Examination of Bankrupt- What You Need to Know

What exactly is a bankruptcy examination?

Bankruptcy laws in Canada allow for an individual who has filed for bankruptcy to be questioned, or examined, under oath.

If you are asked to undergo this process, you will be asked a series of questions while under oath.

Questions may be asked by a representative of the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OBS), known as the Official Receiver, your LIT (licensed insolvency trustee) and creditors. 

How common is examination?

Figures suggest that around 1 in every 300 people who file for bankruptcy will be asked to attend an examination.

In most cases, individuals are selected by the Official Receiver at random, but if you have an extremely high level of debt, the chances of being chosen will be higher. 

What is the purpose of a bankruptcy examination?

There are two main reasons why the Official Receiver requests an examination of the bankrupt.

These are:

 

  1. To allow the Official Receiver to question the individual about their financial conduct, to gather information about their financial history and to ascertain information about specific transactions or outstanding debts. 
  2. To provide useful data about the general state of insolvency across Canada, to spot emerging trends related to borrowing and to collect feedback from debtors about their experiences with licensed insolvency trustees. 

 

What to expect at a bankruptcy examination

If you are undergoing examination by an Official Receiver, this will usually take place in a government building.

It’s crucial to attend this meeting, as the request will form part of the duties required to discharge the bankruptcy.

You will be given advance notice of the examination date and time to allow you to make arrangements. 

In some cases, a debtor may also be questioned by a LIT and by creditors.

These cases are very rare, and they usually only arise when the bankruptcy is extremely complex, or there is a suspicion that the individual has not disclosed all their assets.

A creditor has the right to question the debtor under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

The prospect of being examined under oath may seem daunting, but if you have provided accurate information and answered all the questions honestly, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

It’s also essential to remember that very few people will be asked to attend an examination.

In the vast majority of cases, you can file for bankruptcy and have your bankruptcy discharged without having to go to court or be examined. 

Summary

Canada’s bankruptcy laws permit an examination of the bankrupt, which involves the debtor answering questions from an Official Receiver under oath.

It is very rare for individuals who are filing for bankruptcy to be examined, but there is a possibility of being called to provide answers under oath.

If you have any questions about examination, or you’re looking for expert advice about filing for bankruptcy, don’t hesitate to get in touch

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