Consumer Proposal Success Stories: The Young Debtor in Windsor

by Rebecca Martyn on July 21, 2015

Consumer proposal young debtorThere has been much discussion in the media lately after Hoyes, Michalos published their Joe Debtor study. The study mentioned the increase in seniors who are filing for insolvency (either a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal). I have seen the similar increase of seniors coming into my Windsor and Leamington office and I am also noticing an increase in young people.

Case Studies:

I decided to look at the people who filed bankruptcies or consumer proposals with me in the past month, and I picked out 3 young people. All of their names have been changed.

Andrew is 21 years old, he is single, he has no assets and brings home $1,560 per month. When he started working the lure of spending was too great and eventually found himself with $19,000 in credit card debt. He did not want to file bankruptcy and he filed a consumer proposal for $9,000 which the creditors accepted.

Brittany is 25. She recently separated from her boyfriend. She co-signed a car loan for the boyfriend when they were dating. They broke up the next year and he lost his job shortly after that. The car was repossessed and he filed for bankruptcy. The bank was now coming after her, but she could not afford the payment on her own. She owed $24,000 for the car and $4,000 in cell phone bills. The bank just received a judgement against her and she was anxious to make sure her wages weren’t garnisheed. She filed a consumer proposal for $12,000 which was accepted.

Jordan is also 25. He was in a car accident (no one was hurt), but the insurance wasn’t enough to pay out the balance owing on his car. He owed the bank $50,000 for the car and had another $6,000 in credit cards. Jordan offered a consumer proposal of $18,000 which was accepted.

Why did all 3 of them choose to file consumer proposals? They were all confident of increasing income and felt that a consumer proposal was the better choice.

They all told me about the about the lack of understanding they had about credit. Andrew didn’t think about the consequences of not paying his credit cards bills in full each month. He was happy to go out and buy himself new clothes or going out with his friends and being the one to pickup the tab.

Brittany didn’t consider what is really meant to co-sign and what would happen to her if her boyfriend didn’t pay the loan. I asked her how her cell phone bills became so high and she told me that let various family and friends put the phone bills in her name. Unfortunately, they didn’t pay her and she ended up with cancellation fees.

Jordan was lucky that neither he nor anyone else was hurt in his car accident, and had now learned valuable driving and financial lessons.

They also knew they needed to research their options, and they each choose the option that they felt was right for them.


Rebecca Martyn is a bankruptcy trustee and consumer proposal administrator responsible for the Hoyes, Michalos & Associates office in Windsor, Ontario.

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