Debt Relief in Canada Blog Series Part 3 – Are There Consequences to Filing for Bankruptcy?
There are many options for debt relief in Canada, and one of the most common is bankruptcy. If you have financial problems, bankruptcy may seem like a scary option because of the consequences that many people associate with filing for bankruptcy. Hopefully this article will help you to understand bankruptcy better and determine if in fact it could be an option for debt relief that you should consider.
Bankruptcy is generally filed by people who have limited income or significant debt in relation to their income. Most first-time bankruptcies last either 9 or 21 months. When an individual files for bankruptcy, a trustee in bankruptcy will assess the bankrupt’s household income, assets, liabilities and personal circumstances. Personal circumstances include the number of people in the household and the number of dependents that the bankrupt has. Based on bankruptcy guidelines, if your income, once all factors are considered, is below a specified threshold, then the monthly payments in bankruptcy will last for 9 months. If the income is above a specified threshold, then it will be determined that the bankrupt has surplus income. This will result in higher payments in bankruptcy over a specified period of time, in most cases 21 months.
Some of the pros of filing for bankruptcy are:
- Immediate relief from collection action from unsecured creditors (such as wage garnishments).
- A monthly payment that is less than what you are likely contractually obliged to pay to your creditors now.
- The opportunity for a fresh start to get out of debt in a short period of time, enabling you to rebuild your credit and finances.
Many people don’t know that, in many cases, when you file for bankruptcy you are able to keep your home and vehicle.
Some of the cons of filing for bankruptcy include:
- If your financial situation improves during your bankruptcy you could be subject to additional surplus income. If there was no surplus income when you filed for bankruptcy and your bankruptcy repayment is over 9 months, surplus income during bankruptcy could result in your monthly payment in bankruptcy being extended to 21 months.
- The bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 6 years from the date it is discharged. With that said, most financial institutions will do business with a bankrupt individual who has 2 years of re-established credit after bankruptcy.
- Having a number of assets with equity in them will complicate things. In this case, a consumer proposal may be a better option than bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is a very viable debt relief option in Canada, and while there are some consequences of filing for bankruptcy, in many cases there are many more benefits. Bankruptcy is an option for debt relief in Canada that can provide you with immediate relief, not only from collection action, but also the stress that accompanies a financial problem. If you have creditors that are currently after you, perhaps even suing you, this is relief that can provide you with a breath of fresh air, enabling you to think clearly again and get your personal and financial situation back on track.
For more information about options for debt relief in Canada or to see if you are a candidate for bankruptcy please call DebtCare at 416-903-4000 or visit www.debtcare.ca.