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BDO is a financial advisory company that started out in Winnipeg in 1958. Since then, they have grown exceptionally with more than 100 branches across Canada and employ 3000 individuals. Their strong partnerships and accounting background have resulted in BDO being able to create debt-relief solutions that are strategic and client-focused. From credit counselling to personal bankruptcy, BDO’s Licensed Insolvency Trustees are there to advise and guide you through the process.
Is BDO the Right Counselling Agency For You?
One of the best things about BDO Solutions is that they can set you up with a wide range of counselling services and debt management procedures that vary in terms of intensity. If you’re already dealing with creditors, collection agencies, bad credit, other issues debt-related problems, one of their counsellors can also connect you with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee so you can file a consumer proposal or declare personal bankruptcy. Luckily, almost anyone can benefit from credit counselling through BDO.
What Kind of Information Could BDO Ask For?
Remember, the BDO credit counselling agency was established to help you deal with your debt problems. Because of that, you’ll have to be prepared for their initial evaluation process, which could include an inspection of your:
- Job history
- Current debts
- Credit report & credit score
- Bank account information
- Assets & liabilities
Although you’re not obligated to pay for any of their services or give them any of your sensitive information, keep in mind that a BDO counsellor might not be able to pinpoint the exact solution you need unless you’re willing to meet them half-way. Don’t worry, because a good credit counsellor will never judge you or give your information to anyone other than other relevant financial experts.
What Features Can BDO Credit Counselling Offer You?
As previously mentioned, BDO is a multi-purpose counselling agency that offers a wide selection of simple and more extensive financial solutions. Their services are available to individual consumers and businesses in almost every province and territory in Canada, including:
- British Columbia
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Budgeting & Basic Debt Relief
Whether you’re starting to experience debt problems or you’re just looking for a bit of advice, a BDO credit counsellor can provide you with the knowledge required to get the ball rolling. Through their courses, you can learn to:
- Stop spending money on unnecessary items
- Save more money and manage your financial accounts better
- Pay your debts through more conventional means (credit cards, etc.)
- Prevent any debt problems from occurring in the future
When necessary, BDO can help you apply for a debt consolidation loan or enter a debt management plan. The overall goal of both options is to reduce numerous high-interest debts at once, thereby leaving you with one monthly payment to keep up with. If all goes well, you can satisfy your creditors and save a lot of interest overall.
Additionally, BDO may report your payment activity to Canada’s credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion). So, if you complete your debt consolidation as agreed, your complete payments should gradually improve your credit score.
Unfortunately, your debt problems might be so bad that taking legal action is the most effective solution. In that case, the first option that a BDO counsellor will offer you is a consumer proposal, which can only be administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. You’ll then repay your creditors on a monthly basis over a maximum period of 5 years.
Positive features of a consumer proposal include, but aren’t limited to:
- You can complete your payments at any time (interest & penalty-free)
- You may be able to settle the debt for less than you owe
- The court will not seize your assets as a form of payment
- All wage garnishments and other debt collection penalties will cease
All this said you’ll only be eligible for a consumer proposal if you have $1,000-$250,000 of unsecured debt. That means no debts that have been secured by collateral can qualify (mortgages, vehicle loans, etc.). Additionally, the event will have a significant negative impact on your credit report for 3 years following your final payment.
If the counsellor determines that no other solutions will be effective, they may decide that bankruptcy is in your best interest. Similar to a consumer proposal, this final resort can only be implemented by an Insolvency Trustee and would also totally free you from your debts in exchange for a series of court-assigned payments.
Positive features of bankruptcy include, but aren’t limited to:
- If all payments are made, you could get discharged in 9 months
- There is no maximum debt limit to qualify
- No more interest will accumulate on your unpaid debts
- Cheaper than some other solutions (depending on your debt amount)
The most unfortunate part about bankruptcy is that it has the largest negative financial impact of all, especially if you’re subject to surplus income payments, which can last several months. On top of that, the court may decide to seize your assets (home, vehicle, RRSP, etc.) if you owe enough and there will be a black mark on your credit report for 7 years following your date of discharge.
What Costs Could You Encounter With BDO Solutions?
Credit counselling, while helpful in many ways, may not actually be the right choice for you because of the possible fees involved, which will vary from client to client. For instance, a debt consolidation loan will be more expensive because of the amount of time and negotiation it would take, not to mention all the interest that’s charged.
Those kinds of costs will increase by a huge margin if you become involved with a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, both of which can lead to a number of court-related fees and payments. On the other hand, a simple budgeting and debt management course could be relatively affordable for the average consumer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
Is credit counselling guaranteed to help me?
What are the pros and cons of BDO credit counselling?