Important Facts About Personal Bankruptcy
No-one wants to go bankrupt, but sometimes applying for bankruptcy is the best way to deal with debt and get a new start. As an Ontario bankruptcy trustee firm helping individuals eliminate debt since 1999, Hoyes, Michalos believes there are several facts to know about when deciding whether or not you should declare bankruptcy.
What is Personal Bankruptcy?
Personal bankruptcy is a legal process in Canada legislated under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act that will eliminate most of your debts. A bankruptcy is filed with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who ensures that the rules and laws around the bankruptcy process are applied fairly to both the debtor and creditors.
Who Qualifies to File Bankruptcy?
To be eligible to file bankruptcy in Canada you must:
- owe at least $1,000 in unsecured debt
- be insolvent (which means you are unable to pay your debts as they come due or you owe more than you own), and
- you must either reside, do business, or have property in Canada.
You do not need to be a citizen to file bankruptcy. You can be a permanent resident or even live abroad but have property here.
Bankruptcy Does Not Mean You “Lose Everything”
When declaring bankruptcy in Ontario, most personal belongings are exempt from seizure by law. It’s even possible to keep your car and house when filing for bankruptcy.
Declaring Bankruptcy Means A Fresh Financial Start
Bankruptcy provides immediate protection from creditor actions, known as a ‘stay of proceedings’. Collection agencies and creditors stop calling. Wage garnishments will stop.
As part of the bankruptcy process, two credit counselling sessions will help you learn to manage your money and rebuild credit. At Hoyes, Michalos we offer a free ‘for clients only’ website to help support you through this learning.
You Could Be Eligible for an Automatic Discharge in 9 Months
A discharge from bankruptcy eliminates your debts.
If you are a first-time bankrupt with no surplus income, have completed all of your duties and if no creditors object, you could begin your life debt free in just 9 months.
There are Alternatives to Bankruptcy
A consumer proposal might be a better solution for you. As one of Ontario’s largest consumer proposal administrators, we have the experience to help you choose between claiming bankruptcy and making a debt proposal to creditors.
Evaluate your alternatives to bankruptcy with our Debt Options Calculator.
Should You Claim Bankruptcy?
If you are struggling with debt, get advice with a no-charge meeting with one of our licensed insolvency trustees (the new name for Canadian bankruptcy trustees) so we can sit down with you and determine if filing an Ontario bankruptcy is the right solution for you.
At Hoyes, Michalos and Associates we are proud to be a team of understanding professionals who are experts in bankruptcy, consumer proposals and all Ontario debt relief options.