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Sands & Associates, B.C.'s Largest Firm of Licensed Trustees and Consumer Proposals Administrators Conducts First Annual BC Consumer Debt Study

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/05/12 -- Sands & Associates, B.C.'s largest firm of licensed trustees and proposal administrators announces the results of its first annual BC Consumer Debt Study, profiling trends and key information regarding the consumer debt levels of British Columbians, specifically from markets throughout Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

The 2012 BC Consumer Debt Study is the only B.C.-specific study to survey nearly 7,000 debtors from the area and analyzes key findings regarding debt levels, causes for overextension and financial standings after filing bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.

The results of the 2012 BC Consumer Debt Study show that an equal number of males and females and those between the ages 40-54 comprised the largest number of bankruptcy or consumer proposal filings in B.C. - with typical debt loads reaching between $25,000 to $49,000. Most accumulated this debt due to overextension of credit or unexpected expenses and attempted to remedy their situation on their own before seeking help from a licensed trustee. Prior to seeking help, the common sentiment amongst this majority was that they would never be debt-free. However, following seeking help from a licensed trustee, the majority felt they now had a bright financial future, free from the stress of debt.

One of the major findings from the 2012 BC Consumer Debt Study is that nearly all of those polled, 79.5 percent, filed bankruptcy. From this, the study points to the need for increased public education around financial management, how to identify financial red flags that could lead to uncontrollable debt and increased awareness of consumer proposals as a proactive option for debt relief. Consumer proposals are an effective, less severe alternative to bankruptcy. However, financial problems need to be identified before becoming completely unmanageable for one to qualify. The study findings show that increased education of the public, specifically the younger demographics, could lead to a decrease in the proportion of bankruptcies versus consumer proposals in the future and an improvement in the overall financial health of the B.C. consumer.

Blair Mantin, VP of Sands & Associates shares, "The results of this study take a very acute snapshot of the trends and information that are contributing to and shaping consumer debt in British Columbia. From the findings, we can conclude that much more education is needed to inform the public of how to properly manage their finances and be educated on the available options should they find themselves in financial turmoil."

The next BC Consumer Debt Study is intended to run in 2013 and will document the progression of consumer debt levels and causes in B.C.

To see the complete study and detailed findings, please visit: http://bitly.com/PRSbL1

About Sands & Associates:

Sands & Associates is British Columbia's largest firm of licensed, expert Proposal Administrators and Bankruptcy Trustees focused exclusively on personal and small-business insolvency services. Operating from 10 offices in the Lower Mainland, Sands & Associates uses a non-judgmental, empathetic, affordable approach to helping resolve financial difficulties. To learn more, visit http://www.sands-trustee.com/.

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