Slammed by debt and rising interest rates? Add your Q's to ask an expert

Debt concerns can take a serious toll on a person's mental health. (CBC - image credit)
Debt concerns can take a serious toll on a person's mental health. (CBC - image credit)

Logan Bayliss says he once walked into a room and found his then-girlfriend sobbing on the phone with a collections agent.

She had roughly $10,000 in debt on her credit card and there was absolutely no way she could pay it off. So he took the phone, and in a flat business tone told the creditors they could either settle for $2,000 today and stop calling for several months or they would seek creditor protection.

The creditors took the deal.

Bayliss is a Calgary resident who works in community health. He thinks of that moment often as interest rates surge and likely more people are finding themselves hopelessly under water.

He's sharing the story now — as CBC Calgary launches a public call for debt questions — because at that point, his girlfriend was only getting advice from the agents on the phone. They made her feel like she was personally worthless if she couldn't pay.

"It's like it's a moral thing, like [people in debt] are bad people," said Bayliss.

Submitted by Logan Bayliss
Submitted by Logan Bayliss

He sees many people get in trouble when they take on debt and then fall ill. He contacted CBC Calgary through our text messaging community to ask for this public Q & A. He says people need access to independent advice to deal with untenable debt without feeling so guilty, the way a business would do it.

"People's situations change. And what was previously agreed to is no longer relevant," he said. "But what do you do when you're in that absolutely untenable situation?"

"Giving people that information will change lives. Because the misery this causes is astronomical."

With that preamble, do you want to help?

Add your question below

These are unprecedented times for some families. The Bank of Canada raised its interest rate six times this year and the increased cost of living is constricting peoples' budgets.

So we're opening the door to anyone who may be struggling but may be too afraid, ashamed, or unsure of how to ask for advice. Send us a note below.

We're thinking questions like — what are the consequences for declaring bankruptcy and are there ways to mitigate the damage? Or how do credit proposals, orderly payments of debts and the other instruments work?

We're lining up experts and will record the interview to share it publicly. If you have a situation that you or someone you know is facing, please share a few details and ask your question in the form below. Your story might help someone else.

Include your contact information if you'd like us to share the link with you when we publish. We'll get to as many questions as possible.