Are 407 ETR Debts Dischargeable in Bankruptcy or Proposal?
407 ETR Debts in Bankruptcy / Consumer Proposal
People with financial woes have two trains of thoughts in their minds usually.
Two – even if they do choose either of these options, to what extent would they be granted financial respite from fulfilling their financial obligations?
Such people have to think about how to move forward with their lives after they have tackled the problem of settling their debts with their creditors, with highly reduced assets remaining in their name.
While reviewing the list of creditors to whom you owe money, if 407 ETR is one of them, then the good news is you can avoid paying any back dues owed to the company and still escape plate denial.
Since November of 2015, people have been granted this relief after several years of legal wars between the People of Canada vs. 407 ETR Limited.
The 94.1 mile long King’s Highway 407 is jointly maintained by the Province of Ontario and the 407 ETR Concession Company Limited.
Part of the highway from Burlington to Brougham falls under the care of 407 ETR Ltd. while the rest is maintained by the Province.
People who use this highway are required to pay a toll for its usage.
A toll booth is not present on the highway, but the details of the driver – such as a photo of the license plate or the driver, are captured and you are subsequently invoiced by the company periodically.
People who do not pay their dues to 407 ETR Ltd. are barred from using the road, and more importantly, get their plates denied by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.
This can either be in the form of denial of issuing a renewed license or granting the plate validation stickers which enable you to drive around in general.
The Legal Battle
Since 407 ETR Ltd. started collecting tolls from the highway users, they have been permitted to get the plates of defaulters denied via the MTO.
The process was halted briefly in 2000 due to a high number of inaccurate charges and denials cropping up all over the area, but the process was resumed shortly thereafter.
Before the landmark ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in November of 2015, people who were filed for Consumer Proposals or for Bankruptcy were not exempt from clearing their due to 407 ETR Ltd.
The basic premise of the company’s argument was, without the plates being denied and payments being enforced, they did not have an alternate way to recover due from their users, and manage the upkeep of the highway as expected.
The lawyers representing the general public of Canada however argues that the Federal law insists on a person being able to have a fresh start when they file for bankruptcy or submit a Consumer Proposal.
The whole premise of the people getting a financial relief using these options is that they are able to put behind their past financial dues and start afresh.
With lingering charges, such as those from 407 ETR Limited, they are unable to get the full extent of the relief which they are entitled to under the Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposal laws.
After much deliberation, the Supreme Court upheld the argument of the lawyers representing the people of Canada.
They stated that, under the laws of paramountcy, the federal laws should always take precedence over any other laws or acts in order.
The Act which permits 407 ETR Ltd. collect its dues is not bigger than the federal law which allows a person to gain relief from financial burdens after they have filed for bankruptcy or get a formal consumer proposal drawn up.
About Bankruptcy & Consumer Proposal
The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario denies licence plate validation sticker for drivers who have outstanding ETR bill past due greater than 125 days.
Rates increased in 2019 and again in 2020.
How To Get the Relief Process Started
File a Notice of Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal with 407 ETR.
They will grant relief to the plate holder in the following manner – you will not have to pay the amounts you owe the company up until you file for the notice.
This would include the actual toll amounts, interests, and fees you owe the company.
As long you do not incur any fresh dues with the company after you have been assigned into a Bankruptcy plan, or you have filed your Consumer Proposal officially, your plate will not be denied and you can still continue using the highway.
Another iportant thing to remember is, you need to ensure you do not violate any other traffic or MTO laws, such as earning a parking ticket, which could lead your plate being denied.
Trustee in Bankruptcy or the Proposal Administrator will communicate with 407 ETR Ltd.
For starters, they will file an official copy of the bankruptcy or proposal documents, listing 407 ETR Ltd. as one of the creditors, after which the company will work on adjusting your dues.
407 ETR Ltd. has a dedicated Bankruptcy Department that handles such matter.
If you are looking to expedite the plate denial lifting process, then your representative should communicate the same to them.
Protocol demands that the company notifies the MTO of any outstanding dues.
As soon as 407 ETR Ltd. review your documents and exempt your from making payments to them, they notify the authorities to lift the denial.
However, requests to expedite the process will be handled on a case-to-case basis.
The usual turnaround time listed on the company’s website to process the documents once received is 10 working days.