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How to file bankruptcy online in Canada

Posted on 21 July 2022

Written by Gillian Goldblatt

Wondering how to file bankruptcy online in Canada? Thankfully, filing bankruptcy or a consumer proposal online yourself is now possible in Canada with Spergel. Due to the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) updated its guidelines to allow online filing. The new regulations now allow bankruptcies and consumer proposals to be filed remotely, online and by phone, through video-conferencing and electronic signatures. This means that Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) can continue serving the public in a more convenient manner. This is significant, as in the past such formal meetings to file bankruptcy were always required to be held in person for an assessment of the situation. These changes may be particularly helpful to young Canadians (under 34 years of age) and those from diverse communities – especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC). According to a COVID-19 Impact Poll commissioned by TD Bank, these groups have been most likely to experience significant financial impacts during the pandemic. In this article, we will share how to file bankruptcy online in Canada with Spergel.

How to file for bankruptcy online

If you are struggling with overwhelming debts and think that a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal is the right form of debt relief for you, first of all you should book a free consultation with an experienced Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Filing bankruptcy online is very similar to filing bankruptcy in person, except now the whole process can be done online. It essentially means that any specific duties and requirements during a bankruptcy or consumer proposal that previously required the debtor to attend the Licensed Insolvency Trustee’s office in person – like examination, or credit counselling – can now be done remotely. When filing bankruptcy online in Canada, you will still need to meet a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, as they are the only professionals in Canada legally able to file all forms of debt relief. Although it is easy to do a lot of things independently online, you are not able to file for bankruptcy or a consumer proposal online on your own – you will still need a team. What has changed is how you access and interact with that team. Digital tools now allow Licensed Insolvency Trustees to advise you and share documents more quickly and easily. Here are the steps to take when it comes to how to file for bankruptcy online:

  • Find a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in your location, who will help advise you on how to file bankruptcy online. Each province has slightly different rules and regulations for the bankruptcy process.
  • Book a free consultation with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. When you book with Spergel, we will ensure you are connected to the correct office for your region.
  • Walk through your financial situation with your Licensed Insolvency Trustee. They will review your debts, including any credit card debt, tax debt, or student loan debt you may have with your creditors.
  • Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will then share the debt relief solutions you may qualify for. They will advise you on which may best protect your assets, including your home, car, and so on.
  • Should you and your Licensed Insolvency Trustee decide that either a consumer proposal or a bankruptcy is the best option for you, you will receive an electronic copy of the required paperwork to your email.
  • Once you have read through all of the documents, asked any questions you have, and resolved any concerns, you just need provide an electronic signature. This finalizes the online bankruptcy or consumer proposal application.
  • Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee now has the power to contact your creditors and make their stop their harassing collection calls via a stay of proceedings. It will also immediately end any wage garnishments.
  • If you file bankruptcy, just like an in-person filing, you need to complete two mandatory credit counselling sessions. These can also be done via video conference or phone call as part of filing bankruptcy online.

How long your bankruptcy lasts will depend on each individual’s financial circumstances. Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will be able to estimate how long your bankruptcy will take during your first meeting. Learn more about life after bankruptcy.

Looking at bankruptcy alternatives

One of the first steps of filing a form of debt relief online is the assessment you will have with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee – at reputable bankruptcy firms, these initial consultations are free, and without obligation. This session will usually take an hour and will be an assessment over the phone or via video chat with an experienced Licensed Insolvency Trustee. This is a great opportunity to run through your financial circumstances, and to discuss your debt relief options. Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will also advise you as to the best debt relief solution for you. At Spergel, we will never assume you will file bankruptcy – in most circumstances, bankruptcy is a last resort. We will learn about your budget, your debt, your assets, and your needs and share some options, including:

A debt management plan

If you are able to repay your debts in full, as well as an additional handling fee, a debt management plan may be a good option for you. Led by credit counselling agencies, a debt management plan is a consolidation program to help those with small debt obligations to create a repayment plan with their creditors. Fees are typically 10% of your overall debt. Ensure you can make your full repayments, as debt management plans are often referred to Licensed Insolvency Trustees when debtors realize they cannot afford to pay their debts in full and need a reduction or clearance of their debt instead.

A debt consolidation loan

You may qualify for a debt consolidation loan. It is a new loan that is taken out to condense multiple separate loans. It has the benefit of simplifying your debts, and will often mean a reduction or elimination of interest. Whether or not you qualify depends on the stability of your income, your assets, and your credit score.

A consumer proposal

If neither of the above options is feasible for you, filing a consumer proposal may be more appropriate. A consumer proposal is a legal form of debt settlement. Filed by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, you will propose an affordable amount to repay on your debt which will be negotiated with your creditors. It can often lead to a reduction in your debt by up to 80%. Another advantage of consumer proposals is that you can keep your assets, and they can also be filed online.

A bankruptcy

If none of these options work for you, filing a bankruptcy online is a great way to clear your debts and begin a fresh financial future. Governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, you can file personal, small business, or corporate bankruptcies. At Spergel, we will help you learn how to file a bankruptcy online in Canada, prepare your documents, and have video calls to review them. You can then simply sign these documents digitally and we will submit them to the government.

What are the advantages of filing bankruptcy online in Canada?

At Spergel, we will help you learn how to file bankruptcy online, from your enquiry right through your discharge from bankruptcy. Filing online makes the process simpler and more convenient, while ensuring you still get the support you need throughout the process. The sooner you file, the sooner you can be relieved of the stresses of overwhelming debt. Here are some of the advantages of filing bankruptcy online:

  • The convenience of filing online, meaning you get the full support of the Spergel team from the comfort of your home
  • Your debt is instantly and completely eliminated
  • Collections agencies stop calling immediately, thanks to a stay of proceedings
  • Wage garnishments are stopped immediately
  • Peace of mind and better sleep without the weight of debt hanging over you

Before filing a bankruptcy, you need to be aware of some of the disadvantages of doing so also:

  • Your credit score will be lowered
  • You may face challenges obtaining new credit for at least six years
  • You will potentially have to forfeit some of your assets (depending on your situation)
  • An obligation of filing bankruptcy is attending two credit counselling sessions, which will be led via video-conferencing at your convenience

Rest assured that when filing bankruptcy online with Spergel, we still offer our high standard of servicing. While video-conferencing and digital signatures make the process much more convenient, our mission is still to put our clients first in receiving a fresh financial future.

At Spergel, we are here to help you discover how to file bankruptcy online. Our expert Licensed Insolvency Trustees will review your financial circumstances and explain your debt relief options. We will then walk you through the entire debt relief process online. Book your free consultation today, and learn more about our client reviews to see what our customers have to say about their experiences with us.

Gillian Goldblatt

Gillian Goldblatt

Gillian Goldblatt is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Insolvency and Restructuring Professional. She is also an award-winning LIT (Licensed Insolvency Trustee) and Vice-Chair of the Ontario Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Practitioners Board. As Spergel's resident expert on debt consolidation and financial literacy, you can find Gillian being interviewed regularly on popular Canadian news programs when she's not at the office helping individuals and businesses get back on track.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Gillian Goldblatt (or your local Spergel LIT) by:

Phone 1-877-501-4321 (toll-free)

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Email (hello@spergel.ca)

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