In your pockets: she sponsors her family and ends up on the straw

In your pockets: she sponsors her family and ends up broke


Anna immigrated to Quebec about ten years ago. This dental hygienist earns a good living and agreed to sponsor her mother and brother to help them settle with her in Quebec. A laudable intention that will unfortunately cost her dearly.

With a net income of $3,500 per month, Anna easily paid her bills and her rent. She was even able to buy a used vehicle for her travels.

But, when four years ago she agreed to sponsor two members of her family who wanted to settle in Quebec, she thought that it would not present any particular difficulties. But she had forgotten one detail…

Little leeway

Indeed, under immigration rules, sponsoring a member of his family to allow him to settle in Quebec requires that one be able to meet his financial needs for a period varying from 3 to 10 years.

Anna's mother does not work, as for her brother, he is studying and earns no income. What's more, at the time of her divorce, Anna also had to go into debt to pay the legal fees.

In the end, even though her salary is good, because she has to support two extra people, she struggles to make ends meet and uses her credit cards to meet all the his expenses. The outstanding balance is now $29,500, plus $20,000 on his line of credit. She also has $9,000 left to repay on her student loan.

Having no leeway, she therefore decides to consult insolvency specialists to find possible solutions.

A heavy responsibility

“Sponsoring someone to immigrate to Canada is a big responsibility and also has big monetary implications. It is preferable to establish a detailed budget to check what the impact will be on the financial situation and to make sure that we can really assume this role,” says Patrick Roberge, CPA, licensed insolvency trustee and partner at Raymond Chabot.

The sponsor must indeed undertake to meet the essential needs of the sponsored person for several years, whether it is food, housing, clothing and other necessities. Be careful, because if the sponsored relative were to receive government assistance such as social assistance, his sponsor will also have to reimburse it.

In Anna's case, her situation had become untenable to such an extent that 'she was no longer able to repay her accumulated debts. 

However, she wanted to avoid bankruptcy, so Patrick Roberge offered her the consumer proposal. “This will allow him to free himself from all his debts at the rate of a monthly payment respecting his budget for 60 months,” explains the trustee.

This also includes the student loan, because this debt is dischargeable if it has been more than seven years since you finished your studies. 

The creditors have accepted the offer prepared by the trustee, and once the young woman has paid amounts required, she will finally be able to regain her financial health. 

Her financial situation  


  • Furniture and personal property worth less than $7000
  • 2010 Honda Civic, estimated value $4500


  • Credit cards: $29,500
  • Line of credit : $20,000
  • Student loan: $9,000

Total debts: $58,5000


  • Income : $3500 net


  • $3,225 (including rent, telephone, electricity, insurance, groceries, license and registration, gas, etc.)

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