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I have read all the information on this helpful site including the blog, but I have a question I would like answered if possible before seeing a trustee. My current situation is I am unemployed, living with my parents in Ontario, unsecured debt of approx. $60,000, and no assets. I lost my job approx. 15 months ago and have yet to find a new one in my field.

After losing my job I cashed in my RRSPs and used my severance to trade stock options and futures unsuccessfully. I then used credit card advances to trade before moving on to using credit card deposits at internet gaming sites to play poker and wager on sports events. After I exhausted credit cards that would accept gaming transactions I gambled with a bookie and withdrew what was left on my credit card as cash advances to cover losses. These advances were all within the last month. Furthermore I maxed out my credit cards with Christmas gift purchases of approx. $1000. I now have no more credit available to me.

I have read on a previous post gambling related debts could be discharged through bankruptcy although it would probably be a period of two years as opposed to nine months. However, my concern is that if I declare bankruptcy my creditors would view the last month’s cash advance withdrawals paid to my bookie as fraud as well as the Christmas gift purchases. How can this be avoided as I do not want to consider bankruptcy if there is a possibility I would be charged criminally with fraud. Yes, I am a pathological gambler, but not a criminal. My other concern is I understand creditors can still sue you after discharge for those debts they believe were obtained by fraud or misrepresentation. How can this be avoided? Thanks for any enlightenment you may be able to provide.

One Response to “Fraud?”

A licensed trustee said...

Debts as a result of gambling are not automatically discharged, so you are correct that your bankruptcy would likely last for at least 21 months, as opposed to the normal 9 month minimum. All creditors will review your transactions during the three months prior to bankruptcy, and they can look back up to five years. I would suggest you attempt to find a job and make payments to these creditors for as long as you can, as a show of good faith. If once you are working you are unable to service the debts, then you should consider bankruptcy or perhaps a consumer proposal. For advice on defending yourself against a fraud charge you should consult a lawyer.