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Declaring Bankruptcy in BC

How To Claim Bankruptcies in BC

Understanding Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal process for individuals or businesses unable to meet their debt obligations. In BC, the process is governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). Filing for bankruptcy gives you a fresh financial start while providing a fair means to compensate your creditors under the supervision of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT).

Step 1: Assess Your Financial Situation

Before deciding on bankruptcy, evaluate your financial situation. This includes listing all your debts, assets, and monthly expenses. Consider alternatives such as debt consolidation, a consumer proposal, or credit counseling.

Step 2: Consult a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

You must consult a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, as they are the only professionals authorized to administer bankruptcies in Canada. The LIT will review your financial situation, explain your options, and advise on whether bankruptcy is the best course of action.

Step 3: Complete the Required Paperwork

If bankruptcy is your best option, the LIT will provide you with the paperwork to start the process. You’ll need to disclose all your assets, debts, income, and expenses. The LIT will use this information to prepare the necessary documents for filing with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB).

Step 4: Filing for Bankruptcy in BC

Once the paperwork is completed and signed, the LIT will file it electronically with the OSB. Upon filing, you are officially declared bankrupt, and a stay of proceedings is put in place. This means unsecured creditors cannot take legal action against you to collect debts, and most collection activities, including wage garnishments, must stop.

Step 5: Fulfilling Your Duties

During bankruptcy, you have certain obligations, including:

  • Attending two financial counseling sessions to help you manage your finances in the future.
  • Providing monthly income statements to your trustee, who will determine if you need to make surplus income payments, based on standards set by the OSB.
  • Surrendering non-exempt assets to the LIT. BC has specific exemptions that may allow you to keep certain assets.

Step 6: Discharge from Bankruptcy

The duration of your bankruptcy and when you can be discharged depends on several factors, including whether it’s your first bankruptcy and if you’re required to make surplus income payments. A first-time bankrupt without surplus income obligations can be eligible for discharge in as little as 9 months. Your LIT will guide you through the process and inform you of your specific timeline.

After Bankruptcy

After discharge, you are released from the legal obligation to repay most of the debts you had at the time of filing for bankruptcy. However, some types of debts are not discharged, such as alimony, child support, and certain other debts.

Declaring Personal Bankruptcies in BC

Claiming personal bankruptcy in BC is a significant decision with long-term financial and legal implications. It’s crucial to seek advice from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to understand all your options and the bankruptcy process thoroughly. For more detailed information and to find a LIT in BC, visit the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada website or the British Columbia section of the Bankruptcy Canada website.

Benefits of Bankruptcy/Consumer Proposal in British Columbia

If you’re facing serious debt issues and are wondering whether you should file for a bankruptcy or consumer proposal in British Columbia (or anywhere in Canada for that matter), it’s best to seek expert guidance from a licensed insolvency trustee. They can guide you in the right direction after evaluating your unique situation and recommending the course of action that’s best suited for resolving your debt issue. 

That said, it’s important to note that filing a bankruptcy in BC may be a good idea in some cases. Here are some advantages of filing for a bankruptcy instead of a consumer proposal in British Columbia or anywhere else in Canada: 

Advantages of Declaring Bankruptcy in BC:

  1. While bankruptcy is by no means an easy solution, it does provide closure by giving you the opportunity to make a fresh start financially. Depending on your situation, you can be discharged of almost all unsecured debts some of which include credit card balances, medical bills, unsecured personal loans and lines of credit, arrears of income taxes, and overdue insurance premiums.
  2. You will be allowed to keep property if it’s exempt from bankruptcy. 
  3. Relief from debt collectors is one of the biggest advantages of filing for bankruptcy. Once the ‘automatic stay’ is in effect, creditors cannot call, sue, or harass you to recover their debts. While no one looks forward to declaring a bankruptcy, it allows you peace of mind.

While bankruptcy offers some advantages, it may not be the best solution for everyone. Depending on your situation, you can also consider filing a consumer proposal in British Columbia, after seeking guidance from a bankruptcy trustee in BC. It has a less severe impact on the credit rating and allows you to keep more of your assets.

Although personal bankruptcy in Canada is governed by federal legislation called the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act, what you get to keep if you go bankrupt in British Columbia, for example, is governed by provincial legislation. The rules are complicated, and that’s why before you decide to file bankruptcy in British Columbia, you should consult a knowledgeable expert on bankruptcy British Columbia law.

We have compiled a list of Licensed Insolvency Trustees licensed by the federal government in British Columbia, that are also members of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP). This means they are subject to the highest ethical standards.

Money problems won’t go away on their own. For help with bankruptcy in British Columbia, fill out the form below for a free initial consultation.

If you would rather not wait and want to call directly, follow these easy instructions to get help:

1. Look at the list below, or use the search box to find the city, or location, nearest you
2. Call the phone number to book a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation
3. You’ll be put in touch with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who will explain all options to help you
4. Your meeting will initially take place on the phone or online
Abbotsford1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Armstrong1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Burnaby1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc
Campbell River1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Castlegar1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Chilliwack1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Colwood1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Comox1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Coquitlam1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc
Courtenay1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Cranbrook1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Cumberland1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Dawson Creek1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Delta1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Duncan1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
East Kootenays1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Esquimalt1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Fernie1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Fort Nelson1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Fort St. John1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Gulf Islands1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Haida Gwaii1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Hope1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Kamloops1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Kelowna1-866-369-6331Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Kimberley1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Ladner1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Ladysmith1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Lake Cowichan1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Langford1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Langley1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc
Lytton1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Maple Ridge1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Merritt1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Metchosin1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Mission1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Nanaimo1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Nelson1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
New Westminster1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Oak Bay1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Osoyoos1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Parksville1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Pemberton1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Penticton1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Pitt Meadows1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Port Alberni1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Port Coquitlam1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Port Hardy1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Port Moody1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Powell River1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Prince George1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Prince Rupert1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Qualicum1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Quesnel1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Revelstoke1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Richmond1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Saanich1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Salmon Arm1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Shawnigan Lake1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Sooke1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Sparwood1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Squamish1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc
Surrey1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc
Terrace1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Tofino1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Trail1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Tsawwassen1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Ucluelet1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Vancouver (North)1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc
Vancouver1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc
Vernon1-866-369-6331Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Victoria1-250-984-8345Bromwich & Smith Inc.
Whistler1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
White Rock1-778-800-6420Smythe Insolvency Inc.
Williams Lake1-855-912-8995Bromwich & Smith Inc.

For your next step, you can:

  • Contact any of the professionals above and arrange for a free initial consultation.
  • Email your personal questions to a British Columbia Licensed Insolvency Trustee near you, who will respond to your questions in confidence.