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Bankruptcy in Ontario: find a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

Posted on 2 February 2023

Written by Chris Galea

Declaring bankruptcy in Ontario

You have probably landed on this page because you are considering filing bankruptcy in Ontario. Perhaps you are struggling financially, and finding it challenging to keep on top of payments in a world where the cost of living is fast increasing, as well as ongoing interest rate hikes. Just like many other Canadians, you likely need a debt relief solution in order to begin a fresh financial future free from the stresses of unmanageable bills.

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How does bankruptcy work in Ontario?

In Ontario – and the rest of the country – bankruptcy is a legal form of debt relief for insolvent individuals. For debtors who find themselves in tough circumstances in need of a fresh financial start, bankruptcy can clear your unsecured debts. Bankruptcy in Ontario is the process of assigning any non-exempt assets you may have over to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee – or bankruptcy trustee – in exchange for the clearance of your debts. Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will support you by reviewing your income, expenses, and assets in order to plan out your bankruptcy. They will also help you to establish whether or not you have surplus income to account for. This will determine how long your bankruptcy may be. Most elements of bankruptcy in Ontario are applicable throughout Canada, except the assets that may be exempt from bankruptcy which we will cover in more detail on this page.

Advantages of bankruptcy in Ontario

There are many advantages of filing bankruptcy in Ontario – here, we share each of them to help you prepare for the steps in resolving your debt issues. One of the first steps in doing so is to find a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Ontario to help you process each of your options. They will review your circumstances and recommend the best step for you to take. As an Ontario resident, you should be confident about going through the process of gaining debt relief and beginning a fresh financial future. Here are the key advantages of bankruptcy in Ontario:

  • Clearance of your unsecured debt
  • Protection from creditors via a stay of proceedings, meaning no more phone calls and an end to any threats of legal action like a wage garnishment
  • It does not affect your spouse where relevant, or their credit score
  • A relatively low-cost form of debt relief that enables you to keep some of your assets including your car. If you have non-exempt assets, they will be sold by your Licensed Insolvency Trustee, with the proceeds going to your creditors

Ontario bankruptcy exemptions

A key reason for consulting a Licensed Insolvency Trustee about bankruptcy in Ontario is because each province in Canada has its own list of bankruptcy exemptions. These are items you can keep when filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy exemptions are in place because bankruptcy is a way of starting a fresh financial future. It would not be helpful to end up with nothing, including your home or work materials. Ontario’s Execution Act and Regulations are updated every five years and tell you what you can keep when filing bankruptcy in Ontario. Currently, you can keep the following:

  1. Any clothing for you and your dependents, without limit
  2. Household furnishings up to $14,180
  3. Tools and property used for work to a maximum of $14,405 (or $31,279 for farming, including livestock and tools)
  4. A motor vehicle up to a value of $7,117
  5. Your home, provided its equity is less than $10,783
  6. RRSP and RRIF savings, except contributions made within the last 12 months
  7. Medical aids and devices for you and your family

How to file bankruptcy in Ontario

There are a few steps to take when it comes to filing bankruptcy in Ontario:

  • Book a free consultation with a reputable Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Legally, they are the only professionals who can file bankruptcies and have years of training and experience in finding appropriate insolvency solutions for both debtors and creditors
  • Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will review your financial circumstances and see whether or not a bankruptcy alternative may be more appropriate. Your initial meeting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee should be no-obligation and free
  • If you decide to file bankruptcy, you will need to share your financial details including income and expenses with your Licensed Insolvency Trustee who will begin preparing the paperwork for your bankruptcy
  • Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will share your bankruptcy obligations, including attending credit counselling sessions and submitting your monthly income. They will also inform you of the length of your bankruptcy, any assets that will be seized, and how they will be collected. Learn more about assets in bankruptcy
  • You and your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will sign the paperwork, and it will then be submitted to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy – at this point, the bankruptcy becomes official. You will be protected from your creditors via a stay of proceedings
  • Once your bankruptcy period is over, provided you have completed your bankruptcy obligations, you will receive an absolute discharge from bankruptcy. At this point, you are freed from your debts and able to begin life after bankruptcy

