How Do I Claim Bankruptcy in Canada?

How Do I Claim Bankruptcy in CanadaClaiming bankruptcy in Canada can be a daunting process. However, understanding the steps involved can help you navigate it with confidence. This guide will walk you through the process, from evaluating your financial situation to rebuilding your credit score.

Evaluating Your Finances: Do You Need to File for Bankruptcy?

Before you consider filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to assess your financial situation. Ask yourself: Is bankruptcy my only option, or are there less drastic measures I could consider? Each person’s situation is unique, but certain signs indicate the need for financial intervention.

  • Missed mortgage or loan payments
  • Relying on credit card cash advances to cover bills
  • Constantly maxing out your credit cards
  • Receiving calls from collection agencies
  • Legal action against you for debt collection

If any of the above scenarios apply to you, it might be time to explore debt relief options.

Seeking Help: The Role of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) is a professional authorized to administer insolvency proceedings. They can stop ongoing legal and collection actions, including lawsuits and garnishments. In Canada, only an LIT can perform these tasks.

Bankruptcy is only one possible debt solution. Your LIT will explain the merits and outcomes of various options available to you. You can contact your local LIT for a free consultation to discuss the best debt solution for your unique situation.

Filing for Bankruptcy: The Paperwork

Filing for bankruptcy involves completing a number of forms, such as:

  1. An “Assignment” form, declaring that your bankruptcy trustee is taking control of your property for the benefit of your creditors.
  2. A “Statement of Affairs” form, listing your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.

You will also need to provide supporting documents like tax returns, proof of income and expenses, and proof of any assets owned by you. Your LIT will register your bankruptcy with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

Remember, while your trustee prepares paperwork from the information you provide, the accuracy and completeness of this paperwork is your responsibility.

Meeting Your Bankruptcy Commitments

During the bankruptcy process, you will be required to fulfill certain duties:

  • Counselling: Your LIT will help you build better financial habits through budgeting and money management counselling.
  • Reports: You must file monthly reports on your income and expenses.
  • Payments: You may be required to pay for equity in assets, surplus income, and administrative costs.
  • Taxes: Your LIT will file your personal income tax return for the year of bankruptcy.

The Process Finishes: Bankruptcy Discharge

The final step in bankruptcy is the discharge. Upon completion of your duties, you will be eligible for discharge in nine months or longer, depending on your situation. This means that you will be released from the obligation to pay the debts you had when you filed bankruptcy.

Moving On: Rebuilding Your Credit Score

With your debt burden relieved, you can now work on re-building your credit score. This will be an important topic of discussion during the mandatory counselling sessions with your LIT.

Conclusion: Becoming Debt-free with Bankruptcy

Claiming bankruptcy is usually a last resort, but it may be the right debt solution for you. It provides relief from your debt burden and helps you start living your life again. If you want to learn more about the bankruptcy process or alternative debt solutions, contact your local LIT to book a free consultation.

Remember, filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision and should not be taken lightly. Always seek professional advice before making such a decision.

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.