Consolidating debt into mortgage td

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The bank has 11 million Canadian clients and about 65 per cent of its branches are in Ontario. In her case, TD arranged for a consolidation loan worth about ,700 to cover her line of credit, Visa card and overdraft debts. She said asking for help was "embarrassing" at first, but she credits TD's staff for putting her at ease.

"The respect they gave me, it felt like I was millionaire coming in to buy a portfolio position," she said.

Scrambling to find alternatives for her daughter's city-run day camp, she was left with a maxed-out credit card and the prospect of having no money in her account for 10 days. Married with five children, the 51-year-old autoworker from Oshawa has been laid off from General Motors several times since January 2008.

"All you do is constantly worry about your family and your kids and keeping the roof over your head," he said.

TD Bank, for one, has helped nearly 20,000 clients facing severe financial hardship from February to July under a program dubbed "Project Umbrella." That internal codename is meant to signify the bank's willingness to shield customers from a rainy day."That number (20,000) might seem large, but I don't think that number is anywhere near the real story," said Tim Hockey, head of Canadian banking and president and CEO of TD Canada Trust.

At one point, TD was receiving about 1,000 inquiries a week from distressed customers.

Much of that initiative centres on an interactive website called "TD Helps." Customers are giving it mixed reviews.

Some online comments are full of praise, while others suggest the site is simply a "PR ploy."The massive outreach effort is a first in the bank's 154-year history.

He was allowed to skip some mortgage payments and was able to refinance his mortgage at a lower interest rate. While he had no qualms about seeking help, Carswell concedes it isn't always easy to swallow one's pride.Although she kept up with her payments, Anne-Marie spiralled deeper into debt.It was the Toronto civic workers' strike that pushed her over the edge.Hockey freely admits the move is "counter-cultural for the average bank." Getting it rolling required a massive effort to retrain staff, and executives weren't convinced at first that going public was the right approach.Project Umbrella is expected to have "no material impact" on TD's earnings or loan loss provisioning.

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