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Financial Questionaire Violates Privacy Laws

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janna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote janna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/January/2010 at 8:15am
I'm sitting here with one right now, and I'm wondering about how to fill it out. I have no problem filling it out, but figuring out how much I spend and how much I make is difficult. I'm self-employed and make anywhere from $400 to $1400 per invoice, depending on how much work is completed prior to my sending an invoice. I don't send the invoices regularly (though I do usually send them once a month), and I only have one client at the moment.

I live with my fiance, who works full-time. His income pays most of our living expenses. Mine pays my specific expenses (e.g., loan payments, car insurance). I have no personal savings and I refuse to divulge any information about my fiance's finances due to privacy concerns.

I tried filling it out once already, and thought I would put the average for my invoices down as my income. If I take my total income so far and divide that by the number of months I've been doing this contract work, I only make $1000/month. Then when I split out our shared expenses (e.g., rent, groceries, cable) and put in my personal expenses (as above), I end up in the hole by more than $300. That's when I include the $400 a month I am paying the collections agency (ARC). This is the only thing I owe now, and I would love to get rid of it, but my credit rating still isn't good enough to get me a loan to be able to just pay it out (I think I still owe over $10,000 total).

I don't particularly want to send this form in with that huge a discrepancy on it. I can just imagine the response: "How are you surviving if you're that much in the hole each month?" Um, well, I don't actually have to worry about paying rent or buying groceries, because my fiance's income pays for that. "Then why can't you pay us that $1000 per month that you make?" Because I have to pay for other expenses, too, and the $400 is all I can really afford!

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Johnny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/January/2010 at 8:53pm

The student loan system cannot penalize you because your spouse or partner does not want to divulge financial information. However, the system seems to take the position that unless you provide it they won't assist you. You are correct though. The system behaves as though no laws bind them in any way. Interesting topic. Let's see where this goes.

 
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulaffleck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/January/2010 at 9:41pm
Refuse to complete the form, and pay 3% of the original loan amount, which I understand to be compliant with HRSDC guidelines for third-party collectors.  It's what I did, and until I completed repaying the loan I rarely heard from the collection agency.  When I did, I reiterated to them, my position.  Hope this helps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/January/2010 at 6:11pm

Actually the 3% of principle requirement is no longer how they work it. THier internal policy now is setting the required payment to a "term" now, which is either amortized over 5 or 7 years, depending on the size of the total loan. So, for example, if you owe $10,000, trhey will want it repaid over a five-year period. Larger balances they set at 7 years.

Twisted.
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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paulaffleck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulaffleck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/January/2010 at 7:09pm
It's amazing, the dearth of information about student loans.

When I was in massive default, and in a state of utter panic, it was the information on this website that gave me information sufficient to feel empowered enough to deal with collection agents.  I had HRSDC's third-party collection agency, ARO, hounding me, and I stuck to my guns about paying only 3% per month only because of information about my obligations, posted by Johnny, on this website.

I note that nowhere could I find this information in any readily accessible fashion, on any governmental website.  And here we see how quickly policies such as this change.

I'm not in student debt any longer, but the problem is only going to get worse for a lot of students, and for this reason I hope that this website continues to assist many students, because the information is just not out there, or it's out there but so disorganized that interpreting it is impossible.

-P


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote janna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/January/2010 at 8:51pm
So should I just ask the agent how much they would normally be asking in terms of a monthly payment, since I am not in a position to pay off the full amount at this time, or should I just say (again) that regardless of what their form were to come up with regarding how much I can afford, the fact is that I can ACTUALLY only afford $400 a month, which is what I've been paying for the past year. I am trying not to be argumentative with them. We communicate via e-mail and letter mail. Every time they ask me to phone, I state that I am only willing to communicate in writing. (This is both because I want written evidence and because I have a ADHD, which makes it really difficult to follow spoken conversations on the phone or in person. Not that I've told them that.) I'm willing to cooperate, and I want to pay what I owe, but I can't afford to pay more than I am, and I don't see why I should fill out a form that's going to either show that I shouldn't be paying them anything or make them think I should be paying them twice what I'm paying right now.

