How Do I Find Out If Someone Who Owes Me Money Has Filed Bankruptcy?

Finding Out If Someone That Owes Me Money Has Gone Bankrupt?

A common question that many individuals and businesses ask when they’re trying to recover debt is, “How do I find out if someone who owes me money has filed bankruptcy?” It can be a complicated process, but this comprehensive guide aims to simplify it.

Overview of Bankruptcy

In essence, bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows individuals or businesses struggling with debt to get a fresh start. However, when a debtor files for bankruptcy, it can significantly impact their creditors.

Understanding the Bankruptcy Database

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) in Canada keeps an online record of all insolvency filings, including bankruptcies and proposals, since 1978. This database is a valuable resource for creditors seeking information about a debtor’s bankruptcy status.

What Information is in the Database?

The database consists of various pieces of information about the debtor and the bankruptcy, including:


  • The debtor’s name and address;
  • Date of the filing;
  • Date of the bankrupt’s discharge (if applicable);
  • Trustee’s name, address, phone number;
  • Date of the trustee’s discharge (if the administration of the file is complete).


How to Conduct a Search

You can conduct a search of the database at a minimal cost of $8. Keep in mind that this fee is payable even if there is no record matching the name being searched. To minimize costs, be as specific as possible when entering search criteria.

How Bankruptcy Affects Creditors

When someone files for bankruptcy, it can significantly impact their creditors. Here’s what to expect:


Automatic Stay: Once a bankruptcy filing is made, an automatic stay comes into effect, preventing creditors from pursuing the debtor for repayment.

Debt Discharge: If the debtor’s bankruptcy gets discharged, the debtor is no longer legally obligated to pay back their debts. This can result in creditors receiving less than the full amount they are owed.


How to Recover Your Money

If you find out that a debtor has filed for bankruptcy, there are still ways you can attempt to recover your money:


Submit a Proof of Claim: This is an official form creditors fill out to prove that the debtor owes them money. If accepted, the creditor may receive some payment from the bankruptcy estate.

Attend Creditors’ Meetings: Creditors have the right to attend these meetings and ask the debtor questions about their financial situation.

Object to the Discharge: If you believe the debtor has committed fraud, you can object to the discharge of the debt they owe you.



Finding out if someone who owes you money has filed bankruptcy can be a challenging process. However, with the right resources and information, you can navigate the situation effectively. Remember, it’s always wise to consult with a legal professional if you have specific questions or concerns about a debtor’s bankruptcy.

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