Case Study – Illness in the Family
One of the most common events that spurs a financial crisis is a sudden illness that prevents one from working. It can strike at any time and few of us are prepared for a long-term absence from the workforce. This problem was compounded for the family in this case – they had to face the loss of their primary earner’s income. Read on to learn how 4 Pillars was able to support this family through a difficult time.
Debt had never been an issue for this family until they found out that the breadwinner of the family had a serious health problem. This left him off work for an undetermined amount of time while he sought a diagnosis and treatment. At first, debt was the least of their problems. Naturally, their focus was on their sick loved one. Debt crept in slowly though, as the bills went unpaid while they were waiting for financial assistance. Hospital parking fees, hotels for appointments out of town, and hundreds of dollars spent on trialling medications all went on their credit cards. Before long, all their credit cards were maxed out, bringing their debt load to $27,000. Unable to make payments, the interest continued to grow until they were nearly $30,000 in debt. This is when the collection calls started. The last thing they needed was more stress and anxiety.
This couple really needed someone to represent them and their best interests when dealing with their debt. At the time they reached out, it was apparent that they had enough stress on their shoulders and needed relief. They had tried reaching out to their credit card companies themselves to make arrangements, but without a lump sum payment to put towards the debt, those companies weren’t interested.
Initially, they thought bankruptcy would be their only option and were ready to file, but thankfully they saw an ad online for 4 Pillars and thought to get a second opinion. They were hopeful that their income would return to normal within the next year or so and learned that if it did, they could end up paying a much larger monthly payment in bankruptcy. After reviewing the risks of bankruptcy, they no longer felt it was their best option. A consumer proposal would offer them a predictable monthly payment that wouldn’t change if their situation improved. This offered them a lot of comfort at this unpredictable point in their lives.
During their restructuring, the couple and their creditors agreed to a monthly payment of $150/month that would have them paying back only $9,000 of the original $30,000 owing with no interest accumulating. Because they were able to avoid bankruptcy, they did not have to worry about their monthly payments increasing. Their focus could return to making sure their family is healthy instead of constantly worrying about money. One of the most important aspects of aftercare for this couple was understanding and purchasing the right insurance products to avoid the trouble that started their debt problems in the first place. No longer would they fear the unexpected.
Unexpected ailments that cause missed time from work are one of the most frequent ways people run into debt problems. We all hope that it won’t happen to us, but it comes when you least expect it. If a long-term illness or any other situation has you feeling like your debt is out of control, reach out to 4 Pillars for help.
This article was written by David Moffatt. A Senior Debt Relief Specialist with 4 Pillars Halifax. 4 Pillars has assisted in creating plans that have helped save Canadians over $1 Billion dollars of consumer and tax debt since 2002. We believe that no consumer should have to struggle with the stress of overwhelming debt. Our debt restructuring plans can help you cut your debt by up to 80% with less than 3% of our clients ever getting into deep financial difficulties again. If you are struggling with debt please reach out. It hurts to continue to suffer financially.
4 Pillars Halifax services Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville and the entirety of HRM.