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Rags to Riches, A Debt Help Success Story in St. John’s

By Christine Wagner

Rags to Riches, A Debt Help Success Story in St. John’s

I’m Christine Wagner, your 4 Pillars Debt Specialist in St. John’s.  Years ago, when jobs in the fishing industry dried up a lot of Newfoundland’s young people headed west to the prosperity of Alberta’s oil sands.  Robert was one of those guys.  He and his girlfriend left ‘the Rock’ and headed west.  Alberta was good to them.  He got a job at one of the Oil Sands plants, married, bought a house and started a family.  He worked long, hard, hours, but the money was worth it.  As his family grew, so did his collection of big boy toys; a new truck every couple of years, a boat, an RV, a couple of ATVs, and two snowmobiles… all bought on credit.  Life was good for Robert and his family, until the bottom fell out of the oil industry. Like so many of his friends and neighbors, Robert was caught unprepared.

As his kids were heading off to college, Robert and his wife were facing a serious financial crisis.  When Robert’s job was eliminated he assumed he’d have no problem getting work elsewhere.  But the industry was in a slump and there was no work.  To make matters worse, the family’s meager savings weren’t going to last very long.   He and his wife had been saving for retirement but that was 15-20 years away. And with their debt they knew they were in trouble.

With the kids grown and out of the house, Robert and his wife decided to sell their home and the toys and head back home to St. John’s.  Thinking that the sale of their house would pay off their debt, they were shocked to discover the house they bought during the oil boom was no longer worth near what they paid for it.

Debt Help: The power of Hope

When Robert walked into our St. John’s office he and his wife were living in a small apartment and he was driving a truck for the city.  It was a far cry from the life he enjoyed in Alberta. Though he and his wife were trying to make a new start, they were being hounded by a $90,000 debt.  He was afraid that bankruptcy was his only way out.  It wasn’t.

Paula Ryan and I took a good look at Robert’s situation and we were able to put together a thorough debt settlement strategy and get Robert the help he needed.  In fact, with a little financial education and some realistic budgeting we were able to help Robert and his wife start living within their means.  After carefully structuring a proposal and agreeing the terms with the Licensed Insolvency Trustee the proposal was submitted and accepted reducing Robert’s debt down to $30,000; which he will have paid off in less than five years based on the budget we created with him.


4 Pillars Debt Consulting: There’s No Place like Home

4 Pillars has been helping Canadians reduce their debt and rebuild for the future since 2002. In fact over 97% of our clients have successfully completed their debt restructuring plans; making 4 Pillars an industry leader in Canada. With 4 Pillars on your side you get the support and professional expertise you need to deal with your debt and create a financial stable future. 4 Pillars was founded by three professionals who were tired of watching friends lose their businesses to debt.  They did their homework, combined their financial expertise and started a company that would ensure no one would be controlled by their debt again.



When Robert called 4 Pillars St. John’s he got a lot more than debt relief.  He got our compassion and understanding, he also got some real peace of mind.  Not only did we create a plan to help reduce his debt, we helped Robert and his wife create a budget they could live with while saving for their retirement… something they are truly looking forward to, in 15 years, not 20.  The final piece was to help them with a comprehensive credit rebuilding strategy so they would not be vulnerable for future financial challenges and not excluded from main stream banking and lending products for years to come.

As Robert discovered, there are more options available than you might think; Budgeting, Financial Education, Debt Consolidation, Consumer Proposal.  Regardless of what your best option may be, the Debt Specialists at 4 Pillars St. John’s are working on your behalf. We’re representing you best interests while guiding you to a stronger financial future.

If you have concerns about your debt or if you’d like to discuss your debt restructuring options, call us today, Christine Wagner and Paula Ryan of 4 Pillars St. John’s, (709) 700-5509. 

Robert’s situation was unique to him and his family, as your debt is unique to you. But with the help of 4 Pillars you can write your own rags to riches story, complete with the happy ending of your choosing.  For Robert and his wife that happy ending will be a stress free, comfortable retirement… and maybe a boat!

To learn more about 4 Pillars Debt Solutions.  Visit us at 4Pillars.ca. And don’t forget to sign up for our Debt Bootcamp.

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