Bankruptcy can be a scary word but, in many cases, it is the best option to eliminate debt and re-set the odometer on your financial life. In Canada, the bankruptcy process is safe and fully-regulated making it a solid alternative for those who cannot repay their debt.
The licensed insolvency trustees at Remolino & Associates will advise you on the risks and requirements of declaring bankruptcy. Look to us to patiently explain it all in the clearest terms and help you make an informed choice.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a process for eliminating debt, including CRA debt, popular with over-extended individuals and business owners. Governed by the Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, it involves a legal declaration of your inability to pay your debts to your creditors, due to insufficient income or assets to meet your obligations. Most of your personal belongings are exempt from seizure as legislated by the Ontario Execution Act. It’s even possible to keep your car and house when filing for bankruptcy.
What are the benefits and cost?
The main benefit of filing bankruptcy is that all creditor actions stop immediately upon filing. Imagine, an end to the harassing calls, garnishments — and constant fear of legal action.
As a solution to deep financial difficulties, Bankruptcy brings you these advantages:
Elimination of your debt
Protection from creditors, harassing calls and aggressive debt collection tactics
Protection from the threat of all legal action
Immediate halt on any wage garnishments
Release of your frozen bank accounts
Protection for some (or most) of your assets, depending on exemption laws
Credit counselling to help you return to financial health
Most importantly, filing for bankruptcy through Remolino & Associates can bring you peace of mind and a positive way forward, through:
Legal protection while you regain financial stability
The opportunity to eliminate unsecured debt and start fresh, and
Some private debt and credit counselling to guide you and empower your financial future.
What is the Process?
By declaring bankruptcy, you can be legally discharged from most of your debts. Once filed, your non-exempt property is given to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who then sells it and distributes the money among the debtor’s creditors in settlement of the debt.
Step 1 : Set up a confidential appointment with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
According to Bankruptcy law in Canada, bankruptcy can only be filed through a federally licensed trustee. This is where you must start to consider if bankruptcy is right for you — and, if so, take the first steps.
Step 2 : Complete Bankruptcy Forms and Documentation
Work with your trustee to fill out and sign all the necessary paperwork and complete the required government forms. These documents include:
A Statement of Affairs (Form 79) which lists all of your assets, debts, income and expenses, along with personal information including your address, marital status, household size and disposition of assets.
Tip: Be sure to be fully honest and accurate in filling out these forms or it could affect the legality of your filing.
Step 3: Your Documents Are Filed and Your Creditors Notified
Your trustee will electronically file your completed and signed documents with the federal government Once these forms are filed with the Official receiver, you will be considered bankrupt. Your trustee will immediately receive a notification and you will be assigned a file number.
Next, your trustee will notify your creditors, electronically by mail or fax. The process of creditor notification is generally quite fast and collection calls and other actions should stop within a very short time frame. If they do not, speak to your trustee right away about how to proceed.
If your wages are being garnished (or a garnishment order has been issued) your trustee will also immediately notify your employer and the garnishment should also stop as soon as possible.
Step 4: Complete your Bankruptcy Duties
Once you are bankrupt, the process is fairly simple. To obtain your discharge you must complete certain duties including:
Surrender credit cards and certain assets and your credit cards;
Attend two credit counselling sessions;
Provide proof of income and expenses;
Make payments including (if required) surplus income payments;
Provide information needed to file necessary tax returns.
Step 5: Obtain Discharge from Bankruptcy
Most personal bankruptcies in Canada end in an automatic discharge. It can take as little as nine months for a first time bankrupt, with no supplementary income. Your discharge is the most important step, as your bankruptcy discharge is what eliminates your unsecured debts.