What Happens if I File a Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal as a Human Resources Professional?

If you hold a CHRP, CHRL, or CHRE designation and wish to file for bankruptcy or a consumer proposal, you are required, by law, to notify the Office of the Registrar of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) immediately of your filing. This requirement applies to both new and existing members.

As stated in the Registered Human Resources Professional Act (2013), subsection 40 (2):

A member who or firm that experiences a bankruptcy or insolvency event shall notify the Registrar in accordance with the by-laws.

A bankruptcy or insolvency event is when:

  1. A Member or firm becomes bankrupt
  2. A Member makes a proposal to creditors
  3. A proceeding is brought against a Member as an insolvent debtor
  4. A receiving order is made against a firm
  5. Any other event specified by the by-laws

If you are a student, you are obligated to report if your firm is experiencing a bankruptcy or insolvency.

Requirement to Provide Documents

In addition to providing notice, you may be required to provide any of the following documents to the Registrar:

  1. Documents relating to the bankruptcy
  2. Documents detailing your financial circumstances
  3. A declaration allowing the Association to access documents or information relating to the bankruptcy or insolvency event, from a licensed insolvency trustee, the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, or an official receiver

The Registrar will then send all documents and information to the Review committee. The Review committee will consider the cause of bankruptcy and your conduct as a Member. They will also consider whether your bankruptcy puts at risk the interest of:

  • Any client or employer
  • Any other party or parties adversely affected by the bankruptcy, insolvency, or proposal

The committee will also look at the number and nature of your affected creditors; whether there was any associated criminal or civil liability on your part, with respect to your bankruptcy; your financial situation at the time of review; and the date you expect to be discharged from your bankruptcy.

From there, the Review committee can ask the Registrar to hold a hearing or investigation. The committee could ask that you provide the documents and information listed above, or they can simply take no further action.

If the committee holds a hearing, they will want to determine whether your bankruptcy poses or may pose a risk of harm to any person. If your filing does, then the committee may suspend your membership, impose restrictions on your right to practice in the field, or make any other order other than revoking your membership that they find appropriate.

Can I Avoid Reporting My Bankruptcy as a Human Resources Professional?

No. Failing to report your bankruptcy represents professional misconduct and may be subject to a complaint against you as a Member. A complaint may then result in a referral to the Discipline Committee.

For specific questions about your financial situation and its potential impact on your professional designation, the HRPA suggests contacting the Office of the Registrar.

If you are struggling to repay your unsecured debt, contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for a free consultation and review of your debt relief options.

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