Canadian Bankruptcy Law

What is the Law in Canada?

Bankruptcy and insolvency law is a federal law that is governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).

It is overseen by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy and, in the case of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, administered by Licensed Insolvency Trustees.
Bankruptcy Law in Canada

Canadian insolvency law provides for summary bankruptcy (personal bankruptcy), business bankruptcy and consumer proposals, which is an offer to your creditors to repay a portion of what you owe, to extend the time you have to repay your debt, or a combination of both of these that is conducted under the BIA and administrated by a licensed insolvency trustee (known as a consumer proposal administrator in this case).

The bankruptcy laws in Canada also lay out the bankruptcy process across the nation.

Insolvency Laws in Canada

Individuals and businesses that are facing financial problems can take advantage of many insolvency laws to get a fresh start.

Bankruptcy is a federal law, although there are some parts of the law that are put in place by your province or territory.

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For example, the bankruptcy exemptions – the assets that you are allowed to keep when going bankrupt – are set by each province.

Bankruptcy & insolvency laws in Canada were written to give you and your creditors protection and to ensure that your creditors are treated fairly and your rights are respected.

With a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) you can solve your financial difficulties and clear your unsecured debts.

Credit card debt, lines of credit, back taxes and payday loan debt can be eliminated by going bankrupt.

Federal Insolvency Law

The BIA (Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act) is the legislation that governs all federal rules and regulations regarding going bankrupt.

The BIA governs all bankruptcies in Canada, and was enacted by the Canadian government to provide honest but unfortunate debtors solve their money problems and get a fresh financial start.

Federal law also provides the CCAA (Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act) which preserves the rights of creditors of certain businesses and corporations.

Provincial Bankruptcy & Insolvency Laws

Although insolvency law in Canada is federally regulated, some provinces have their own rules in addition to the federal regulations governing insolvency proceedings such as consumer proposals.

In addition, each province sets its own exemptions on assets that are seized in a bankruptcy.

Provincial law can be explained by a LIT in your local area.

Unfortunately, secured creditors are not dealt with when going bankrupt as only unsecured debts are covered by the laws.

Alberta Laws Regarding Insolvency and Going Bankrupt

Alberta includes a Civil Enforcement Act and we provide more information about Alberta insolvency law.

AB provides an Orderly Payment of Debts Program.

British Columbia Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law

BC provides a Court Order Enforcement Act and we provide more information about BC insolvency law.

Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Manitoba

Manitoba law includes an Executions Act and a Judgements Act and we provide more information on Manitoba bankruptcy & consumer proposal law.

New Brunswick Insolvency Laws

In New Brunswick there is an Memorials and Executions Act and Bankruptcy Canada provide more information on NB bankruptcy and insolvency law.

Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador insolvency law provides a Judgement Enforcement Act and we have provided more Newfoundland and Labrador insolvency law information.

Bankruptcy & Consumer Proposal Law in Nova Scotia

Read Nova Scotia’s the Judicature Act and visit our page on Nova Scotia bankruptcy and insolvency law to learn more.

Nova Scotia provides an Orderly Payment of Debts Program.

Ontario Insolvency Laws

Ontario’s Executions Act provides information on Ontario bankruptcy and we have listed more information on our bankruptcy and insolvency law in Ontario page.

PEI Bankruptcy & Insolvency Laws

Information on Prince Edward Island insolvency and law is provided in the Judgement and Execution Act and you can read more here.

Prince Edward Island provides an Orderly Payment of Debts Program.

Insolvency & Bankruptcy Help Law in Quebec

Quebec provides more information on insolvency laws in the Code of Civil Procedure, or you can visit our Quebec insolvency law page.

Bankruptcy & Consumer Proposal Law in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan has an Exemptions Act and a Farm Security Act and we provide more information on our Saskatchewan bankruptcy and insolvency law page.

SK provides an Orderly Payment of Debts Program.

Northwest Territories Insolvency Laws

NWT has an Exemptions Act and we give you more information on Northwest Territories laws regarding bankruptcy.

Yukon Insolvency Law

Yukon has an Exemptions Act that provides more information and we have listed information on Yukon bankruptcy and insolvency law on our page.

Nunavut Insolvency Law

Read Nunavut’s Exemptions Act for more information, or visit our page about Nunavut insolvency law.

Do I need a bankruptcy attorney?


While in the United States you need a lawyer to file bankruptcy, in Canada you can only go bankrupt or make a consumer proposal with a bankruptcy trustee, as only a Trustee in Bankruptcy is licensed to administer to insolvency; a practicing lawyer cannot file a bankruptcy or consumer proposal for you.

A bankruptcy attorney in Canada is needed if you need help securing a bankruptcy discharge, among other services.

To file a consumer proposal you must work with a trustee, but there are different laws for making a debt proposal to your creditors.

Get More Information From a Licensed Bankruptcy Trustee

The insolvency laws can be complex depending on your personal situation so it is important you contact a licensed insolvency trustee to speak over your financial troubles.

Call 1-877-879-4770 toll free.

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