Unemployed and self-employed workers in distress

Chômeurs et travailleurs autonomes en détresse

Photo: Marie-France Coallier The Duty
The unemployed and self-employed, whose incomes have shrunk or disappeared from the containment, are struggling to make ends meet.

In another life, Andree Trudel was a social worker. With the crisis of the COVID-19, it has the impression of having returned to service. She works at the reception of the bankruptcy trustee Jean Fortin and associates. “A lot more people in distress are reaching out to us,” she said at the end of the wire. Yesterday I had two calls that lasted for twenty minutes. It was nearing the panic attack. “

The pandemic of the sars coronavirus made the collateral victims. The unemployed and self-employed, whose incomes have shrunk or disappeared from the containment, are struggling to make ends meet. Tenants say they are unable to pay their rent from April 1st. More than 8500 citizens have signed an online petition calling for a moratorium on rents during the crisis.

An application that is deemed “irrational” by the Association of owners of Quebec, who recalled, in a press release Monday, that the rent is payable on the 1st of April. The DPA points out that ” some owners have managed to see some maturity on your mortgage, but this is not the case for all. “

Money is a concern for many people. The agents of the line 211 the find. “The largest number of calls we receive is related to food needs “, said Pierrette Gagné, executive director of the Centre de référence du Grand Montréal.

For the time, personal bankruptcies have not increased, after the trustees consulted. “But after the wave of COVID-19, there will be a wave of insolvency, believes Martin Poirier, partner and licensed trustee in insolvency at Lemieux Nolet.

Before getting there, it is possible to request a deferral of payment to its creditors, recalls Pierre Fortin, president of Jean Fortin and associates.

Those who have outstanding balances on credit cards highest are the most vulnerable

— Pierre Fortin


A lot of people are using them. Desjardins counts up to now more than 10 000 requests for its financing products. The National Bank has registered 20 000 for its mortgage loans or personal loans in the framework of the program she has developed to cope with the current crisis. “This type of application is exceptional, in normal times,” said Marie-Pier Jodoin, senior director, public affairs.

Jean-François Menard, 62, has himself contacted his fund to defer one month payment of his mortgage. The citizen of Saint-Jérôme, which makes the delivery of auto parts, has been laid off. He is waiting for unemployment benefits. “I don’t have a cushion, unfortunately,” said Jean-François Ménard, whose spouse does not work. I don’t have a big salary. I earn $ 18 per hour. “

In spite of everything, the owner of a duplex has agreed with its tenant, which has also lost his job, she could pay her rent April 1, a week later.

The dashboard on the evolution of the coronavirus in Quebec and in Canada

Leave interest claimed

A week ago, the prime minister, François Legault, asked the owners to be sympathetic towards their tenants. Québec solidaire is now proposing the quebec government to enact an emergency decree giving 30 days for tenants to pay their rent for the month of April. The party also calls on Ottawa to grant leave of interest to owner-occupants during the same period.

These measures, said Quebec solidaire in a statement released Tuesday, would give leeway to people who have lost their jobs and are waiting for government financial aid, such as providing canadian emergency of $ 2000 per month.

The president of Jean Fortin and associates, him, wishes that the financial institutions offer, for a few months, a reduction or a suspension of interest in the case of loans to high rate (not the mortgage). “Those who have outstanding balances on credit cards highest are the most vulnerable,” says Pierre Fortin.

Do the cleaning

The spokesperson for the canadian bankers Association, Mathieu Labrèche, replied that ” 70 % of credit card holders in Canada pay their balance in full each month “. Institutions also offer credit cards to low rate, i.e. less than 13 %, he adds.

According to Eric Lebel, partner and licensed trustee in insolvency at Raymond Chabot, Quebecers who have lost their jobs have a vested interest in reviewing their budget. Yes, the revenue decreased, but expenditure also. “We take the restaurant, the gym, the daycare, the gas,” he said. There is less spending than before. It no longer does anything. “

Éric Lebel recommends that a budget be provided each week over a period of two months. “It indicates in which week is due to the rent, the car loan, etc “Attention,” he said, at the grocery store. The temptation to buy — and to indulge, in this period of confinement — is great. “It is often an important post,” he said. We went on to buy seven or eight food and we ended up having a basket full. “The loans at rates of 30 to 40 % should be used as a last resort, he concluded.

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