How to File for Bankruptcy in Ontario

Filing Bankruptcy in Ontario: A Complete Guide

Bankruptcy, though a last resort, is a viable solution for those drowning in a sea of debt. If you’re located in Ontario and considering this option, this guide will walk you through the process of filing for bankruptcy.

Understanding Bankruptcy

The first thing to understand is that bankruptcy is a legal process governed by federal laws. In Ontario, it can only be initiated through a licensed insolvency trustee.

Bankruptcy provides you with immediate protection from your creditors, halts any legal actions like wage garnishments, and sets you on the path to eliminate your debts. However, it also significantly impacts your credit score, so it’s imperative to seek professional advice before proceeding.

Step 1: Assess Your Financial Situation

Before you decide to file for bankruptcy, it’s crucial to examine your financial circumstances. Here are some indicators that might suggest bankruptcy is an appropriate solution:


  • Missed mortgage or loan payments;
  • Relying on credit card advances for bill payments;
  • Receiving threatening calls from collection agencies;
  • Notice of legal actions to collect debts.


If these situations sound familiar, it might be time to explore some debt relief options, including bankruptcy.

Step 2: Contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

Once you’ve assessed your financial situation, the next step is to reach out to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. They’re the only professionals authorized to administer government-regulated insolvency proceedings. These trustees can stop ongoing and pending legal actions, provide financial advice, and guide you through the bankruptcy process or suggest other alternatives.

You can contact a trustee for a free initial consultation.

Step 3: Filing the Bankruptcy Paperwork

If you decide to proceed with bankruptcy, your trustee will assist you with the necessary paperwork. This includes an assignment, where you declare that the trustee is taking control of your assets for your creditors’ benefit, and a statement of affairs that lists your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.

Your trustee will file these documents electronically with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, notifying your creditors about your bankruptcy.

Step 4: Duties During Your Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is not the end of your responsibilities. During the bankruptcy period, you’re required to:

  • Provide tax information for filing outstanding tax returns;
  • Submit monthly proof of income;
  • Attend credit counseling sessions;
  • Make required contributions to your bankruptcy estate;
  • Surrender non-exempt assets;
  • Complete other duties as requested by the trustee;
  • Failure to perform these duties can prolong your bankruptcy period or even result in court penalties.

Step 5: Receiving Your Bankruptcy Discharge

Upon successful completion of your duties, you will be discharged from your bankruptcy. This discharge releases you from the legal obligation to repay the debts covered by your bankruptcy. The duration of your bankruptcy depends on several factors, including whether it’s your first bankruptcy and whether you have surplus income.

Step 6: Moving Forward

Being discharged from bankruptcy marks the start of your journey to rebuild your financial health. It’s essential to inculcate better financial habits, which can be fostered through the mandatory counseling sessions with your Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

Remember, bankruptcy is a significant step with lasting implications. It’s crucial to explore all your options and seek professional advice to make an informed decision.


Knowing how to file for bankruptcy in Ontario is the first step towards regaining control over your financial woes. With this comprehensive guide, you should have a clearer understanding of what the process entails. However, remember to consult a Licensed Insolvency Trustee before making any decisions.

Bankruptcy might seem daunting, but with the right guidance and support, you can navigate through it and start afresh.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

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