What is an initial assessment?

If you need debt relief and you’re interested in filing a consumer proposal, the first step is finding a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who will carry out a free consultation.

A Licensed Insolvency Trustee can offer debt advice and services to Canadians with financial difficulties.

All trustees are licensed and regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy and must adhere to standards of practice, including a code of ethics.

During this consultation, the trustee office will conduct an initial assessment to understand your situation and establish whether a consumer proposal can help you resolve your debts.

What happens during my initial assessment?

During your assessment, you must provide information about your debts, household income, expenses, and any assets.

Upon reviewing your debts, your trustee will determine what debts can and cannot be included in your proposal.

You can include most unsecured debts in a consumer proposal because they are not tied to an asset. But some debts survive a proposal, such as secured debts (e.g. mortgage or car loan), property taxes, court fines and unpaid alimony or child support.

Next, your trustee will calculate how much to offer your creditors. You must offer more than your creditors would receive if you filed for bankruptcy.

Creditors may accept a reduced repayment amount, but the cost depends on what you can afford to repay and what you own. Payments are interest-free and can be spread out over 60 months (but can be completed at any time).

If there is a better solution to your debts, your trustee will discuss other options. Your trustee will always offer impartial advice so that you can make an informed decision.

If you decide to proceed, your trustee will draft a proposal outlining the repayment amount. If appropriate, they may request a debt reduction to provide financial relief.

Your proposal will include the amount of debt, monthly payment amount, the monthly payment date and the number of months you will make payments.

Finally, the trustee will also prepare an Assessment Certificate to record your decision and acknowledge that you were made aware of all the available options.


An initial assessment allows a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to determine the best way to help with your debts.

During your assessment, you must supply some information about your debts, income and assets. This helps establish whether a consumer proposal works for you.

A consumer proposal is a popular solution because it’s a formal offer to your creditors based on what you can afford and not what you owe.

Your unsecured debt is restructured into one manageable monthly payment. Interest on your debts is frozen, collection calls will stop, and wage garnishments are lifted.

A consumer proposal can be paid over a period of up to 60 months. By making these monthly payments, you can keep your assets. At the end of the proposed term, your debts are eliminated.

Arrange an appointment with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation.

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