Personal Bankruptcy Help for Clients in Halifax and Across Nova Scotia
Bankruptcy is a legal process regulated pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act that enables “an honest, but unfortunate debtor to obtain a discharge from his or her debts, subject to reasonable conditions.” Serving clients in greater Halifax and the Annapolis Valley, Golding & Associates is here to assist you with the bankruptcy help and information you need during this very difficult time.
Who can file for personal bankruptcy?
To file for bankruptcy you must:
- owe at least $1000.00
- be insolvent (owe more than you own)
- be unable to pay your debts as they become due
How do I file for personal bankruptcy?
The first step is to meet with a Trustee in Bankruptcy licensed by the federal government who will assess your options. A Trustee in Bankruptcy is the only one who can file an Assignment in Bankruptcy for a debtor. The trustee will help you complete the necessary forms and will file them with the Official Receiver.
What happens when a bankruptcy is filed?
Upon filing an assignment in bankruptcy a “Stay of Proceedings” will go into effect which will stop your unsecured creditors from taking legal steps to recover their debt (ie garnishing wages) and contacting you.
You will have duties you will be required to complete during the period of your bankruptcy. The trustee will provide you with the information you need and help explain this to you in detail at your meeting.
Do I lose everything when I file for personal bankruptcy?
No you do not. There are both provincial and federal exemption laws that allow you keep certain assets included a household furnishings and personal effects, an unencumbered vehicle (up to a value of $6500 if required for work), tools of trade and RRSPS. The trustee will review your situation to determine what exemptions you are eligible to claim. It is not uncommon for people to keep their home and vehicle when they file for personal bankruptcy. The trustee will discuss all of these things with you to determine exactly what applies to your personal circumstances.
How long am I bankrupt?
The length of time it takes to get your discharge from bankruptcy depends on your situation. The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act has several different time frames that apply.
A first time bankrupt will be eligible for an automatic discharge after 9 months if they have no “surplus income” (more about what that is later). If you are required to make surplus income payment payments you would eligible for an automatic discharge after 21 months.
A second time bankrupt will be eligible for an automatic discharge after 24 months if they have no “surplus income”. If you are required to make surplus income payment payments you would eligible for an automatic discharge after 36 months.
If a bankrupt owes more than $200,000 or more in personal income tax debt representing 75% or more of unsecured claims they are not eligible for a an automatic discharge. If someone is a third time bankrupt they are not eligible for an automatic discharge.
What type of debts can be included in a bankruptcy?
Most unsecured debts are erased by the bankrupt’s discharge (ie. credit cards, lines of credit, overdrafts, income tax) except for the following:
- Fines imposed by a Court;
- Debts resulting from misrepresentation;
- Alimony, support or maintenance payments.
- Award of damages by a court for intentionally inflicting bodily harm or sexual assault.
- Student loans if bankruptcy is filed prior to seven years after the study end date.
Will I ever be able to get credit again?
Bankruptcy does affect your credit rating. The debts included in the bankruptcy have an R9 rating with the credit bureau. The fact that you filed for bankruptcy will show up for a period of 6 years from your discharge if you are a first time bankrupt. That does not mean that you will unable to obtain credit during that period. We will discuss credit reestablishment with you during your counselling sessions. There are ways to re-establish your credit prior to it coming off your credit report.
We are here to help clients in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Kentville, and elsewhere in Nova Scotia. If you have any further questions or want further help and information, please feel to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at 902-365-3032 or toll free 1-855-733-3032.
102 Chain Lake Drive, Suite 307
Halifax, Nova Scotia. B3S 1A7
15 Aberdeen Street
Kentville, Nova Scotia. B4N 2M9