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These questions and answers provide a brief summary of the most common questions asked. However, these questions do not address all the issues that may be applicable to your specific situation. Further questions can be answered by calling Paul J. Pickering and Associates Limited, Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

What is bankruptcy??

Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides immediate relief from most of your obligations when you can’t pay your debts.

How do I file for bankruptcy?

You will need the help of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. The Trustee will review your financial situation with you, prepare documents you need to file for bankruptcy & offer you financial counselling to help you manage your finances effectively in the future.

Will a notice of my bankruptcy be published in the newspaper?

Usually, a consumer bankruptcy notice will not be published.

What are my responsibilities while bankrupt?

Some of your duties include:

  • advising the Trustee of all your assets and debts;
  • giving all your credit cards to the Trustee;
  • attending meetings as required;
  • keeping the Trustee advised of changes in your address, income, employment, and family responsibilities until your discharge.

How long will bankruptcy last?

You are generally eligible for an automatic discharge (no court appearance) as follows:

  • First time with no surplus income 9 MONTHS
  • First time with surplus income 21 MONTHS
  • Second time with no surplus income 24 MONTHS
  • Second time with surplus income 36 MONTHS

Will I lose my assets if I file for bankruptcy?

No. The legislation may allow you to retain the following assets:

  • household furniture and appliances along with personal effects;
  • tools required for your work;
  • your automobile, if it is under specified value;
  • certain life insurance policies, RRSP’S and pensions; and
  • secured creditors can take back assets specifically pledged as collateral for a loan.

When will the creditors stop pressuring me?

Immediately. Your unsecured creditors (to whom you have not pledged specific asset) can do nothing to collect their accounts after you have filed for bankruptcy. If your wages are presently being garnished, your bankruptcy will, in most cases, stop the garnishee.

How will my creditors know I have filed for bankruptcy?

Shortly after you have signed the bankruptcy documents the Trustee will contact your creditors advising them of your bankruptcy. If creditors contact you between the time you file for bankruptcy and the time they are notified of the bankruptcy, you should refer them to the Trustee.

Will filing for bankruptcy affect my credit rating?

Yes. Your bankruptcy will be recorded in the Credit Bureau records. Lending institutions consider your bankruptcy as one of many factors in rating your future credit status.

Will bankruptcy eliminate all my debts?

Bankruptcy eliminates most debts. However, the following obligations will remain after you are discharged from bankruptcy:

  • court imposed fines, penalties, and restitution orders;
  • default on a bail bond;
  • alimony or child/spousal support;
  • debts arising from fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation or fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • Under certain conditions student loans may remain after your bankruptcy.

What does it cost to file for bankruptcy?

The cost for administering a bankruptcy is paid from your existing assets. (An income tax refund is an example of an asset). You may be required to make monthly payments to the Trustee depending on your income and expenses. If you have no assets or surplus income, you can make other arrangements with the Trustee.

Where do I go from here?

Since bankruptcy is allowing you a fresh start, the Trustee will help you with financial counselling so that you can better manage your money in the future.

Is bankruptcy my only option?

No. Depending on your particular situation other alternatives may be more appropriate. These options include:

  • a proposal to your creditors;
  • financial counselling;
  • a debt consolidation loan.

All the options will be discussed in detail when you meet the Trustee.

Where can I get more information?

If you need further information you should consult a Insolvency Trustee who is licensed by the federal government to administer the bankruptcy process.

For more information about bankruptcy, please see Dealing with Debt: A Consumers Guide.
Available from the government of Canada’s web site.

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