When you make the decision to file a consumer proposal there are several issues that can be of concern.

One of the issues that always worries individuals is to what extent their filing a consumer proposal will affect their spouse. No one wants to have their partner be negatively affected by the debts that they incurred.

In Canada, your credit score and your responsibility to your debts does not fall onto your spouse simply because you are married or living common-law. Similarly, when you file a consumer proposal to deal with your debt troubles, it is only your individual credit record that is affected.

What sometimes happens though is that individuals may not be aware that they are considered responsible for each other’s credit. For example, if your spouse has a card for your account, even if they never use it, they are considered a secondary card holder and are equally responsible for the debt on that account.

This means that if you were to file a consumer proposal, those creditors can then start collection activity on your spouse. For this reason, it is a good idea to make sure that your spouse has no responsibility for your debts before filing your proposal. You can do this by making phone calls to your creditors. It may not change your decision to file a consumer proposal, but it would ensure that there are no surprises.