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Welcome to Bankruptcy Alberta

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Welcome to Bankruptcy Alberta. This site provides helpful information about bankruptcy and bankruptcy alternatives to residents of Alberta Canada.

Ask The Bankruptcy Alberta Experts:
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Bankruptcy in Alberta is often confusing. How does it work? How will it affect me? To help answer your questions, we have created a Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions page with all the answers.

Here’s this week’s featured question:

What bankruptcy questions should I ask my Alberta bankruptcy trustee before filing for bankruptcy?

You can also post an anonymous bankruptcy question to our blog, or send an email to our bankruptcy trustees in Alberta.

Recent Bankruptcy Questions:

HUSBAND PASSED AWAY

QUESTION:

My husband passed away suddenly at the age of 43 and he had no life insurance policy.  He has debts of $46,000,  the majority is credit card debt.  The credit card companies are calling wanting these debts to be paid.  Am I responsible for his debts?

ANSWERS:

You are not responsible for your husbands debts provided you did not co-sign any of his debts.  Normally your solicitor will assit you in winding up his estate, selling his assets to pay his debts.   If after talking with your solicitor this still has not been resolved, called a licenced trustee in bankruptcy and we can assist.

SENIORS LOOKING FOR DEBT RELIEF

QUESTION:

My husband and I are seniors, we owe $82,000 in credit card debts, we do not own a home and we have a car worth maybe $2,500.    We have a fixed income of $3100.  At our age, we will never be able to pay these debts off.  What do you suggest?

ANSWWER:

Assuming you have no other assets other than your car, it sounds like maybe bankruptcy might be the best option.   In Alberta, you are allowed to claim your car exempt as it is under the value of $5,000, this means even if you go bankrupt, you can still keep your car!

We are seeing more and more seniors filing for bankrutpcy as many credit card companies continued to increase their credit limit until the consumer debtor could no longer afford the minimum payments.  Please call one of our offices in Alberta, Southern Alberta  is 403 543 3100 and Northern Alberta is 780 429 9000. 

 

BANKRUPTCY HERE IN ALBERTA OR ONTARIO?

QUESTION:

I lost my job in Ontario and moved here 6 months ago to take a job in Lethbridge Alberta.  Majority of my debts were in incurred in Ontario including some pay day loans, credit card debt etc.  I owe a total of $47,000.  If I need to file for bankruptcy, should I file in Alberta or Ontario?  Thanks in advance.

ANSWER:

Given that you are now in Alberta and sounds like you have moved here permamently, you should file your bankruptcy here.  The bankruptcy legislation states you should file your bankruptcy in the “locality of the debtor” and given you have moved all your property here in Alberta, that is where your bankruptcy should be filed. 

Although you mention bankruptcy, that is only one option available to you.  There are other options like a consumer proposal where you tell your creditors, you want to pay some of the money back but can not afford to pay it all back.  Maybe you offer to pay $500 a month for 60 months and avoid bankruptcy.  Give our Lethbridge office a call at 403 394 0099 or toll free 1 888 543 3456 to find out the advantages of filing a consumer proposal.

SCARED ABOUT BANKRUPTCY

QUESTION:

I am ashamed to say I owe about $58,000 in credit card debt and I likely have to file bankruptcy.  Does my name get put in the paper?

ANSWER:

First and foremost, don’t beat your self up about your debt load.  What has happened in the past can not change, so lets work together towards getting you  a fresh start.

There are two types of administration under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.  They are Summary and Ordinary Administrations.  If your non-exempt assets are over $15,000 in value at the date of bankruptcy, then yes, your name must be published in the newspaper.  If you do not have any non exempt assets and therefore no assets for the Trustee to seize at the date of bankruptcy, your bankruptcy is a summary administration and your name does not get published in the newspaper.

Bankruptcy may not be your best option.  Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, you can file a proposal to your creditors and your name does not have to be published in the newspaper.  We suggest you contact our office at 403 543 3100 so we can discuss options.

