were in her name only:

Credit Cards: $38,000
Bank and Other Loans: $3,700
Reveune Canada: $2,000
Total Unsecured Debts: $43,700


Her home had no equity – her and her husband had ongoing medical expenses – she had no assets beyond those exempted from bankruptcy in Ontario- and her monthly income (the only income for the household) was about to plummet to under $2,500 per month.

Pamela was eligible to file for bankruptcy – however, she wanted to pay back at least some of her debt. After discussing her situation with Ashley and the trustee, she decided to file a consumer proposal.

Her proposal of $255 per month for 60 months was accepted by her unsecured creditors. At the end of the successful completion of her proposal, she will be released from her unsecured debts. In the meantime, her unsecured creditors must not contact her or charge her any interest.

Pamela believes her journey to emotional and financial recovery will take time and real effort on her part, but she believes that it is doable. And if her early efforts at recovery are any indication, she will make it.

To protect our client’s privacy, aspects of this case study have been altered


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