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Where do I start?

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badhairdaylady View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12/June/2014 at 5:52pm
I'd like some advice, let me tell you a bit about myself:
I was a student from 2002-April 2007.   I did not graduate, and jobs have been few and far between and at best, very low paying.  HRSDC started taking my income tax refunds in 2009, they haven't taken any of my benefits and credits luckily. 

In 2011, I took 1 course to at least get a 2 year diploma, I paid for this myself, it was an online course.  Not long after I got the diploma, TCR started harassing me with incessant phone calls for the provincial portion, I managed to send them a cease and desist fax and that has stopped.  TCR use loan shark tactics and all but threaten to come and break your legs!

Overall, HRSDC doesn't bother me too much, but they always take my tax returns.  In 2012, I filed papers claiming hardship to get my income tax return back, they refused stating I'm not in hardship even though most months I could barely afford my rent, food and borrowed and begged to keep my internet service going.  I'd like to add that I don't have a car, I can't afford one, and I don't have any other assets, credit cards, savings account or anything else that could be liquidated to help myself along.  They told me if circumstances changed they would reconsider.  A week later, my internet was going to be cut off, so I got on the phone with them and they did give me my tax refund back.

I'm currently working part time, minimum wage for Ontario, but it's barely enough to survive on, and I've exhausted my job searching efforts in this town.  There's nothing for me but a future of poverty and scratching to make a living, I'm almost 50 yrs old.  In the last 10 years, my total income was less than $85000 with a good portion of it being social assistance (total for those 10 years!), if you do the math, it works out to about $715/mth average, but nope, I'm not in hardship!

Regarding my debt, well it's over $36K, with monthly interest over $135 making it grow at an alarming rate.  Am I ever going to be in a position to pay it?  Hmmm not unless I win the big one or suddenly have a long lost relative die and leave me a fortune!  

So where do I go from here, what can I do?  Do I just leave it until I die and never have anything, keep fighting the government over hardship claims?  Amazingly, I don't owe anything else other than the student loans, over the years, I just did without a lot.  Is claiming bankruptcy the answer when there is no other debt?  Where do I start?  What can I do? 
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badhairdaylady View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote badhairdaylady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/June/2014 at 6:52pm
If you do a search, I had posted the same questions last March.  Search for 'Extreme Hardship' under my username.
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badhairdaylady View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote badhairdaylady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/June/2014 at 5:26am
43 views, not  a single comment, I guess there is no hope.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/June/2014 at 9:00am
Sorry no one has replied, although a common situation these days, there aren't a lot of answers for situations like this. I try to offer some however. At least you've managed to keep the creditors/collection agencies at bay.  Good on you!

You are now past the 5 year mark for declaring bankruptcy on these loans if you can prove hardship. The criteria in a bankruptcy might be different than that of the CRA.  Some court cases have held that the new course you took in 2011 would not reset the end of studies date.  

If no payments or acknowledgment of the debt was made for 6 years the federal portion might become statute barred.

If you write anything to the creditors, be very careful about the wordings so that you don't acknowledge the debt.

Talk to John at CFW Group about this....  he charges fees but could assess if the loans are statute barred.
Anyone else have comments?
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Mark O'Meara

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badhairdaylady View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote badhairdaylady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/June/2014 at 11:49am
Their definition of hardship seems a bit strange, can barely afford the basics, don't have any assets, car, cell, credit cards and they refuse, but oh if you get a notice that your phone/internet provider is going to cut you off, they consider you a hardship case.  You would think living way below poverty line at a rate of $715/month average over the last 10 years would be proof enough that you're in extreme distress financially!

I don't think the loans would be in statute barred, in 2009 I made a few payments.  HRSDC bugs me every once in a while for an income statement and they've been snatching my tax returns since the 2008 tax year.

I know John charges fees, I never have money left over to afford to consult with him.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SolveStudentDebt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/June/2014 at 5:51am
HRSDC and Justice Canada view hardship differently for sure. It doesn't mean that they do not accept or oblige.

If you are have no assets, are not benefiting from the education economically, and are unable to secure suitable employment then you have a case. Like I posted in another thread here about appealing for removal and compromise, you have to give them a reason to do it. 

