How Long Do Receiverships Last?

An In-depth Look at Receiverships in Canada: How Long Do They Last?

Receivership is a legal process involving a third-party entity, aptly named a receiver, taking control of a company’s assets and operations in order to repay outstanding debts. This article delves into the intricacies of receiverships in Canada, with a special focus on their duration.

1. Understanding Receiverships

1.1 Defining Receivership

Receivership is a legal tool, used primarily by secured creditors, to recover dues from a secured loan if a company defaults on its payments. In addition, it can also be employed in shareholder disputes to complete a project, liquidate assets, or sell a business.

1.2 Types of Receiverships

In Canada, there are two kinds of receiverships: court-appointed receiverships and private receiverships. The former involves a court assigning a receiver to manage and dispose of a debtor’s assets. The latter sees private receivers appointed by secured creditors to manage and sell a business debtor’s assets outside of the court system.

2. Key Players in a Receivership Process

In the realm of receiverships, several key players play pivotal roles. These include:


Borrower: The property owner who cannot meet their loan obligations or is facing financial distress.

Lender: The secured lender, typically a financial institution, who triggers the receivership action to reclaim their interest in the property and recover their debt.

Receiver: A neutral third party, a licensed insolvency trustee, who is either privately or court-appointed to manage the property and steer it towards sale or resolution.

Court: The judicial power that approves or denies the receivership request, outlines the terms and conditions for the receiver’s appointment and supervises the receivership process.

Law Firm: Legal practitioners who represent the lender, the borrower, and the court-appointed receiver.

3. Receivership Duration in Canada

The span of receiverships in Canada can greatly vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. However, a rough estimate would be a few months to over a year.


4. Factors Influencing Receivership Duration

The length of a receivership in Canada is influenced by a multitude of factors, including:


  • The complexity of the case;
  • The number and nature of the assets involved;
  • The level of cooperation among all parties;
  • The efficiency of the court system.


Other considerations may be the availability of skilled professionals to manage and sell the assets, the extent of creditor involvement and negotiations, and the overall economic and market conditions during the time.

5. Court Supervision in Receivership

Court supervision, a key component of court-appointed receivership, aims to ensure the receiver acts in the best interest of all parties involved and adheres to the court’s orders. It serves as a platform for any aggrieved party to present their dispute to the court for resolution.

6. Termination of Receivership

A receivership concludes when the court believes the receiver has fulfilled their duties and objectives or when the appointment of the receiver isn’t needed anymore. The court ends a receivership by court order after approving the receiver’s final report and accounts.

7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Receiverships

Receiverships, being complex, often raise a myriad of questions. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked queries about receiverships in Canada:

7.1 What are the differences between bankruptcy and receivership?

While both are legal processes, receivership seeks to secure the rights of secured creditors, facilitating the control and eventual sale of a distressed company’s assets. Bankruptcy, however, offers a financial safety net to unsecured creditors, allowing a company in fiscal difficulty to either reorganize its affairs or liquidate its assets under the guidance of an insolvency trustee.

7.2 What happens during a receivership process in Canada?

During the receivership process in Canada, a receiver manages a company’s assets and operations, eventually selling these to settle the company’s debt to creditors.

7.3 How does a receiver sell a business or assets?

A receiver can sell a business or assets in several ways. They could advertise the assets for sale through a tender bid sales process, liquidate assets through a public auction, hire a professional business broker, or sell the entire asset package to the public in the case of retail store assets. The ultimate aim is to get the best price for the assets or business under the current circumstances.

7.4 How does a creditor apply for receivership in Canada?

In Canada, secured lenders can apply for receivership by submitting an application to the court or by privately appointing a receiver through a security instrument by way of an appointment letter. Receivership allows a secured creditor to take control of and sell the debtor’s property and assets to recoup their secured debt.

7.5 Can a receivership be stopped or avoided?

Although difficult, receivership can sometimes be stopped or avoided through negotiation with secured creditors, debt restructuring or refinancing, or finding alternate funding sources. However, the feasibility of these options heavily depends on the specific circumstances of each case.

7.6 How does a creditor enforce a secured loan in Canada?

In Canada, a creditor can enforce a secured loan by appointing a receiver either privately or through the court process. Once appointed, the receiver will seize and sell the secured assets to recover the amount owed.

7.7 What are the legal options available to recover outstanding loan payments?

To recover outstanding loan payments, creditors can resort to several legal options, including sending demand letters, filing a lawsuit, obtaining a judgment, and using collection methods such as wage garnishment or asset seizure.

7.8 How long does the bankruptcy process take in Canada?

The length of a corporate bankruptcy process varies greatly depending on the unique and complex nature of each situation. However, it could be a year or more from the start of the bankruptcy until the licensed insolvency trustee is discharged.

7.9 How do I liquidate assets in Canada?

To liquidate assets in Canada, you can list them on the public market, find a buyer privately, or enlist the help of a professional broker or financial adviser.

7.10 What are the consequences of not paying off secured loans in Canada?

In Canada, if you fail to pay off a secured loan, the lender has the right to reclaim the collateral you put up, such as a car or a house.

8. Conclusion

Receiverships in Canada, though complex, can be navigated with a solid understanding of their intricacies. If your company is under financial pressure and facing the threat of receivership, it’s important to seek professional advice immediately.

The experts at Bankruptcy Canada can help you navigate these difficult financial issues and offer you practical, actionable solutions. With their experience in helping companies avoid bankruptcy and in restructuring finances, they can provide you with a personalized strategy to get your business back on track.

Contact us today for a no-cost consultation. Starting Over Starts Now.

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