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J. Douglas Hoyes
Works at Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.
Attended University of Toronto
Lives in Ontario, Canada
254 followers|119,087 views


J. Douglas Hoyes

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Ontario government wants input on payday loan legislation

The Ontario government issued a press release today (you can read it here: ) asking for the public's input on proposed changes to the way payday and short term lenders are regulated in Ontario.  Those of you who listen to our podcast know that this is the one issue that I always use to get +Ted Michalos riled up on the show, so it's near and dear to my heart.

That's why I did a show at the beginning of the month on creating a better payday loan industry with Brian Dijkema and Rhys McKendry of Cardus (listen here: ) and again this past weekend where I discussed Bill 156 with Jonathan Bishop (listen here: ).

What's the answer?  More to come, but here's a hint: the government is not asking the right question.
Todays podcast looks at potential ways to reformulate the payday loan industry in Canada to create better small dollar loan options for consumers.
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Snow Storm and the Senate

As I watch coverage of the big snowstorm in Ottawa, I'm reminded of another snow storm, 8 years ago, in February 2008.  +Ted Michalos and I were scheduled to fly to Ottawa to testify before the Senate Banking Committee, but no planes to Ottawa were flying.  The solution was simple: Ted, being a former truck driver said "let's drive".  And he did.

We got into his car, I closed my eyes, and he drove to Ottawa in a snow storm.  His driving technique, since the 401 was snow covered, was to put his left wheels on the rumble strips by the center median so he knew where he was on the road.  It made for an interesting ride.  We arrived in Ottawa at 11:30 that night, and were ready for our testimony the next morning.

Our entire one hour testimony is available on the Hoyes Michalos channel on YouTube.  We argued for more fair treatment by Revenue Canada, and more fair treatment of student loan debtors.  Some changes have happened since then, but we will continue to fight for fairness, even if it means driving through a snow storm. 
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On April Fool's Day, 2016, I will no longer be a bankruptcy trustee. I will be a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. So says a Directive issued today by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (who presumably will be changing his name to the Superintendent of Insolvency).


There was a perception that the term "bankruptcy" scared people away, particularly since over 60% of our work is consumer proposals, an alternative to bankruptcy. There are many un-licensed debt consultants who advertise "we are not licensed bankruptcy trustees" as though being unlicensed and unregulated is a good thing. This new name is designed to combat that.

Time will tell whether or not the public will understand this new name, or whether it will further confuse the public.
Links to information on trustee licences, how to apply the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, online services, and news.
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I concur, +J. Douglas Hoyes that efforts supposedly to educate the public often fail.

According to the USCongress, I am a debt relief agency.  Funny, I don't feel like an agency.  I feel like a lawyer and no one who walks in my door believes otherwise.

And now the courts have mandated new bankruptcy forms that are supposed to be user friendly,  encouraging more people to think it's safe to file their bankruptcy without a lawyer.

I'm considering a premium hourly rate for trying to rescue DIY cases, if rescue is possible.
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Heart Rate Monitor in a hat

Did my first run today with my new Life Beam hat.  It was awesome.

On my long weekend runs my goal is to run "aerobically", which for me means very slow, and the only way I know I am running slow enough is to monitor my heart rate.  I follow the Maffetone method, which in simple terms means running at a heart rate of approximately 180 minus your age (so for me that's around 129 beats per minute, but don't ask me how old I am, since I won't tell you....).

You can read more about Maffetone on his website:

I wear a Garmin 920 XT watch, which connects to a heart rate strap.  Heart rate straps are a pain.  They have to fit relatively tightly, and on hot days on long runs they start to chafe, which is very annoying.

The Life Beam hat solves that problem, because it has a heart rate monitor built in to the hat.  It's an optical sensor that touches your forehead and reads your pulse, and sends it to the battery pack and bluetooth transmitter at the back of the hat.  Brilliant.

It took a few seconds to pair it with my Garmin, and I can watch my heart rate without wearing a strap.

I first heard about it on the +EndurancePlanetTV podcast; you can buy it through a link on their website, which also gives you a discount:

(I get no commission from this; I'm not affiliated with any of them).

