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I Live in Canada But Back in Debt Again. Help! – Lisa

“Dear Steve,

Hi Steve, My bankruptcy drops off my credit report in June (my 7 years is up) but because of medical problems that my daughter and I have had in the last 3 years I have some bills in collections (none are credit cards) now and I am so afraid of this whole situation I can’t even tell you how much I owe.

I am avoiding the calls. I keep thinking I will answer them when I have the money saved so I can just say fine I can pay that right now. I do know how ridiculous that sounds when I don’t even know how much I would need saved.

I don’t want to keep going on like this and I know I have to clear this up and preferrably before June so I can rebuild my credit.

I am wondering if you know of a site like yours for Canadians? I would appreciate any advice you could give to point me in the right direction. Thanks so much.

Lisa”

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The Answer

I Live in Canada But Back in Debt Again. Help!   Lisa

Dear Lisa,

I think I can start to get you headed in the right direction.

First off I recognize the fear and panic in your written voice. I get it and understand.

At this point you are afraid and scared what the reality of your situation is and you are trying to avoid it. This is a classic symptom experienced by many in the Seven Stages of Debt.

So let’s talk honestly for a moment. The fear you are experiencing is not reality. You are afraid to talk to the collectors but that does not change the underlying problem debt or the balance. All it does is further feed your fear and the fear of the unknown creates bigger debt monsters under your bed.

It’s time to stop being afraid.

The first step is to understand the debt is what the debt is. Learning the facts of what you owe can only help us to come up with a better plan based on what the situation really is.

I would suggest that you find an emotional way to embrace the situation, take charge, and start being the driving force to resolving this, not hiding from it.

There was no need to wait seven years to begin to rebuild your credit either. But this collection activity didn’t help your situation so I would not worry about that right now.

I would urge you to bravely do the following:

  1. Talk to the collectors when they call but DO NOT either acknowledge the debt or make any promise to pay. Just find out how much they claim you owe and to whom. Thank the for the call and let them know you are in a data gathering stage right now to come up with a plan to deal with the debt.
  2. Put any mail you think is from a collector in a single pile and open it once a week.
  3. Most importantly I think we need a credit report to see who is reporting an open debt you allegedly owe. In Canada the two credit bureaus are Equifax and TransUnion but the Equifax site looks like it has the better deal. You can order your Equifax Canada credit report here.

    The credit report will give us clear information about what is being reported to Equifax that you owe and what is currently hurting your credit score.

Armed with the facts we can make a plan on what to do to tackle this situation.

Go do your homework and report back in the comments.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

I Live in Canada But Back in Debt Again. Help!   Lisa
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • http://twitter.com/debtcoachcanada Eric Putnam

    Agree with Steve that sooner you find out what is owed the better. Canadians can get a copy of the credit reports for free once per year. The credit scores that the bureaus sell on their web sire are different than the ones lenders obtain. Suggest always get copies from BOTh Equifax and TransUnion for free in writing as important to note that lenders and colectors choose which bureau to report tom if either. If collections are listed, they will remain even if paid or selttled for six years from date paid or settled .Statute of limitations exist in each province as well as to how long a collector or lender can take to collect.

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