Founder, Mark Silverthorn

Larry Pomfret

Doug Hoyes

The Wolf At The Door:  Book Reviews

As a bankruptcy trustee and consumer proposal administrator I have spent thousands of hours over the years meeting with people in debt.  They bring me copies of bills, and I review them and help them make a plan.  Most of the bills are easily recognizable: Visa,

Mastercard, and all of the Big Banks.  But I remember, back

will work.  Mr. Silverthorn provides easy step-by-step strategies with real world examples and case studenties.  He takes a topic many find intimidating and makes it simple for people to help themselves.  If you are in debt, helping someone out that is, or would like to know more about the industry you have to get this book.

Financial Counselor, SISIP

Victoria, British Columbia

Being in debt can be overwhelming.  The majority of the people I speak with have no idea where to go or what the first step should be to rectify their situation.  Mr. Silverthorn's book The Wolf At The Door outlines everything an individual needs to know if they are having trouble meeting their oblitations.

Being in the collection industry for 10 years myself, I can corroborate the advice and strategies outlined in this book

Corey Hargreaves

When the book was finished I read it, and I was impressed.  It's full of lots of practical advice.

For example, Chapter 6 discusses "Limitation Periods", an important topic that is not well understood by many debt experts.  You can read the book to get Mark's full explanation, but in simple terms, after a period of time, which varies from province to province, it becomes very difficult for a creditor to sue you and obtain a judgment against you.  This is important, because for some debtors with old debt, doing nothing may be the correct strategy.

Will a credit counsellor, or a debt consultant, or a bankruptcy trustee advise you that doing nothing is an option?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not, since professional advisors are paid only if you do something.

That in simple terms, is the value of The Wolf At The Door.  Mark Silverthorn is not selling any one particular debt management option.  His goal was to present all options, and while I'm not prepared to endorse every conclusion reached in the book, I will say that the book does cover all reasonable options, and presents them in a clear and straight-forward manner.

If you have debt, or if you advise Canadians who have debt, The Wolf At The Door is an excellent resource.

Does this book excuse Mark Silverthorn from his career as a collection agency lawyer?  Is he truly reformed?

I don't know, but I did interview on that topic back in November, 2010.  Here's the video; decide for yourself:

J. Douglas Hoyes, BA, CA, CPA CBV, CIRP is a licensed insolvency trustee and consumer proposal administrator, and is the co-founder of Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., one of Ontario's leading personal insolvency firms.

around the years 2005 to 2007, seeing a new name on those invoices:

Mark Silverthorn

For a period of a year or two it seemed as though every third document I reviewed was a collection letter from the Mark Silverthorn law firm, acting as a collection agent for one creditor or another.

And then, as the first decade of this mellennium was drawing to a close, I got a phone call from the man himself.  Mark Silverthorn called me to tell me that he was no longer working as a collection agent; he wanted to "switch sides", and help debtors deal with what he perceived to be somewhat abusive collection agency practices.

I was skeptical.  How can you go from being the biggest collection agency guy in Canada to the biggest opponent of the collection industry?

Buy hey, I'm a reasonable guy, always willing to give someone a chance to explain their side of the story.  I spoke with him, and I agreed to be interviewed for his book The Wolf At The Door.  I figured if he was going to talk about consumer proposals and bankruptcy, I should at least give him access to my expertise.

Doug Hoyes, CA, CPA, CIRP, Trustee

In today's financial climate, Canadians are falling more and deeply into debt.  I think any professional in the financial wolrd would advocate cautious spending, but sometimes factors outside of our control cause financial hardship.  During these times, doing your best somethimes just doesn't get the bills paid.  In order to keep the wolves away from the door, reading Mark Silverthorn's book is of paramount importance.  Silverthorn's knowledge of Canadian collection practices and legislation will stand the reader in good stead to fact their financial future.

Larry Pomfret, who operates LJP Legal Services, is a licensed paralegal in Barrie, Ontario.

