Navigating financial turmoil can be a daunting task, especially when you’re living abroad. This guide will shed light on how to file for a consumer proposal or bankruptcy outside of Canada and what you need to keep in mind.
Whether you’re a former Canadian resident currently based overseas, or a Canadian citizen with significant financial obligations, understanding the process of Filing From Outside of Canada – Consumer Proposal, Bankruptcy is crucial. This guide aims to simplify that process and provide pertinent information to help you navigate your way through.
Understanding Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposal
Before delving into the process, it’s vital to understand the difference between a consumer proposal and bankruptcy. A consumer proposal is a legal agreement facilitated by a licensed insolvency trustee where you agree to pay creditors a percentage of what you owe over a certain period. On the other hand, bankruptcy involves surrendering your assets in exchange for discharging most of your debts.
Eligibility for Filing from Abroad
It is absolutely possible to file for a consumer proposal or bankruptcy from outside of Canada. However, not all trustees may be open to handling such cases. The first step is to reach out to a trustee and confirm their willingness to manage your case.
To assess if a consumer proposal or bankruptcy is the best solution, the trustee will need to review your debts, income and expenses, and assets. You need to provide this information before your consultation meeting. A detailed list of your creditors, proof of income, financial assets, motor vehicle, real estate, income tax assessments, and photo identification are some of the key documents required.
Remember, the advice a trustee provides is only as accurate as the information you provide.
The Consultation Process
The consultation process can be done via video or telephone and usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, provided you’ve supplied all the required documents beforehand. The trustee will outline your options, the cost of each, and their impact on your credit and assets.
Signing of Legal Documents
Once you decide to file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, the trustee’s office will prepare the necessary legal documents. You’ll need to print, sign, and send these documents back to the trustee’s office. Certain documents may need to be witnessed or notarized.
Canadian Residency Requirements
Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, you can only file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy if you are a resident of Canada. You are considered a resident of Canada if you’ve conducted business in Canada in the past year, been a resident of Canada within the past year, or have the majority of your assets in Canada.
In-Person Consultation Requirement
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act requires the initial consultation meeting between a trustee and debtor to be conducted in-person. However, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy can grant an exception to this requirement upon the application of the trustee.
Navigating a consumer proposal or bankruptcy from abroad can be a complex process, but with the right information and guidance, it can be managed effectively. It’s essential to provide accurate and thorough information to your trustee to receive the best possible advice and solution.