The Personal Finance Show

The Personal Finance Show is a place for people to tell their personal finance stories. Everyone has a personal finance story.

08 - Doug Hoyes

October 31st, 2017


“I would much rather come up with the right solution for you, rather than the solution that is going to make me money today.” - Doug Hoyes

This is the kind of thinking that makes me want to send everyone to Hoyes Michalos and Associates for help.

In 2009 I found myself with a huge amount of consumer debt, due to my gambling addiction, and I could barely keep up with my minimum payments. I could feel that I was on my way to finding a way out of my gambling addiction, but it was hard to make any progress with so much debt weighing upon me and no plan to pay it off.

I did a bunch of research and decided that filing for bankruptcy might be an option. I looked a bit further and found that a consumer proposal to my creditors might be the better choice.

In early 2009 I emailed Hoyes Michalos and Associates with the following message:

“Due to a recent gambling incident, my debt load has increased significantly. I do not believe I can reasonably afford to pay my current debt load. I think a consumer proposal might be the right thing for me.”

The “incident”, of course, was not recent, and it was an accumulation of gambling debt over 10 years, which I clarified with Sandra, the insolvency trustee when we met.

Sandra took my $40,000 in debt and crafted a proposal to my creditors asking if it could be reduced to $15,000. The alternative was bankruptcy, and $0, so my creditors accepted the $15,000.

I now had fixed monthly payments of $300 for the next 50 months. Oh yeah, and my credit rating would be ruined for the entire 50 months + 3 full years after my proposal was paid in full.

What might have been a negative for some, was a huge relief for me. With the inability to gamble with credit cards, and having enough cash flow to start saving again, I was able to focus on rebuilding.

Soon after, I finally realized I was gambling because I had Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD). I was diagnosed, medicated and my life changed completely.

It still took a few more years to shake the gambling addiction completely, but in 2011 I had my final relapse and was finally done with gambling.

In August 2012 I paid my proposal in full and 3 years later my proposal was cleared from my credit report. It took a while but I recovered from what seemed to be a hopeless situation.

This is the kind of situation Doug Hoyes sees every day.

After 20 years and 10,000 clients, Doug decided to write a book called “Straight Talk on Your Money”, just released in September 2017.

I really enjoyed speaking with Doug and I want to thank him for having me on his podcast “Debt Free in 30”. Here’s the link for that episode:

To find out more about bankruptcies, consumer proposals, and other insolvency options, please head to or call 1-866-747-0660.


09 - Desirae Odjick


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