Personal Bankruptcy Service in Edmonton, AB
No one wishes to file for bankruptcy but it may be a reasonable option if you find yourself without enough resources to pay for overwhelming debt.
Declaring personal or business bankruptcy can provide you an opportunity to start fresh and settle your obligations as reasonably as possible.
What is Personal Bankruptcy
Personal bankruptcy is declared for a variety of reasons but boils down to when a person (the debtor) is unable, regardless of the reason, to repay their debts.
Initially the debtor will describe their financial situation to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) provide the Trustee with required information including a list of assets.
The Trustee, once appointed by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy regarding your file, is legally required to manage the debtor’s bankruptcy term, usually nine months.
Declaring personal bankruptcy may be the reasonable action to take given the debtor’s specific and unique circumstances
The Bankruptcy Process
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act lays out the requirements for bankruptcy. To qualify, you:
- Must be a resident of Canada
- Are unable to pay your bills when they are due
- Owe more than $1000.00
While a lot of people can make these qualifications, your Trustee may recommend to you the best course of action to deal with your financial situation since there may be other options open to you.
What You Will Need
Once you have chosen your Licensed Insolvency Trustee, you will need to discuss your financial situation with him/her. For this meeting, you should have lists of your creditors and assets, as well as all of your personal information (name, birthdate, address).
After you and your Trustee go over your options, the next step is to review, understand and commit to file for bankruptcy should that be the best option available to you.
Timelines & Expectations
If this is the first time you have filed for bankruptcy, then you will have a nine to 21 month period of bankruptcy.
During this period, there will be a “stay of proceedings”, which means unsecured creditors cannot contact you for payment, begin or continue lawsuits, or implement wage garnishees.
You will also need to attend two financial counseling sessions, teaching you how to manage your budget better.
Your bankruptcy ends when you receive your “discharge”, effectively canceling all your debts. Your discharge might be extended if you are making a surplus income in excess of the income limit set by the government.
This will require a portion of the income to be paid towards your bankruptcy. The discharge can also be extended if this not your first bankruptcy.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Provides legal protection from unsecured creditors
- Halts debt collecting agents
- Ensures essential services
- Eliminates most unsecured debts
- Cost is inexpensive compared to the cost of debt load
- Diminished anxiety about overdue accounts and payments
- Co-signers of loans will be responsible for said loans
- Some debts might still be enforceable (i.e. mortgages)
- Credit cards must be turned over to the trustee
- There will be a notification of bankruptcy included on credit reports
How Debts Are Addressed
Unsecured Debts & Secured Debts
There are two types of debts you can procure: unsecured debts and secured debts. Most unsecured debts are able to be discharged after the set bankruptcy period. Some of these debts include:
- Credit card balances
- Medical bills
- Retail store accounts
- Unpaid utility bills
- Payday loans
However, some unsecured loans which will stay after bankruptcy are:
- Student loans less than seven years old
- Child/spousal support
- Court-ordered fines and debts
Secured debts, like a mortgage on an asset like a car or house, also will not be discharged after the bankruptcy.
Assets & Liabilities
Quite simply, assets are what you own and liabilities are what you owe. Assets can include checking and savings accounts, cars, houses, furniture, or even artwork. Liabilities are debts like mortgages, car payments, and credit card balances.
Knowing your assets and liabilities is a conversation you will have with your Trustee, as selling your assets can be put towards the repayment process determined by your Trustee.
After the nine-month bankruptcy period, unsecured debts will be wiped away and you will no longer owe money towards them.
In most cases, continued non-payment of debt has had an ongoing negative effect on your credit rating. This will continue with the declaration of bankruptcy for up to six years. That said, the balance between overwhelming debt, anxiety and fear of being unable to repay your debts in the foreseeable future, bankruptcy may allow you to step out from under the situation. The Trustee will advise you and provide you with counsel so as to set yourself into a refreshed financial situation.
If you are facing the pressures of debt overload be sure to talk to us. Not only will we provide expert advice and knowledge to guide you through a difficult time, but we can help you to re-set your financial future.