If you are able to pay your bills, then pay them.  If you cannot, then you need to read this book.  Mark Silverthorn provides a primer for people who are mired in debt and who are getting calls from collection agencies.  Silverthorn's experience comes from decades of experience working with both consumers and bill collectors and he knows from whence he speaks.

Larry Pomfret

Obtaining a paperback copy:

You can try visting:       

You can also try your local library.  There are, for example, a substantial number of copies of the book in the Toronto Public Library system.

Obtaining an e-book version of the book:                      

Mark Silverthorn routinely receives phone calls from individuals across Canada asking where they can obtain a copy of The Wolf At The Door.

Where can I obtain a copy of The Wolf At The Door?

Its a great marketing line for both the business and the book, but that doesn't mean there isn't lots of useful Canadian-focused advice here for those needing hlep--with unpaid student olans, credit card debt or whatever.

And it's all set out wtih easy-tot-read dos and don'ts, tips and potential strategies.

This book review appeared in The Guelph Mercury newspaper on January 30, 2010, page E7.

You don't have to be in debt to find interesting information in this book by lawyer Mark Silverthorn, a Guelph-area resident.

Did you know, for example, that in the United States it's unlawufl for a collection agency or lawyer to sue you if you don't pay your debt within a fedw days--but this isn't illegal in Canada, inf they don't have no intention of suing.

Silverthorn, who has an office at 30 Duke Street W., Kitchener, once represented collection agencies but says in his introduction in 2007, uncomfortable with how he earned a living, he decided instead to sell assistance to those with debt problems.

Jon Fear

mortgage.  Neither our staff or the mortgage broker who referrred them to our firm had the resources to provide the consumer with the knowledge and options to consider what Mark Silverthorn povided here.

Eric Putnam is the Founder and  Managing Partner of Debt Coach Canada - The Health Club For Your Wallet (tm) ,

Well researched and very informative The Wolf At The Door provides Canadians with an easy to read and unbiased "roadmap" to inform them of their legal rights and obligations when ti comes to dealing with past due debts.

As a former national director of mortgage underwriting my team and I often had to decline many applications where the consumer had not yet resolvered their past debts yet were seeking a new

Eric Putnam, PFF, RQIC

many avenues that the debtor has to deal with the problems of 'owing money.'  It makes clear how the 'debt collection' machine operates and how you can get that collection 'machine' off your debt-laden back, and, suprisingly, preserve your credit rating in the process. 

More important the book explains how you, as a debtor, might have a tremendous number of options that could allow you to pay only part or none of what you owe.  After all, as the book implies, why can't you use the law to your advantage, to ease your burden of debt, just as creditors are using it to squeeze all they can out of you.

In summary, if you are under siege from creditors, get this book, not only does it describe all the facets of debt, how to deal with creditors and their agents, but it sends a strong message of 'don't panic' there are paths out of the debt forest, more in fact than the average layperson realizes. 

That is, unitl they read this book.

As a consumer advocate for over 20 years, first with Silverman Helps on City TV and later with CFRB, on  the Silverman Show, I have received my share of complaints concerning collection agencies and their often nefarious, bullying, and not uncommon devious and 'close to the illegal' ways.

Most of these people who contacted me were scared, angry, frustrated, and uncertain how to cope with the tide of debt that was engulfing their lives.  Few understood that, even as a debtor, they had rights, and could fight back, not only against those to whom they owed money, but to those agencies that were hired to collect the debt.

Now, long overdue,  'the' manual  to guide anyone who is facing collection agencies and persistent and demanding creditors.  It is called The Wolf At The Door:  What To Do When Collection Agencies Come Calling, by Mark Silverthorn, a lawyer who specializes in dealing with the legal particulars of debt.  Written in easy to read language, devoid of 'lawyers vocabulary' it gives hope to the debtor, and describes the

Peter Silverman, PhD  O. On.

Since The Wolf At The Door appeared in bookstores across Canada in 2010 a number of individuals and publications have written book reviews for it.  On this page you will find just a  few of these book reviews.

If you are interested in contributing a book review for The Wolf At The Door, please send us an e-mail at