 

 

TROUBLES WITH THE TAX DEPARTMENT

QUESTION:

I am self employed and did not file tax returns for six years.  Canada Revenue Agency has assessed my outstanding income tax debt to be $148,000.  They have just frozen my bank account.   Can they do this?  Can I file a bankrptcy for tax debt?

ANSWER:

Yes, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has incredible powers including freezing your bank account.   You can file a bankruptcy for tax debt but we always suggest to file your outstanding returns as you may not owe the amount that they have calculated.   Once you know the exact amount you owe them, you can then make an informed decision if you believe you can not pay that amount off.

 

 

SPOUSE DEBT

QUESTION:

I have separated from my spouse, I owe about $23,000 in credit card debt, and I have a joint line of credit with my ex-spouse for $12,000.   I think my ex-spouse has a debt with Revenue Canada for $48,000 plus the $12,000 joint line of credit.  If I go bankrupt, what happens?  Am I responsbile to pay my ex spouse’s debts?

 

ANSWER:

If you decide to go bankrupt and assuming you get your discharge, it legally removes you from all responsibilty from your former debts.  The debts of your spouse are his or her debt and you are not responsble for paying the ex-spouses debt.   When you file an assignment into bankruptcy with a “joint” debt, the bank will then look to the other spouse to pay that debt.

CMHC JUDGMENT

QUESTION:

I filed a consumer proposal 3 years ago.  At that time we were current on our house payments.  About a year ago, my husband lost his job and we lost the house.   CMHC is now coming after both of us for the shortfall.  My husband is going to file a bankruptcy but would I not be protected from CMHC because I filed a proposal 3 years ago?

ANSWER:

It sounds like your proposal did not include the mortgage on your house and you continued to make payments on your mortgage after the proposal was filed.   This appears to be a post proposal debt. 

You could seek legal advice or defend the action against you and let the court decide if you should be held responsible.  If you are held accountable call our office at 403 543 3100 and we can look at a couple of alternatives with you.

CO-SIGNED DEBT FOR BROTHER

QUESTION:

I have co-signed a car loan for my brother.  He is up to date on his payments, there is still about $16,000 owing on the car.  I have separated from my wife and now I find myself in financial difficulty.  If I go bankrupt, how will this affect my brother being I co-signed for the car?  Will they seize his car now? Bob

ANSWER:

Thanks for the question Bob.  If you go bankrupt, it will remove you from any legal responsilibty to pay on the car.  The Trustee will send notice to the creditor.  As long as your brother continues to pay on the car and keeps the payments current, they will not seize the car.  If you go bankrupt, it does not affect your brother.

CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD PROBLEMS

QUESTION:

I live in Calgary now but used to farm back in Saskatchewan.  Long story short, I owed the Canadian Wheat Board $110,000.  I could not pay that amount back and now they have placed a lien against my family home.  How does this impact me and how would it play out if I file a bankruptcy?  I also have about $49,000 in credit card and line of credit debt.

Answer:

From what your describe, it sounds like the Canadian Wheat Board has placed a “writ” against your home.  What that means is you can not sell your house without dealing with them.  For example if your house in Calgary is worth $400,000 and the house had a mortgage of $300,000, when you go to sell it Canadian Wheat Board would be entitled to $60,000 of your equity as you can shelter $40,000 from your creditors.  If you decide to go bankrupt, upon your discharge this writ can be removed from your title, you can still shelter up to $40,000 equity from your creditors.   We suggest you contact our office for a free consultation at 403 543 3100 so we can provide you with some options.

JUST WONDERING ON INJURY CLAIMS

QUESTION:

I was involved in a motor vehicle accident and I am about to get a settlement from the insurance company for my injuries.  How will this affect me while I am in bankruptcy?

ANSWER:

You should first advise your trustee that you have a potential claim for injuries.   Normally, when you file your statement of claim, you will outline your wishes.  If your settlement comes in and it is all for pain and suffering, normally that money will flow all to you.   If the settlement comes in and it is split 50%-50% for lost wages and pain and suffering, your lost wages will be considered in your bankruptcy and you need to advise your trustee so he or she can explain how that will impact your case.

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