After the discount, and with express shipping (2 days) to Canada, and with our weak Canadian dollar, the total cost was $143 Canadian.  If you get standard shipping it's cheaper.

My hat is white, but the picture from their website shows where the sensors are positioned.  The electronic unit charge lasts for 15 hours of running, and is rechargeable by plugging it into a USB port on your computer.

I did a 2 and a half hour run today and it worked perfectly.

So there you go.  If you want a heart rate monitor buy don't want to wear a strap, here's a solution.  I wear a hat anyway (it keeps the bugs out of my hair when I'm on the trail, and keeps the sun away), so it was an easy transition for me.
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very cool!
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Last night on +CBC News The National aired a story on seniors, bankruptcy and debt.  They had some good clips of actual seniors with debt issues, and I was quoted giving my thoughts.  Here are more details on the numbers: 

As I said on the show, this is a problem that won't be solved anytime soon.  We all have to focus on eliminating debt and saving money while we are working, so that we don't enter retirement with debt.

#debt   #bankruptcy   #seniors  
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Training Ride for the Cambridge Tour de Grand

The +Cambridge Tour de Grand is only three weeks away, so I decided I should start training.  (Better late then never, but the weather outdoors for the last few months has not exactly been conducive to bike riding, and indoor trainers are boring).  I went on my first outdoor ride on my Trek this season.  Did 24 km, some of it on portions of the 60 km course.  

I remembered that it's a lot easier to ride downhill with the wind than uphill against the wind.  My fastest km took 1 minute 30 seconds (average speed 39.6 km/h).  My slowest, uphill with the wind in my face, was about 5 minutes. Yikes.

Will be interesting to see the final routes when they are posted, since there is construction on Pinehurst Road near Drumbo Road, and the road is down to one lane, so it may be difficult to use that section of the road on the course (I think the 60, 72, 100 and 160 km routes in the past went through that section, but I could be wrong) unless the construction is finished by ride day.

Given my current state of fitness (not that fit), I may try the 40 km route this year.  I've always done the 60 km route, but as I discovered today, most of the course is into the wind.  I don't know how that's possible on a point to point course, but every year it seems most of the ride is into the wind, so perhaps I'll try my luck with a different route.

Now all we have to do is hope for good weather.
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Just could not find the time to get out on my bike this weekend, so I'll have to hope I've got something in my legs on the day of the Tour!
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J. Douglas Hoyes

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How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Remember that guy on the news who paid off his mortgage in under three years, by working up to 100 hours a week at three jobs? And remember the backlash in the media from some people who said that it's not realistic to work that hard, and sacrifice so much, just to pay off a mortgage? I remember, because the CBC contacted me for my thoughts for their follow up article.

That guy is +SeanCooperWriter and I wanted to find out what he thought of the public response, and whether he would do it all over again. Sean agreed to be a guest on my Debt Free in 30 podcast, and today it was released.

I'll let you follow the link below to listen to the show, and read the show notes and the transcript for his answer. If you have a mortgage Sean gives some great practical tips for paying off a mortgage faster, and these are tips that anyone can use, so it's well worth a listen.
Today we talk with Sean Cooper about how he paid off his mortgage in just three years, what he might do differently and what you can learn from his process.
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Thanks +SeanCooperWriter for sharing your story.  You provide some good advice on setting priorities to get debt free.
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Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Eastern, Central & Northern Ontario files bankruptcy

According to a statement posted on their website, Goodwill Industries of Toronto has filed an assignment in bankruptcy.  Given that their locations were closed a few weeks ago, this development is not surprising.

I am not involved in this file, so I have no knowledge of any specific facts of this case.  I can, however, speculate as follows:

First, the press release says that "The purpose of the filing is to preserve the assets of the corporation for the benefit of its principal creditors, who are collectively the former employees of the corporation."  This would imply that the assets will be liquidated, and the proceeds will be distributed to the creditors, which is this case include the employees for unpaid wages.

I don't know what assets Goodwill has, and how much will be available for the creditors.

What I do find surprising is this statement from the press release:

"The corporation is contemplating later making a proposal to its creditors which, if approved, would annul the bankruptcy and allow the corporation to reopen some stores, continuing to serve the surrounding communities and offering a source of gainful employment."

