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.
22 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2015 Last revised: 16 Jan 2015
Date Written: September 10, 2014
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
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