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One of the first questions from clients facing financial difficulties is, “What is bankruptcy?”. When the time comes for you to need help with debt, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what bankruptcy is and the other alternative solutions available to you. In simple terms, bankruptcy is a legal process that will help you free yourself from parts of your debt, allowing you a fresh financial start. All bankruptcy proceedings in Canada are governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, which the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy oversees.

Many clients believe that bankruptcy is the only available option. Our team will work with you to understand your financial situation clearly and recommend which debt solution is best for you. If you face any of the following economic concerns, contact us today to book your free consultation.

  • Are you spending more money than you are earning?
  • Are you receiving calls from collection agents?
  • Are your credit card bills piling up, and you cannot pay them?
  • Most importantly, are your finances causing you stress?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, it might be time to speak with a licensed trustee about what options are available to you to ease your financial distress.


Bankruptcy and consumer proposals are legal processes that provide relief from debt. When filing for bankruptcy, a debtor must owe a minimum of $1,000 and be unable to pay their debts as they become due. A consumer proposal is available to those debtors (individuals) who owe less than $250,000, excluding residential mortgages, and can complete the terms of the proposal within five years. Assets do not vest (belong) to the Administrator. A certified professional must file either option, such as Fox-Miles & Associates Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Edmonton.

How Long Does Declaring Bankruptcy Take?

The personal bankruptcy process is at least nine months, whereas the terms of the consumer proposal can extend up to five years. Either process initiates a “Stay of Proceedings,” which stops the collection process except for secured creditors. Section 178 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act lists debts that “survive” bankruptcy, which include but are not limited to court fines, alimony, child maintenance, obligations arising from fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation, and student loans (if you have been a student in the last seven years).


Depending on your financial situation, the following options are available:

In Alberta, the following items are exempt from seizure:

Effects on Your Credit Rating

Filing a bankruptcy or a proposal does affect your credit rating and is kept on your credit rating for a certain period, up to six years.  Most individuals can get loans after bankruptcy, provided they qualify for the loan according to the financial institutions’ qualifications.

Some financial institutions want to wait a period after the bankruptcy before considering granting unsecured loans to individuals.

Remember that you are rebuilding your credit rating if you continue to pay your house mortgage or car loan.

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