A proposal is a legally binding "deal".  Since Goodwill is a business, the proposal would be filed under Division 1 of the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act, and would require a majority in number and two thirds of the dollar value of the creditors to approve the deal, so it is a difficult test to meet.  (At my firm we do many consumer proposals every day, and they have a higher success rate because only more than half of the creditors, by dollar value, must agree).

So here's the question: if you intend to make a proposal, why not just make a proposal?  Why go through the expense of a bankruptcy, and then, while bankrupt, attempt to make a proposal?  It is legally possible to do this, but it's somewhat backwards.

Why declare that you are insolvent and have no hope of restructuring, only to say that you hope you may be able to restructure?

I do not know who has been appointed the trustee of Goodwill's bankruptcy, so I cannot provide further information, but I will post as more information becomes available.
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Supreme Court Ruling: 407 ETR Debts Dischargeable in Bankruptcy

The Supreme Court just made one of their most obvious rulings ever: Federal bankruptcy law trumps provincial legislation.

When you file #bankruptcy  your unsecured debts are discharged.  The 407 disagreed, and believed they should continue to have the power to deny license plate renewals for 407 debts even after bankruptcy.  They lost at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and they have now lost at the Supreme Court as well.

This is a perfectly logical decision.  The Supreme Court got this one absolutely correct.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled to confirm that 407 toll debts are discharged in bankruptcy and 407 ETR cannot withhold license renewals.
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This ruling will effect many.  
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Millennials’ lack of debt may be a sign of trouble

In today's +The Globe and Mail ,  +Rob Carrick interviews me for my thoughts on why millenials are a decreasing portion of bankruptcies, while the percentage of seniors filing is increasing.  As I stated in the article, with student loan issues and fewer great jobs, it's more difficult for young people to borrow, so they end up with less debt.

That's both good and bad.  Time will tell if this trend continues.

#debt   #millennials  
Though this generation’s low insolvency rate seems like good news, it may actually point to an inability to borrow
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My latest from +The Huffington Post.  New debt settlement laws come into force on July 1 in Ontario, and I explain how it may impact consumers.

#debt   #debtsettlement  
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+J. Douglas Hoyes makes an important distinction between ending abuse of customers by debt settlement companies, and making an real improvement in customer's financial situation.

The defect for US debt settlement companies is that they can't make creditors accept less than they are owed.  A #bankruptcy  court can.
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How Do I Know When to Declare Bankruptcy?

On Friday I was interviewed by Amanda Lang on +CBC News and she asked me how you know when you should file bankruptcy.  I discuss many warning signs, but ultimately if you have more debt than you can handle you need to seek professional advice to fully explore all of your options.

#debt   #bankruptcy  
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Consumer Proposal Administrator, Bankruptcy Trustee, Chartered Accountant
There is no "one size fits all" solution. Douglas reviews all options to provide a customized solution to your debt problems.
  • Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.
    Co-Founder, 1999 - present
    In addition to meeting with people in financial trouble, Douglas is a frequent writer and speaker, working to educate Canadians on all of their debt management options.
  • KPMG
    Senior Manager, 1987 - 1997
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
    Senior Manager, 1997 - 1998
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Ontario, Canada
Contact Information
310-PLAN, 1-866-747-0660 ext 4020
Helping you solve your debt problems
Co-founder, Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., Ontario's largest independent personal insolvency firm.
Douglas is an expert in all aspects of debt management, including money management, budgeting, credit counselling, consumer proposals and personal bankruptcy.
Bragging rights
First trustee in Canada to electronically file a bankruptcy back in 2002. Douglas has personally filed almost 5,000 personal bankruptcy filings, and over 3,500 consumer proposals.
  • University of Toronto
    Commerce & Economics Specialist, 1983 - 1987
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario
    Chartered Accountant, 1989
  • Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals
    Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, 1994
  • Government of Canada
    Trustee in Bankruptcy, 1995
    Licensed by the government of Canada to act as a trustee in bankruptcy and a consumer proposal administrator.
Basic Information
Other names
Doug Hoyes, Douglas Hoyes, J. Douglas Hoyes
J. Douglas Hoyes's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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