Financial problems can arise at any time and for a variety of reasons: marital break ups, loss of employment, or too much consumer credit. When faced with financial problems beyond ones control, many people need a source of information that is easily accessible without causing additional stress and embarrassment.
We recognise these needs and have designed this website to explain the terms, duties, and responsibilities of a person who declares bankruptcy.
Who Qualifies for Bankruptcy?
Any individual or company who resides or carries on business in Canada whose liabilities to creditors amount to at least $1,000 and is unable to meet their obligations as they generally become due;
- Have ceased paying current obligations in the ordinary course of business as they generally become due; or
- The total of all a persons property sold at fair market value, would not be sufficient to enable the debtor to pay all their debts;
- A person or company meeting the above requirements technically would qualify for bankruptcy.
Types of Debt Services
Bankruptcy is the legal process that a person, either an individual or a corporation, can enter into which will allow them to absolve themselves of their debts. In Canada, the Canadian bankruptcy system is governed by a federal act, so it is the same in all provinces, called the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. (“BIA”) The BIA outlines a system that allows the debtor the ability to go through a process, to be able to rid themselves of insurmountable debt, and then come out the other side and make a fresh financial start.
What is the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. (“BIA”)
The BIA outlines the rights and responsibilities of debtors & creditors , the federal government department who oversees the Canadian bankruptcy legislation, as well as trustees in bankruptcy. A trustee in bankruptcy is the only one in Canada who has legislative authority to deal with personal or corporate bankruptcy, or administering the proposal process where a debtor can offer to settle with creditors for less than the amount of debt outstanding.
A Consumer Proposal is an agreement reached between you and your creditors for partial payment of your total unsecured debt. This binding agreement sets out the portion of the outstanding debt that you are responsible to pay and the portion of your debts that the creditors will agree to ignore (or write off). Generally, a debtor can expect to write off at least 50% to 75% or more of their debts and not be subject to ongoing interest charges, however each situation is unique. If you are considering bankruptcy but are somewhat uncomfortable with this choice, a Consumer Proposal may be your debt solution.
It is important to understand your options and what help is available to you in Nova Scotia. Your FREE consultation meeting with an Insolvency Professional will review your individual situation to see if a Consumer Proposal is right for you.
Proper Credit Counselling
Credit counselling is a ‘loose’ term that can be used in many ways to describe debt help. For example, a “credit counsellor” can review your financial situation and help to develop a repayment plan. This individual can be working for a “for profit” or a “not-for profit” agency where they may get funding from your creditors, require you to pay a fee, or take a percentage of the payments that you make to them. Thus, the term “credit counselling” or “credit counselor” in Canada is unregulated and any financial advisor can use this term to describe the debt services they are offering.
However, When dealing with a Trustee in Bankruptcy in Canada, you are ensured that the individual you are dealing with is licensed with the Federal Government of Canada and is held to federal licensing rules and regulations. Therefore as a debtor, you are getting proper professional assistance in developing strategies for proper financial and debt management as well as trained educators and counsellors to debt stressors such as marital break-ups, creditor calls, loss of employment, etc.
The 2 stages of Counselling sessions :
1) At the first counselling session, the trustee will review
- Money management and proper budgeting.
- Warning signs of financial problems
- Spending and shopping habits
- Proper use of Credit
2) Second Counselling session
The second counselling session will be at least 30 days after the first and the trustee will review with the debtor the issues outlined at the first counselling session and discuss their options moving forward.
If you have any questions about bankruptcy we encourage you to read through this site, and use our contact form to reach out a professional in Nova Scotia.