How Long Does it Take to File Bankruptcy in Canada?

How Long Does it Take to File Bankruptcy in Canada?

Understanding the Duration of Filing Bankruptcy in Canada

Declaring bankruptcy in Canada is not an immediate solution to eliminate your debts. Instead, it’s a process, with a series of steps that unfold over a certain period. Let’s explore how long does it take to file bankruptcy in Canada? and the factors that influence this timeline.

Entering Bankruptcy: A Process, Not an Instant Solution

Upon filing for bankruptcy, your debts don’t vanish instantly. Instead, you merely initiate the bankruptcy process. During this period, your creditors can’t demand payment directly, but you continue to pay them indirectly through your bankruptcy trustee.

Your debts are cancelled only at the discharge of your bankruptcy, which occurs some months after the initial filing. However, it happens only if you fulfill all the bankruptcy duties specified in your bankruptcy agreement.

Factors Influencing the Duration of Bankruptcy

The duration of the bankruptcy process is influenced by several factors:

  • Whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy before
  • Your diligence in fulfilling your bankruptcy duties
  • Other factors

In most cases, bankruptcy can resolve your debts quicker than a low-interest debt consolidation loan or a consumer credit counselling program. However, other debt solutions like debt settlement or a consumer proposal might resolve your debts quicker than bankruptcy.

The Normal Automatic Discharge

In Canada, the majority of bankruptcies are automatically discharged after a period of nine months. Thus, most people can quickly move on after filing for bankruptcy.

The Extended Automatic Discharge

First-time bankruptcy filers required to pay surplus income to their bankruptcy trustee spend a total of twenty-one months in bankruptcy. If it’s your second bankruptcy, the automatic protection lasts for twenty-four months. If you’re required to pay a surplus income, it extends to thirty-six months.

The Non-Automatic Discharge

Some circumstances can prevent the automatic discharge from going through as expected. These include:

  • More than two past bankruptcies
  • When a creditor challenges your bankruptcy
  • Failure to meet your bankruptcy duties

Keeping these factors in mind can help you decide whether you should file for bankruptcy.

Why Wait for a Discharge?

Other debt relief options don’t require you to wait for a discharge and let you know exactly when you’ll be debt free.

Bankruptcy Guide

For more information on bankruptcy, refer to the following resources:


Understanding how long does it take to file bankruptcy in Canada? is crucial for anyone considering this route. Remember, it’s not an instant solution but a process that requires diligence and patience. Always explore all your options before deciding on this significant financial decision.

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