What to Expect during Personal Bankruptcy
Personal bankruptcy is typically a voluntary decision. Upon filing an assignment into bankruptcy, any assets you have that are not subject to government exemptions will vest with the Trustee. The Trustee will then realize on the assets for the general benefit of your creditors. The cost to file a bankruptcy is governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and varies depending on your unique case. A credible Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Vancouver can offer helpful guidance through this complex process.
How Does a Licensed Insolvency Trustee Help?
Licensed Insolvency Trustees, including their fees, are regulated by the government to handle various debt solutions for individuals facing significant financial trouble. Upon filing a bankruptcy or consumer proposal, most creditors are legally obligated to stop all collection activity. There are various alternatives to personal bankruptcy, but if you decide on this course of action, you will be responsible for completing an application form and providing all necessary documents to your Trustee prior to meeting to file the assignment into bankruptcy.
What Can You Keep and What Is Exempted?
Despite declaring personal bankruptcy, an individual does not need to relinquish everything he or she owns. Property exempt from seizure varies from province to province. The exemption for equity in your primary home in the Greater Vancouver area is $12,000 ($9,000 elsewhere in the province). Other exemptions include unencumbered household goods to a maximum value of $4,000, tools of the trade to a maximum value of $10,000 and a motor vehicle to a maximum value $5,000 (or $2,000 if individuals have neglected child care or maintenance payments). Generally, clothing deemed necessary, medical aids and RRSP’s (less any contributions made for a year prior to filing), are also exempt. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee will help you determine which exemptions you are eligible to claim.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Last?
Most individuals who are filing for personal bankruptcy for the first time are discharged after nine months. However, this is extended to 21 months if your income is over a certain limit. For those who have previously declared bankruptcy, the term of the bankruptcy will last for 24 to 36 months depending on your income level. Personal bankruptcy will impact your credit score and may impact potential future employment opportunities, as well as your ability to receive loans. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Vancouver can help clarify this.
During the term of your bankruptcy you will be required to take two financial counselling sessions, submit monthly income and expense reports, provide the trustee with your income tax information, make your required payments and generally assist the trustee. In some cases, a bankrupt may be required to attend a meeting of creditors or an examination with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Failure to perform your duties as a bankrupt will result in you not being eligible for an automatic discharge from bankruptcy.