Spergel’s most popular blogs of 2023: a roundup

Posted on 6 January 2024

Written by Colin Boulton

Welcome to the roundup of Spergel’s most engaging and insightful blogs that shaped the discourse in 2023. From navigating the intricacies of CERB repayment to exploring whether or not you should repay a collection agency, our collection of articles captivated our readers across Canada. Join us as we delve into Spergel’s most popular blogs of 2023 across a diverse array of topics on financial best practices. If you are trying to make sense of your debt, work on budgeting, or need advice, this list is here to help you. Here are our top blogs of 2023 to help empower you on the journey to financial freedom.

1. CERB repayment: what if I can’t afford it?

Ashvin Sharma (CIRP, Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Partner)

Our most popular blog of 2023, this article on CERB repayment addresses the concerns of any Canadians who find themselves unable to afford repaying the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). It highlights the importance of understanding the available options if you are facing financial difficulty in reimbursing the CERB funds. We share some potential avenues such as negotiating a payment plan with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) based on your financial situation or exploring other government assistance programs to ease the repayment burden. We also emphasize the significance of proactive communication with the CRA to find feasible solutions and avoid escalating financial stress.

2. Remove collections from credit report in Canada: a how-to guide

Our article on removing collections from a credit report in Canada is as a comprehensive guide for individuals navigating collections. It outlines step-by-step instructions on how to dispute and potentially remove collections entries from your credit report. We also cover the rights and procedures under Canadian consumer protection laws, empowering you to initiate formal disputes with credit bureaus or collection agencies. It emphasizes the importance of accuracy in reporting, providing templates and strategies to challenge erroneous or outdated information. If you require support in rebuilding your credit score, at Spergel, we can help.

3. Why you should never pay a collection agency

Jeff Adiken (CIRP, Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Partner)

In this article, we focus on educating Canadians about their rights and options when dealing with collection agencies. The article challenges the common assumption that paying off collections automatically improves your credit score or financial situation. We delve into the nuances of debt collection practices, highlighting instances where paying a collection agency might not necessarily be the best course of action. We emphasize the importance of understanding the statute of limitations on debts, potential negative impacts on credit reports, and the ability to negotiate settlements or payment arrangements. We aim to empower our readers to make informed decisions and explore alternative strategies beyond immediate payment to collection agencies.

4. Free Canadian government grants to pay off debts: do they exist?

Jeff Adiken (CIRP, Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Partner)

Our article on free Canadian government grants to pay off debt navigates the reality of financial aid available for debt repayment. We aim to clarify common misconceptions and expectations regarding government grants specifically designed for debt relief. The article delves into the landscape of government assistance programs in Canada, shedding light on options that indirectly support financial stability. We outline the various government initiatives focused on education, housing, and entrepreneurship that can indirectly assist in managing debt. The article is a resource for individuals seeking financial assistance, helping to present a clearer understanding of available government support.

5. How long after a consumer proposal can I get a mortgage?

Ashvin Sharma (CIRP, Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Partner)

In this article, we acknowledge the timeline for obtaining a mortgage after a consumer proposal as a common concern among individuals looking to rebuild their financial standing. We navigate the intricacies of the mortgage approval process following the completion of a consumer proposal, and share the typical waiting period that lenders often require before considering mortgage applications. Read the article for light on factors influencing lenders’ decisions, such as credit score improvement, stable income, and demonstrated responsible financial behaviour post-consumer proposal.

6. When does CRA freeze bank accounts?

Chris Galea (BBM, CA-CIRP, Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Partner)

In this article, we discuss the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) freezing bank accounts, and the circumstances and processes leading to this action. It navigates the scenarios wherein the CRA exercises its authority to freeze bank accounts due to outstanding tax debts or unresolved issues. The article outlines the steps taken by the CRA before resorting to freezing bank accounts, including repeated attempts to communicate with the taxpayer regarding the outstanding debt. It sheds light on the legal procedures involved in obtaining a Requirement to Pay (RTP) or a Frozen Bank Account (FBA) by the CRA, stressing the importance of addressing tax-related matters promptly to avoid such measures. Spergel’s article serves as a comprehensive guide for taxpayers, offering insights into CRA’s protocols and preventive measures to mitigate the risk of bank account freezing due to unresolved tax obligations

7. Canada bank accounts frozen? Here’s how to act

Chris Galea (BBM, CA-CIRP, Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Partner)

The focus of this article is on guiding individuals facing the challenging situation of having their bank accounts frozen due to circumstances such as outstanding debts or legal issues. The article provides a step-by-step approach for Canadians to navigate this unsettling situation, outlining immediate actions to take upon discovering a frozen bank account. We share the importance of understanding the cause behind the freeze, reaching out to your bank to gather details, and understanding your rights and responsibilities in these scenarios. Spergel offers practical advice on how to communicate effectively with your bank and relevant authorities and shares potential solutions to resolve the issue causing the account freeze.

8. Student loan forgiveness in Ontario

Graeme Hamilton (BA, B.ED, CIRP, Licensed Insolvency Trustee)

Our article on student loan forgiveness in Ontario delves into how currently there is not a specific student loan forgiveness program within the Province. Instead, we focus on the existing support mechanisms available to aid students with loan repayment, such as the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), which offers grants and repayment assistance tailored to individual financial situations. Other programs like the Ontario Student Loan Rehabilitation Program are designed to assist borrowers in rebuilding credit after loan default. Overall, it provides insight into the support available should you need debt support for your student loan in Ontario.

9. CRA notice of collection: how to act

Our focus in this article is on guiding individuals facing a CRA notice of collection. It provides a step-by-step approach on how to handle and act upon receiving such notices from the Canada Revenue Agency. We explain the importance of understanding the notice, reviewing the debt details, and responding promptly to prevent further action by the CRA. We guide individuals on how to communicate effectively with the CRA, explore options such as negotiating a payment plan or seeking professional advice to address the outstanding debt, and empower individuals to take informed steps when dealing with a CRA Notice of Collection.

10. Can you keep a credit card with a consumer proposal?

In this article, we explore the possibility of retaining a credit card while undergoing a consumer proposal. Typically, individuals are required to surrender their existing credit cards once they enter a consumer proposal, as it involves a formal agreement with creditors to repay a portion of the debts. We explore, however, the potential exceptions where some lenders might allow the retention of a secured credit card or a card with a low credit limit during this period. The article emphasizes the importance of understanding the terms of the consumer proposal and consulting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for guidance on credit card usage during this financial restructuring.

At Spergel, we help individuals to gain debt relief from all kinds of financial challenges. In fact, we have helped over 100,000 Canadians. If you need further information on any of our most popular blogs of 2023 or anything concerning your financial circumstances, book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our expert Licensed Insolvency Trustees at Spergel. We’re the ‘get rid of debt’ people, and can help you on your journey to financial freedom.


Colin Boulton

Colin Boulton is a Chartered Accountant and Insolvency and Restructuring Professional with over 20 years’ experience as an LIT (Licensed Insolvency Trustee). He is also our resident expert on unemployment and wage garnishments and manages Spergel's offices in Eastern Ontario (including Oshawa, Peterborough, Lindsay, Ajax and Scarborough). When not at the office helping clients cross their debt-free finish lines, Colin enjoys training for and participating in triathlons.

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