FRUSTRATING!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/January/2010 at 6:25am
How much do you owe? How much do you earn? I will tell you what they will be looking for.
 
The internal policies that the Non-Tax directate (CRA) sets out are not readily available to the public. That is a major disadvantage to the population of student loan borrowers in trouble. This  policy has been designed so that the level of repayment increases and loans arer paid back ina  shorter amount of time. This new position (policy) further illustrates the influence the financial industry has within the government of Canada. Basically, CRA  thinks it is bank and a collection agency. It sees the world through that same lens.   
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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janna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote janna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/January/2010 at 8:57am
I think I currently owe about $12000 but originally it was $14000. (Well, when it went into collections that's how much it was. The original loan itself was something like $25000 - we're talking CSL through RBC in the late 1990's - I graduated in 1998 - and it was the largest loan.) I bring in about $13000 per year through a contract I acquired last April. So I only make about $1083 per month, on average.

I have two loans through the NSLC, from 2001, that are in good standing and are being paid off no problem. This one that's in collections is the only one that went to collections and the only one I'm still paying in any way aside from the two with the NSLC. If I could just get rid of it, I would. But that's really not an option right now. It took me until 2008 to become financially stable, not that the loan people care about that or the fact that their crap policies have decimated my credit rating.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/January/2010 at 10:40am

They may try to corner you into committing to pay the loan over a 5-year term. However, your income clearly does not support that sort of payment. You do blend into a financial hardship that they consider. Of course, it also depends on the rest of your financials though.

If you want some help getting this on a track that you can monitor and manage, let me know!
 
Johnny
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote river Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/July/2010 at 3:53pm
I have had a loan in collections for a few years now.  In this past year the CRA has taken over the collection efforts.  Since the loan has been in collections I have made regular, consistent payments.  I have not missed a month payment since it going to collections.   CRA has never contacted me to discuss anything and I assumed the amount I was paying was sufficient.

Today I received a financial questionnaire.  There is absolutely no way I will be filling this out.  Should I be contacting the officer and make him aware how ignore the letter and keep making my regular payments.
 
paulaffleck, How long did you avoid filling out the questionnaire before you had the loan paid off? 

Funny thing is, wouldn't the CRA have all the info they are asking for anyway?  I file a tax return every year. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote grasshopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/September/2010 at 7:57pm
"Funny thing is, wouldn't the CRA have all the info they are asking for anyway?  I file a tax return every year. "

You know, river, that was the exact thing that I was thinking and I even asked the agent the very same question.  Her response was that their department didn't have access to that information.  I thought this was very unusual.  Then they asked me to send them a photocopy of my stub from the province.  (I am on provincial assistance - disability and have filed my tax return.) 

On a related theme, I was also sent an "Authorization to release medical information".  I am very hesitant about releasing any medical information to the government.  The form authorizes "officials of CRA with the medical and employability infomation requested in Part 2 (financial info form)....  This information will help the CRA officials in the administration of my file." 

Now, if the province has the medical information it needs to find me disabled, then why would the CRA need another medical form?

Another question is who are these "officials" and how will it help with the "administration" of my file?  Administer it how?  Also, the address is in Quebec - the Outaouais office - ARGP.  That in itself raises all sorts flags for me.  Would the different legal system in Quebec have an impact on my privacy and how my information is handled? 

Perhaps I am being overly paranoid?  It has been almost seven years since my diagnosis and over ten since defaulting on my student loan.   While there has been some improvement in my functionality, it is not enough to sustain me and certainly not enough to begin payments to the CRA.  I do not want to have the wrath of the government upon me because as Johnny stated in a previous forum, I can't afford it! 

Is there any clear, coherent guidelines regarding these darn forms?

Kind regards,

Alex
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