Credit Counselling in Canada: An Empirical Examination

Ben-Ishai, S. & Schwartz, S. (2014). Credit counselling in Canada: An empirical examination. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 29(1),1-20.

Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3/ 2015

22 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2015 Last revised: 16 Jan 2015

See all articles by Stephanie Ben-Ishai

Stephanie Ben-Ishai

Osgoode Hall Law School

Saul Schwartz

Carleton University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 10, 2014

Abstract

When debt becomes unmanageable, two options for a consumer debtor in Canada are: (1) enlisting the services of a bankruptcy trustee, and (2) becoming a client of a not-for-profit credit counselling agency. Each of these options is regulated differently and has public and private dimensions. At first glance, these two options might seem to illustrate the potential of multiple legal orders to better serve the public. In this paper, however, we argue, based on empirical research on the credit counselling industry, that while this pluralism has potential to facilitate debt relief in Canada, it has failed to do so. The lines between public and private options have been blurred to the point where they are difficult to discern, and the consumer debtor is ultimately disadvantaged.

Keywords: credit counselling, bankruptcy, over indebtedness, debt management, credit repair

Suggested Citation

Ben-Ishai, Stephanie and Schwartz, Saul, Credit Counselling in Canada: An Empirical Examination (September 10, 2014). Ben-Ishai, S. & Schwartz, S. (2014). Credit counselling in Canada: An empirical examination. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 29(1),1-20.; Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3/ 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2547544

Stephanie Ben-Ishai (Contact Author)

Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Saul Schwartz

Carleton University ( email )

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Canada

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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