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J. Douglas Hoyes
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Helping you solve your debt problems
Helping you solve your debt problems

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EXCLUSIVE: First podcast interview with +Jon Chevreau and Mike Drak discussing their new book, Victory Lap Retirement.

My quick summary of the new book Victory Lap Retirement: retirement is dead, at least in the traditional sense.

As Jonathan Chevreau and Mike Drak discuss on today's podcast, we are living longer, are less likely to retire with full company pensions, and if we take care of ourselves we are in better health. That's why the traditional concept of working for the same company for 40 years, and then retiring at 65 is dead.

We may take mini-retirements, or we may retire from the corporate world and begin a "Victory Lap" where we start a business, monetize a hobby, or any other combination of activities.

Of course to do that you can't retire with debt, and that's a big topic of discussion on the podcast. The book doesn't officially arrive in stores until October, but it's available on Amazon now for Kindle, and it's a great read.

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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: http://dld.bz/e2AKe ) 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: http://www.hoyes.com/blog/creating-a-better-payday-loan-industry/ ) and again this past weekend where I discussed Bill 156 with Jonathan Bishop (listen here: http://www.hoyes.com/blog/bill-156-is-this-the-payday-loan-regulation-we-need/ ).

What's the answer?  More to come, but here's a hint: the government is not asking the right question.

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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.

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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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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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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).

Why?

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.

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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.

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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: http://philmaffetone.com/what-is-the-maffetone-method/

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:

http://www.enduranceplanet.com/shop/

(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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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  

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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: http://www.hoyes.com/blog/seniors-going-bankrupt-at-a-record-pace/ 

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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