Over the past few months I have attended more than thirty insolvency counselling sessions with clients who have recently either declared bankruptcy or entered into consumer proposals. By law, anyone entering into one of these debt solutions MUST attend two credit counselling sessions over the next few months after the initial program begins.
The thirty clients were a mix of first and second counselling sessions. I always speak off the record with each of the people to learn more about them, their circumstances, and their future.
In EVERY case, that is 30/30 there are no regrets about taking this important step forwards – the sense of relief is palpable and a sense that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and they are not simply handing over all their excess income to their creditors each month, but still getting no farther ahead.
These people come in all shapes and sizes. Many are single parents; some are homeowners; some have battled illness; poor investments, bad luck or bad business decisions. Some lost their jobs due to the recession, or their business may have gone under due to the recession.
Whatever the reason, they decided the music had stopped playing, and it was time to face up to their reality. One gentleman today has weathered major illness for both he and his wife; lost his job three months ago, and has been struggling with debt problems his whole life. He is 69 years old ! Finally, he said enough is enough, and he walked in and out of the meeting with a spring in his step and a smile on his face – said it’s the happiest he has been in years.
Another gentleman came to the meeting direct from a chemo session – he was also remarkably upbeat – not withstanding his very serious prognosis. He wants to make sure he does not leave behind a mess for his estate/kids to deal with – he is hoping he will make a full medical recovery, but if that is not god’s will, at least he will go out on his terms with a clear conscience..
It makes me feel good to be a part of an industry that can do so much good for people in financial distress, and to live in a country where we truly can get a second chance.