Steve: Second Chance at a Fresh Start
Steve (not his real name) was a self-described ‘tech-geek’ in his late 20s who was just beginning to find his way in a career when he first came to David Sklar & Associates.
At 25, after a series of low-paying, dead-end jobs, Steve landed a good job in the inventory parts department of a major company in Kitchener. He did very well, was quickly promoted and his salary increased to $32,000 per year. Unfortunately, his spending increased even more – and within two years, he was heavily in debt to multiple credit card companies, banks, and his cell phone provider. Steve was laid-back about his debts until his manager expressed concern about the numerous collection calls he was receiving at work.
Motivated by the fear of losing his job, and knowing that his debt was beyond his control, Steve went to a Bankruptcy Trustee to see what could be done. After reviewing his options, Steve decided to file a Consumer Proposal. His Proposal was accepted, and he began repaying his substantially reduced debt on a five-year plan. With the Proposal in place, the collection calls stopped.
During the sixth month of his Proposal, Steve lost his job when his company went out of business. Unable to pay, he missed three Proposal payments, his Proposal went into default, the stay of proceedings was lifted, and his creditors restarted collection efforts.
Hoping to find work, Steve moved to the Greater Toronto Area, where he found a job in the parts department of a computer wholesaler. This was the ‘perfect’ level-entry job, combining Steve’s love of all things tech and his parts experience. Steve was optimistic about his future with the company until he got his first collection call at his new job.
When Steve came to David Sklar & Associates, he was understandably concerned. To help him explore all of his options, his Estate Administrator, Richard Sklar carefully reviewed his situation with him:
|4 Credit Cards Debt||$14,500|
|2 Unsecured Bank Loans||$4,500|
|Old Cell Phone Bills||$3,500|
|Total Unsecured Debt||$25,500|
Steve had no secured debt, did not have a vehicle, and did not own a home or have other major assets. His net take home pay was $1,950 per month and he had no dependents.
While he was hopeful about his new job, after discussing the situation with Richard, Steve realized that he did not earn enough, or have enough job stability, to reinstate his Proposal.
Since Steve had no significant surplus income, he would qualify for a 9 month Bankruptcy, with the minimum monthly payments of $200 per month.
After reviewing his options, Steve decided to file for Bankruptcy. Working with Richard, he completed a budget that he would be able to stay on. His Bankruptcy was filed by David Sklar & Associates, and all collection efforts stopped.
During his Bankruptcy, Steve was required to submit monthly budget reports. As well, he was required to attend two financial counselling sessions. During those sessions, Steve learned the techniques for money management that would enable him to not only stay out of future trouble, but to build a better life for himself.
At the completion of his Bankruptcy, Steve was released (discharged) from all the unsecured debt covered by the Bankruptcy. He had earned his ‘fresh start’, had the tools to stay out of debt, and was determination to succeed.
To protect our client’s privacy, aspects of this case study have been altered.