Resolving Your Canadian Debt When You No Longer Live in Canada
If you no longer live in Canada, you might still have debts in the country.
You’re living and perhaps working elsewhere, but you still have a responsibility to pay the debts that you accumulated while living in Canada.
Whether or not you are planning to return to Canada, you will likely want to resolve your debts.
It’s especially important to do this if you do intend to return to Canada because it will ensure you protect your Canadian credit.
Sometimes the most appropriate option for dealing with debt is to file bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.
It isn’t necessary to live in Canada or have Canadian citizenship to do this, so it is still possible to resolve your debts in this way if you have emigrated.
To do this, you will need the help of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
A trustee is responsible for carrying out the bankruptcy filing under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
They review your financial situation and decide if bankruptcy or a consumer proposal is right for you.
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee also needs to get permission from the relevant Canadian government authority for a debtor living outside of Canada to file a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.
The trustee helps you to complete the process of filing bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.
Instead of meeting the trustee in person, a phone consultation can allow them to provide you with the necessary advice and guidance.
If you were in Canada, you would sign the necessary documents in person, and the trustee would witness this.
However, if you are outside of Canada, they will provide you with the documents, and you will need to have your signature notarised.
You will then return the documents to the trustee so that they can process them.
Another option is to use a Power of Attorney to file a bankruptcy or consumer proposal on your behalf.
It would be necessary to use a legal professional to prepare the POA and ensure that it is properly authorised and meets all regulations.
One of the responsibilities of someone who files bankruptcy or a consumer proposal is attending credit counselling sessions.
You must attend two of these sessions in order to receive a discharge for your debts.
When you no longer live in Canada, these might be able to take place over the phone, instead of face-to-face.
If there are other meetings that are necessary during the process, there are often ways of dealing with this.
Your presence might not be required, and you can receive communication by phone or in writing.
You could also have a representative in Canada who attends meetings for you.
Living outside of Canada doesn’t stop you from filing bankruptcy or a consumer proposal in the country.
If you need assistance, you can contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to navigate the process with you.
They can help you with how to file when you live abroad.