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Big Thanks to John and his team at CFW Group

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Joined: 15/December/2008
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    Posted: 29/June/2014 at 7:48pm
My situation is likely similar to many others, although perhaps my debt load was bigger than average. After completing my undergraduate and masters degrees, all financed through student loans, my student loan debt was in the neighborhood of $35,000 federally, $20,000 provincially (B.C.). In addition, I got a $40,000 student line of credit from RBC along the way, bringing my total debt to close to $100K.


I actually did manage to obtain employment in my field within a year or so after graduating, but was barely living paycheque to paycheque living in the city and also making monthly payments on the line of credit (there was no getting around that). I quickly ran out of the various student loan programs (interest free status, loan remissions, etc.) which I eventually didn’t qualify for due to my income anyway.


So I found myself in a pretty hopeless situation – over $50,000 in student loan debt and no feasible way to make payments, didn’t qualify for any programs, etc. I was starting to get the collection letters and they started calling me at work. Not knowing what to do or where to turn, I came about the CanadaStudentDebt website and learned of John Leblanc and CFW Group.


I gave it a shot. The first thing that happened was John had his lawyer draft letters to all my various lenders (and collection agencies) informing them he was representing me now and to only send or phone correspondence to him. To me, those letters alone were worth the price of his services. That was a huge relief. Yes, I would still occasionally get calls or letters, but it was super nice being able to tell them simply to contact John rather than try to deal with them myself.


Then the process started of information gathering, limitations studies, etc. Similar to others’ stories I’ve read, this is a long and uncertain process. For me, it lasted 6 years and included long stretches of not hearing anything. There were times when I wondered if I’d made the right decision. But the one constant throughout was that I knew of any trouble occurred, I could turn to John.


For example, at one point the CRA phoned my employer threatening to garnish my wages. This was tremendously stressful and I can’t imagine having to try to deal with this myself. John quickly pursued this, with a combination of his own inquiries and utilizing his contacts in the CRA. The situation de-escalated.


There were other trials and tribulations along the way, but the culmination was: John (and Heather) were able to obtain statute barred status on the full amount(s) of both my federal and provincial loans. Yes, over $50K statute barred. I’m still basically in disbelief. These loans have been hanging over me for so long it seems incredible that they’re gone.


Would I have been able to obtain this result without John’s help? I highly doubt it. I don’t know the (student loan) system and how to deal with it, whereas John knows it inside out.  I think that’s what the CRA, collection agencies, etc. prey upon – this lack of knowledge in the average borrower. So they can easily intimidate you. When you get someone knowledgeable like John working with you, this advantage for them is eliminated.


If you’re fairly confident in your knowledge of the student loan system and how to deal with it, then you may not need John’s help. But if you’re like me and don’t know it, and are intimidated about how to deal with it, I highly recommend getting John’s help. Obviously I ended up with an ideal result, but even if I hadn’t got the full statute barred result and only got a settlement, I still would have been satisfied with John’s services. Having him in my corner throughout this process provided a semblance of peace of mind, which I surely didn’t have before hiring him. That peace of mind alone was worth it for me.



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