An example: The one thing that is causation for failure concerning a case of an appeal for removal is home ownership, and not having taxes filed to current.  There are a lot of homed owners with equity in property and that is a money source for any government or creditor really. There are lots of home owners out there who have no real sizable income or financial/professional opportunity and that is certainly hardship. However, money is what they see, especially when a property sells.

Appealing for compromise with the federal government where people will save more money than not, unless the appeal for removal is VERY comprehensive. A concise demonstration or appeal does not work.
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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badhairdaylady View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote badhairdaylady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/June/2014 at 2:40pm
I have no assets, nothing that could bring any kind of sizable amount, I rent an apartment, have basic furniture, and no car.  My taxes are currently all filed.  I am not benefiting in any way from my education and I'm doing call center work [employer removed by Admin] part time, minimum wage.

How do I get the ball rolling?  Who do I talk to?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SolveStudentDebt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/June/2014 at 5:59am
You have to get past the collection services office in Belleville or Surrey BC because they, for the most part, discourage borrowers from seeking those things and say that they do not exist.  To the contrary, they do. You have to go to the head of the house, which is the office of the Minister of HRSDC if you get no where with anyone else.  The system is geared to disuade and discourage borrowers from moving in this direction. It is, of course, political and they do not like to lose money in any way.
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 SolveStudentDebt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/June/2014 at 6:04am
Personally,  we don't have to deal with the politics and unmeasured policies that are created by those in the lower levels.  It seems that anywhere you go there is a new policy created and in place after Monday morning coffee talk.  Some of the internal policies created by those in the lower realm of the government are contrary to and overlap one or a number of laws that actually apply.  
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 badhairdaylady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/June/2014 at 7:39am
Ok, so I narrowed that down to a Jason Kenney, who is the Minister of Employment and Social Development, Employment and Social Development Canada, Office of the Minister Human Resources and Skills Development.  Do I just send his office a letter?  Phone them?  

Friday I have an appointment with a credit counsellor who will go over my situation with them to decide how to proceed.  I also phoned HRSDC this morning to of course get my income tax return back again, they're mailing me a financial questionnaire where I'll have to prove Extreme Hardship again, as it stands with their quick and very basic phone assessment, I come out about $20 ahead, but they'd probably expect that toward a paymen!  Not a lot of money, and certainly, never enough to do anything with!  

HRSDC's stance is that no, I'm not benefiting financially from my education, but I might eventually...right, the longer I go without viable work experience in my field, the less valuable I am as a suitable candidate to work for them.  As it stands, I have no experience in my field, so it's not likely I'll find work doing what I was educated for. It's a catch-22, and the older I get (49), the less likely I will be hired anyway.  Just the mental and emotional aspects of being in a constant state of financial distress and worry is making me a basket case!!  And they have told me that even claiming bankruptcy won't clear up the student loan, that it will still be there after all is said and done.  If this is true, then it's not worth filing because I don't owe any other money other than the student loan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SolveStudentDebt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/June/2014 at 11:28am
That is what you have to get past, that ridiculous phone assessment they do.  Of course they are going to say "you might" one day. That is their way of deterring you.  Bankruptcy is not as fruitful as some people play it off to be.  

You won't be able to "phone" the minister directly. There is a row of pawns in front of this office. One of those will delegate. Sending it to CRA non tax office is pointless. You can count on that getting lost int he mail, so they may say.  All I can tell you is that if you are seriously going to present anything to them you have one shot at it. If it is not to their liking you will get rejected and cannot approach them for half a year after that.

I do not know enough about your situation to base any opinions or advice on.  Unfortunately, that is a client service.  Best of luck!


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 badhairdaylady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/June/2014 at 12:10pm
Client services, lawyer costs, consulting fees, that's just about as achievable as paying this debt off, so the whole process if an exercise in futility.  Living totally off the grid is looking more appealing every day!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SolveStudentDebt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17/June/2014 at 2:30am
Yes, I understand your frustration.  It is a lot of work and time that required to do what you want to do.  People have to live in the process. There are a lot of people in Canada living day to day off the grid because of barbaric tax and living cost issues and of course student loans.  I have told you what you need to do so perhaps you should follow that advice and intel.

Best!
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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