Personal Bankruptcy Services in Edmonton, AB
No one wishes to file bankruptcy during their lifetime, but it is an option if you find yourself without enough resources to pay your debt. Declaring personal bankruptcy can provide you with an opportunity to start fresh and get your credit back where it needs to be.
What is Personal Bankruptcy?
Personal bankruptcy is declared when an individual (also known as a debtor) is unable to repay their debts for a number of reasons.
The Bankruptcy Process
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act lays out very general requirements to be considered 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
What You Will Need
- Once you have met with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, together, you will review your entire financial situation. The method of debt resolution he or she may suggest to you will be determined by your particular circumstances. For this meeting, you should have lists of your creditors and assets, your personal information (name, birthdate, address) and provide your Trustee with detailed income and expense information.
After you and your Trustee go over your options, the next step is to have documents prepared for signature to file for bankruptcy should bankruptcy be the decided debt resolution.
Timelines & Expectations
If this is the first time you have filed for bankruptcy, then you will be in a state of bankruptcy for nine to twenty-one months.
During this period, there will be a “stay of proceedings”, which means unsecured creditors cannot continue to pursue payments, begin or continue lawsuits, or garnish wages.
You will also need to attend two financial counselling sessions regarding money management issues.
Your bankruptcy ends when you receive your “discharge”, effectively freeing you from all your debts. Your period in bankruptcy might be extended if you are making a surplus income in excess of the income limit set by the federal government. This may also require a portion of the income to be paid towards your bankruptcy.
The discharge may also be extended if this is not your first bankruptcy.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Personal Bankruptcy
- Provides legal protection from unsecured creditors
- Halts debt collecting agents
- Ensures essential services such as gas, water, etc.
- Eliminates most unsecured debts
- Cost is inexpensive compared to the amount of debt owing
- Co-signers on loans will become responsible for said loans
- Some debts might still be enforceable (secured creditors)
- Credit cards must be turned over to the Trustee
- Credit rating, already affected for up to six years, will include a notification of bankruptcy on all 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 can be discharged after the set bankruptcy period. Some of these debts include:
- Credit card balances
- Bank Loans
- Unpaid utility bills
- Payday loans
However, some unsecured loans will not be released upon discharge including:
- Student loans less than seven years old
- Child/spousal support
- Court-ordered fines and debts
Secured debts, like a mortgage on real estate or a car loan will also remain in place notwithstanding filing for bankruptcy unless the asset is foreclosed or repossessed.
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.
The value of your assets and liabilities is a conversation you will have with your Trustee. Many assets, however, are exempt from the bankruptcy pursuant to provincial law.
After the nine-month bankruptcy period, unsecured debts will be wiped away and you will no longer be responsible for them.
Declaring bankruptcy may or may not significantly affect your credit rating. Usually insolvent individuals already have delinquent accounts which negatively affect their credit bureau standing. That said, it is an opportunity for you to set yourself on the right path towards improved financial planning and financial independence.
A.C. Waring & Associates Inc. can help you make a plan to get out of your financial difficulties. Call us now and get started.