A Calgary bankruptcy is meant to provide a fresh financial start for honest debtors who find themselves insolvent – they no longer have the resources either in monthly income or in accumulated assets to pay off all they owe. The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) – which is the federal law governing bankruptcies in Canada as well as all Provincial legislation supporting the Act, ensure that debtors are not left with absolutely nothing with which to start over.
The laws allow filers to keep most of the assets they need to continue with their daily lives without suffering undue hardship. Retirement accounts are preserved as well. So why do so many of us view a Calgary bankruptcy as the end of the line rather than as a new beginning?
For many of the younger generations the fear is they will never be able to borrow money again at worst, or at best, it will take the 7 years or more the bankruptcy remains on their credit report before they can think of buying a car or a condominium or a house.
This is simply not true. You’ll find many credit repair experts who flatly state you can rebuild your credit rating after bankruptcy in anywhere from 18 to 24 months! How can that possibly be?
As long as you have verifiable income after you are discharged in bankruptcy you are actually seen by some lenders as a good credit risk since you are virtually debt free. Some filers even begin receiving offers of credit shortly after they are discharged. In Canada there are lending institutions that specialize in financing home purchases for recently discharged filers. Of course this credit will cost you more in higher interest rates, but it will be there sooner than you think.
For some in older generations there’s the sense of shame and embarrassment stemming from the realization they can no longer meet their financial obligations. Not only do these kinds of filers feel ashamed, they fear everyone in the world will soon know they have failed. Visions of their pictures plastered in the local newspapers with the caption “Deadbeat Welshes on Debt” keep them awake at night.
There is nothing to be ashamed about. Thousands and thousands of Canadians have been forced to the edge in recent times and taken bankruptcy in Calgary as a way out. Further, although a bankruptcy is officially a public issue since it is part of court records, no one really cares. Some extremely high income filers have a bankruptcy notice posted in the local papers for purposes of creditor notification but for the average filer no one will know unless the person filing tells them.
To get past that “end of the line” feeling, think back to what it was like to wince in anticipation every time the telephone rang expecting it to be a harassing collection call. Remember that nauseating feeling in the pit of your stomach when you stared at the pile of bills you simply no longer could pay. Then look yourself in the mirror, smile, and acknowledge your Calgary bankruptcy for what it is – not the end of the line but the dawn of a new beginning.