The first step is to discuss your situation with a licensed Trustee in Bankruptcy. Ask about consumer proposals and bankruptcy
Most Trustees will be happy to meet and make recommendations for your situation.
You cannot file for bankruptcy or make a legal consumer proposal without a Trustee. That is the law.
KNOW THIS: Your trustee is an officer of the Bankruptcy Court. A Bankruptcy Trustee represents your creditors first, even though you are paying for the service. You come second through out the process.
SHOULD YOU FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY
Bankruptcy is not the problem it can be the solution to your financial problems
YOU NEED TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
Do I even need to file bankruptcy?
There are several alternatives to bankruptcy which you should consider first.
They include options like, Consumer Proposal, Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement or a Debt Management Program
Sometimes you can negotiate with your creditors directly to build a better payment plan and avoid bankruptcy.
Can I afford to file bankruptcy?
In Canada, the cost of bankruptcy is at least $1,800. The fee is payable to the trustee for their time. It also includes administration services and the costs associated with filing the appropriate bankruptcy forms with the Court.
Trustee fees are set by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB).
There are ways to get reduced costs if you cannot afford the full fee. Ask a trustee for details
Will I be better off financially if I declare bankruptcy?
Yes. After your discharge, you are no longer legally obligated to repay the debts you owed when you filed for bankruptcy.
You will also feel much better and probably sleep better.
How long will it take for me to recover?
Generally it will take about a year to go through the normal bankruptcy process and get discharged. After that, you can re-establish credit, and move on debt free.
SIGNS YOU MAY NEED TO
Your credit cards are maxed out.
You are only making minimum payments.
You’ve missed a payment or two.
Collection agencies are calling.
You’ve received a wage garnishment or other legal notice of collection.
You don't know how much you actually owe.
You feel overwhelmed and unable to deal with your debts any longer.
If you are in this situation, then bankruptcy or a consumer proposal may be the right solution. Contact a Trustee to find out if this is for you.
What Debts Are Not Cancelled by Bankruptcy?
Student loans that are less than 7 years old (if loans are between 5 and 7 years old, the trustee could make a hardship application to have them included)
Government over payments, e.g. if you were paid too much in EI benefits, you will still need to repay the surplus
Child support payments or arrears
Spousal support / alimony payments or arrears
Court ordered fines and restitution payments
Debts resulting from fraudulent activities
Meet With a Trustee in Bankruptcy
Free Initial Consultation
What you need to bring. What to expect.
The trustee will need enough information about you and your finances to evaluate your situation and recommend a course of action.
Here is a list of items that your trustee will want to review
What Do You Own? Assets
House details including an appraisal to show market value and mortgage balance to show your equity
RRSP and RESP statements;
Details of any other assets you own.
What Do You Owe? Liabilities, Debts
Statements from your creditors (such as your most recent credit card statements)
Mortgage statement (if you own a house);
Loan documents (such as for car loans);
Details of all other debts you owe.
What Is Your Income?
What Are Your Expenses?
Recent pay stubs
Proof of other income such as pensions or child tax credits
A budget showing what you spend each month
Most recent income tax assessment from CRA
Your full legal name (bring a photocopy of your birth certificate, passport, citizenship card )
Your marital status
Any other information requested by your trustee.
Your trustee will advise you if other information is required.
All of this information is required to assess your situation and to take the next steps. Your initial consultation does not create any obligation to proceed.