How to find a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Ontario

At Spergel, our Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Ontario are experts on bankruptcy in Ontario, as well as other forms of debt relief. They are fully licensed and qualified by the Canadian government, and specialize in bankruptcy and bankruptcy alternatives like consumer proposals. Unlike other bankruptcy firms, at Spergel you will be assigned your very own Licensed Insolvency Trustee from the beginning of the process, instead of passing you from person to person. You can book a free consultation with one of our Licensed Insolvency Trustees to support with any of your questions on bankruptcy in Ontario. Simply find the nearest Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Ontario to you, and call to book your free, no-obligation consultation, or find a Licensed Insolvency Trustee near me.

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Why you should work with a bankruptcy trustee in Ontario

There are plenty of reasons you may wish to work with an Ontario bankruptcy trustee (or Licensed Insolvency Trustee). Canadians living in Ontario have discovered that a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help them move forward and begin a fresh financial future, free from the stresses of overwhelming debt. In fact, many wish they had reached out to Spergel sooner. Our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Ontario are with you each step of the way. Here are some of the reasons you may want to work with a bankruptcy trustee in Ontario:

  • Free consultations. We understand you probably do not wish to pay for something else on top of mounting debt. At Spergel, you will be assigned your very own Licensed Insolvency Trustee to review your financial circumstances and explain all of your debt relief options in a way that is easy to understand. There is no pressure in these consultations – simply a chance to understand the pathways you can take.
  • Experienced and highly qualified Licensed Insolvency Trustees. All our bankruptcy trustees in Ontario have degrees and accounting qualifications. Before they are able to qualify, they have to study for an intensive course across a number of years. They are also investigated by the RCMP before receiving their licenses. At Spergel, we have helped over 100,000 Canadians on their journey to debt relief, and have experience of assisting with all kinds of scenarios.
  • Bankruptcy trustees do not work for creditors. Contrary to popular belief, Licensed Insolvency Trustees do not work for creditors. In fact, their entire role is based around ensuring both debtors and creditors are represented and respected fairly.
  • Licensed Insolvency Trustees guide you through the debt relief journey. We understand that the thought of filing bankruptcy or a consumer proposal can feel intimidating. That is why each of our Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here for you – to guide you through the process, and explain each step of the journey to you without jargon. They will help you to understand and do what they can to ensure you are discharged from bankruptcy in a timely manner.
  • A Licensed Insolvency Trustee will protect you. As they are regulated by the Canadian government, Licensed Insolvency Trustees will provide protection from your creditors, and are legally required to act on your behalf. This means that as soon as you file bankruptcy in Ontario, a stay of proceedings is generated which offers official protection from creditors.
  • Licensed Insolvency Trustees will share all of your debt relief options. Bankruptcy trustees in Ontario do not handle just bankruptcies. In fact, Licensed Insolvency Trustees will look at all of your available debt relief options and advise you on the best path for you and your situation.

At Spergel, we understand that bankruptcy in Ontario may seem overwhelming, yet with the help of our Licensed Insolvency Trustees you can feel confident you are in the right hands. Book a free, no obligation consultation today for the debt relief guidance you need if you think bankruptcy may be right for you. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can put your mind at rest – you owe it to yourself.

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Chris Galea

Chris Galea is a Chartered Accountant and Insolvency and Restructuring Professional with over 20 years’ experience as an LIT (Licensed Insolvency Trustee). He is also our resident expert on tax debt, COVID debt, and the region of Saskatchewan, Canada. When he’s not at the office educating people about bankruptcies and consumer proposals, Chris is playing pick-up hockey with his friends, spending time with his family, and learning Spanish!

Schedule a Free Consultation with Chris Galea (or your local Spergel LIT) by:

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