Filing For Bankruptcy in Halifax

You can turn to our Trustees for help.

What is bankruptcy?

The term bankruptcy means you are insolvent or experiencing insolvency (unable to pay your bills as they generally come due) and in need of legal protection from your creditors. It’s a Canadian legal process where a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (Court officer) prepares documents and submits them to the Federal government. The filing of these documents protects you from creditors. The monthly required payments stop. The interest stops and most legal actions such as garnishments also stop. You will be required to attend two credit counselling session with the trustee during the period of bankruptcy which are designed to teach you about money management and credit history rebuilding. You will also be taught to do monthly budgets. After a determined period of time, you are eligible to be discharged from your debts if you have performed all your required duties. Your debts will be eliminated and you get a fresh start.


Who can file for bankruptcy?

If you owe at least $1,000 and you can’t pay your bills when they become due you can file bankruptcy in Canada. There are a few exceptions but most people can file if they meet these criteria.


Do I have to try other debt solutions before I file bankruptcy?

Many people think you have to try debt consolidation, credit counselling or a consumer proposal before they file for bankruptcy or they wont be accepted. Nothing can be further from the truth. If you know you can’t afford to pay back most of the debts over a period of time, a bankruptcy may be the fresh start you need to rebuild your future.   


How long will I be in bankruptcy?

Most people can expect the experience to last 9 months from start to finish. However, if you have a higher household income according to a Federal table, you could be a 21 month process. Our Licensed Insolvency Trustees will explain this in detail when we meet. The timeframe is not impacted by the amount of debt but rather the amount of household income. If you have been bankrupt before, the process will take a minimum 24 months. If you have a higher household income, the process could take 36 months or more.   At the end of the term, after attending credit counselling sessions, submitting monthly budgets and cooperating, you are eligible to be released legally of your debts.


Can I file for bankruptcy a second time?

No one wants to file bankruptcy a second time, but it happens. The law allows you to file again. However, as discussed above, it will be a longer process than the first time.


Who will find out about my bankruptcy?

There is no reason for us to notify your employer unless you are being garnished and we need to stop the garnishee. Your creditors will be notified and who else you tell is up to you.  


Will my creditors stop calling me?

Yes. Once the creditors are notified by us, they must stop calling. Salyzyn will deal with your creditors.


Can I keep my car?

If your car is paid for, you are able to keep a vehicle worth up to $6,500 if you need it for work. If you have a car loan and you are up to date, the creditor will allow you to keep the car.


Can I keep my house?

Most people who file for bankruptcy keep their home but this can be a complicated discussion if there is equity or if you are in arrears.  Being able to keep your house may depend on various factors and every situation is different. We will discuss your home at the free consultation.


What about my credit rating?

Your credit will be affected because you are asking for a protection from your creditors. Credit is important but you can rebuild it. The first bankruptcy shows at the credit bureaus 6 years after your discharge. That doesn’t mean it takes 6 years to get credit. Creditors want to give you credit in the future so they can make money. Remember,  you will come to two financial counselling sessions (credit counselling sessions) during the bankruptcy where will teach you how to use credit wisely in the future and how to rebuild your credit.


What about student loans?

If you have left school more than 7 years ago, your student loan debts can be discharged. If you have only left school 5-7 years ago it gets a bit more complicated and requires a discussion with the trustee at our free consultation.  If you left school recently or are presently in school, the student loans may not be eligible to be discharged. Again, the trustee will explain this in greater detail when we meet.

We have four convenient offices in Dartmouth, Bedford, Kentville, and Enfield (non-resident). Our team serves residents in the Annapolis Valley, Greater Halifax, and Nova Scotia. If you needhelp filing for bankruptcy, learn how to get started below. 

Learn How To Get Started

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