How to Pay Off Your Debts?

What can you do when there is nothing more you can do to take charge of your debts?


One of the most significant stressors in our daily lives is the feeling of being overburdened with debts. Blair Mantina Licensed Insolvent Trustee with Sands and Associates, tells us in our video interview that most people wait too long to seek proper help because don’t they don’t know what is available to help them.

In our latest “Street Smarts With Taayla” episode, we are getting to you the right information on what it means to file bankruptcy and whether that option is right for you. We had to the chance to ask Blair some burning questions when it comes to filing for bankruptcy and what are the options.


Go straight to the video for the full scoop on what is to file bankruptcy and what other options you can explore before then. In this next section, we give you some main points we collected from our interview but I promise you, the video is worth your time to check out. 😊

Our Q&A with Blair Mantin 


What is a Licensed Insolvent Trustee?

Previously known as a Bankruptcy Trustee, they are authorized by the Canadian Government to help you restructure your debts through either a personal Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal. Their end goal is to get you to a place of having no debts.

How bad does it have to get before someone comes to see you?

Some examples of the typical warning signs:

  • Many collection calls at your home or work and garnishing* of wages.
  • You make your payments and find that you are still not getting ahead each month.

*Garnishing is when someone is taking something from you. So, if you owe the government or credit card company an amount of money and they sue you. They are eligible to take up to half your income.

Is there a required debt limit to consult with a Licensed Insolvent Trustee? 

There is a minimum of $1000, but that is an outdated amount. The average person that would walk through the door have between $20,000 to $40,000 of debts they are struggling with, but it could go into the millions. The deciding factor is, can you handle it? In one or two years from now, will your situation get better? If the answers are no, it’s a good indicator that you should seek help.

What is the difference between a Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposal? 

They are both only available through a Licensed Insolvent Trustee, and they both protect from your creditors.

In a bankruptcy, you can’t pay back any of your debts and what you pay is really to cover the cost of filing. In a consumer proposal, negotiating a deal with the creditors is based on what you can afford to pay back. With a consumer proposal, it’s more of a win/win situation. The creditors get to recover some of the money, and the person pays back a small percent (such as 20-30% of the balance ), and it has less of a sting on their credit score.

How does a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal affect your credit?   

Bankruptcy usually takes nine months to a year and a half to complete. It gives you an R9 rating (credit rating is from R1 to R9) on your credit report and can impact you for six more years after it is over. However, it is possible to start rebuilding your credit within a couple of years.

A consumer proposal is less severe on your credit with an R7, and the rating stays for three years after the plan has been paid. Depending on what the negotiations, it could take two to three years to complete the consumer proposal, and then you tack on three years for the rating impact.

What is the difference between working with a Credit Counselor and a Licensed Insolvent Trustee?

Credit Counselor cannot make a consumer proposal for their clients. They are more about teaching you the soft skills to manage debts. They may be able to negotiate a break on the interest with the creditors, but the payment is in full. With a consumer proposal, there is automatically no interest, and you pay back the negotiated percentage of the total debt.

How are fees structured?

A complimentary initial consultation is where you can review your position with the Trustee and understand your options. All fees are transparent and put together into the payment plan of either the bankruptcy or consumer proposal payments that you can afford. You can necessarily view it as the creditors are paying for the cost of the Trustee.

What is a summary of the negative or positive impacts of filing for bankruptcy?

  • The Negative – your credit will be affected, and that can be for five to seven years. And you can’t be a director of a corporation and also file for bankruptcy on the business side.
  • The Positive – imagine a life without debts. The Trustee is there to handle the creditors for you.

How to get more information?

To contact Blair Mantin, email at

He also hosts a radio show called Dollar and Sense:


Thank you for taking the time to join me on Street Smarts with Taayla in this new episode of dealing with debts. I learned a lot from talking with Blain on this matter, and I am so happy to have this platform to share it with you. Please take a few minutes to give me your comments about this video and others so I may serve you better with materials that matter to you. If you want to watch my video on credit card debt and how to pay it off faster click here.


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