Filing A Consumer Proposal Or Bankruptcy From Outside Of Canada

Initiating A Consumer Proposal Or Bankruptcy Process From Abroad

Lodging a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy application from a foreign country is feasible if you’re an expatriate Canadian.

This article presents a comprehensive guide on how to execute your insolvency proceedings as swiftly and proficiently as possible.

Initial Steps For Filing From Outside Canada

The preliminary step involves connecting with a Trustee to ascertain if they would be willing to handle a case where the client is domiciled overseas. Not all Trustees are comfortable with such engagements.

Once the Trustee agrees to represent you, the next step is to set up a consultation meeting via video or telephonic mode.

Analyzing Financial Condition

The Trustee requires a thorough examination of your debts, income & expenses, and your assets to determine if a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy proceeding is the optimal solution for your financial predicament.

By scrutinizing these three elements, the Trustee can estimate the costs for each option and provide a clear picture of their impact on your credit and assets.

It is crucial to provide the following details prior to your consultation meeting to ensure an accurate assessment of your financial scenario is made.


Remember, the accuracy of the advice from a Trustee largely depends on the quality and completeness of the information provided by you.


List of Creditors

A comprehensive list of all your creditors globally is required. It should include the name, mailing address, current balance and account number of each creditor.

Your debts could include credit cards, bank overdrafts, lines of credit, payday loans, default cellphone contracts, vehicle loans, mortgages, debt owing to the Canada Revenue Agency, and personal loans owed to friends and family.

It is also essential to notify the Trustee about any co-signed debts, as it influences the advice you receive from the Trustee.

Proof of Income

You need to furnish recent paystubs and bank statements to validate your income from employment, government benefits, investments, etc. This applies to your global income.

Financial Assets

If you own financial assets like life insurance, RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, company pension plan, mutual funds, brokerage account, etc., the most recent statements should be made available to the Trustee. Statements of financial assets outside of Canada are also required.

Motor Vehicle

Ownership and insurance certificates for any vehicles like car, motorcycle, boat, etc., owned by you need to be provided to the Trustee.

Real Estate

For all of your real estate holdings worldwide, you need to provide the title deed, most recent property tax bill, and most recent mortgage statement.

Income Tax Assessments

Your most recent Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency and recent assessments of income from the country where you’re currently residing should be provided. For instance, if you’re working in the United States, you can access your IRS tax account online.

Photo Identification

A government-issued photo ID is required for the Trustee to verify your identity and legal name.

These documents should be sent to the Trustee ahead of the consultation meeting.

Consultation Meeting With Trustee

The consultation meeting, conducted via video or phone call, will take around 30 to 45 minutes given all the necessary documentation has been provided beforehand.

The Trustee will discuss your options, including filing for personal bankruptcy or a consumer proposal. He will also explain the costs of each option and their impact on your credit and assets.

Legal Documentation

After deciding on filing a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy, the Trustee’s office will prepare the necessary legal documents which you will need to sign.

These documents will be sent to you (usually by email), and you can sign them under the Trustee’s guidance via video or telephone.

Some documents need to be witnessed or notarized, so a witness and a notary public should be present during the signing process.

After signing, the original documents need to be sent back to the Trustee’s office. Once the Trustee receives the original documents, your consumer proposal or bankruptcy can be filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) who will then appoint your Trustee.

Upon this, your proposal or bankruptcy is officially filed and the Trustee will notify your creditors by sending them copies of the signed paperwork.

Canadian Residency Requirements

As per the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA), which governs how bankruptcies and proposals are filed and administered, you can only file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy if you are a resident of Canada.

But, for the BIA, you are a resident of Canada if:


  • You have conducted business in Canada in the past year, or
  • You have been a resident of Canada within the past year, or
  • The majority of your assets are in Canada.


Even if none of these conditions apply, you are still considered a resident if you have debts in Canada, which is supported by case law.

In-Person Consultation Meeting Requirement

As per the BIA, the initial consultation meeting between a Trustee and debtor needs to be conducted in-person.

However, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy can grant an exception to this rule upon the application of the Trustee, as specified in paragraph 16 of Directive No. 6R3 – Assessment of an Individual Debtor.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.