Bankruptcy: Help and Advice
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Getting A Fresh Start
No one wants to be in a position where they need to file for personal bankruptcy. However, sometimes it is the best way to deal with debt when there is no other option. Bankruptcy isn’t the end of the world, in fact, it may just be what is needed to get a fresh start by breaking the chains of debt.
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal process that is designed to help a person eliminate their debts when they are unable to repay them. At the end of the bankruptcy process, a person’s debts are discharged (a fancy way of saying that the debts are wiped out). The person is given a fresh start.
It is important to know that bankruptcy in Canada can only be filed with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee such as Chande & Company Inc.
What Happens When You File Bankruptcy?
When a person files for bankruptcy they are given automatic protection from their creditors. This protection is known as a stay of proceeding. Creditors can no longer continue or start collection actions against you, they cannot garnish your wages or pursue any legal actions against you to collect what is owed.
What does this protection from creditors mean to you?
- They can no longer contact you (collection calls stop)
- They cannot garnish your wages
- They cannot sue you or take you to court; and
- They must deal with us.
Who Can File For Bankruptcy?
In Canada, in order to file for bankruptcy, you must meet certain conditions. The conditions are:
You must be insolvent (this is a fancy way of really saying that you are unable to pay your debts as they come due);
You owe at least $1,000 and
The value of your assets (if any) is less than the value of your debts (the money that is owed to your creditors).
Not All Debts Get Eliminated In Bankruptcy
In most cases, all unsecured debts will be eliminated including CRA tax debts. Common unsecured debts include:
- credit cards
- lines of credit (unsecured) and overdraft
- pay day loans (and other high interest short term loans)
- student loans (over 7 years old)
- various taxes (personal income taxes, HST/GST, etc)
Secured debts are debts in which the lender has taken collateral of the asset. Examples would include mortgages and vehicle loans. These debts do not get affected in a bankruptcy because in order to keep the asset, the borrower will continue to make the payments.
The most common debts that do not get eliminated in a bankruptcy include:
- child support payments
- spousal support payments
- student loans less than 7 years old (please click here to learn about the special rules related to student loans)
- debts incurred in a fraudulent manner
Do I Have Other Options If I Do Not Want To File For Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy may be the right option for some people, however, it is not the only option. For many people, a consumer proposal may be a better alternative when dealing with debt challenges. A consumer proposal provides all of the protection that a bankruptcy provides, however, it allows you to avoid filing for bankruptcy but still eliminate the majority of your debt. To learn more about consumer proposal, please click here.
Still unsure if bankruptcy is the right debt solution for you? Get in touch with us for a free, no-obligation, consultation and we will review your current position, go over all of your debt relief options and help you be on your way to becoming debt free.
Interested In Finding Out More?
Book a free, no obligation consultation with us today!