How Do I Declare Bankruptcy When Im A Snowbird

2016-02-03   minute read

Bradley Milne


Trying to maneuver through unmanageable debt can be exhausting and overwhelming. Even more so if you are trying to navigate your finances from a secondary location.

If you are considering bankruptcy as an option to resolving your debt problem, the first step is to have your financial situation assessed by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. The assessment typically involves an in-depth review of your debts, assets and monthly income and expenses (i.e. cash flow) and with the exception of individuals residing in remote locations, this assessment must be completed in-person by the Trustee. If you are out-of-the country for an extended period of time and feel that your financial situation requires immediate attention, you might consider contacting a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who resides in your primary Canadian location. The Trustee may be able to submit a request to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) on your behalf seeking permission to conduct your assessment by telephone.

Many of the duties that must be completed in order to receive your discharge from bankruptcy can be completed my mail or email (e.g. monthly financial reporting, providing information to file tax return in bankruptcy year, etc). Two debt counselling sessions must also be completed in-person within specified time periods. Again, in some cases, your Trustee may be able to obtain permission from the OSB to have these debt counselling sessions completed over the telephone. Alternatively, you may be able to attend to some of the duties before or after you return to Canada depending on when the bankruptcy is filed and how long you plan to be out-of-country.

Assuming your financial difficulties involve debts incurred in Canada, you continue to reside in Canada at least part of the year and / or have property in Canada, it is recommended that you consult with a Trustee licensed by the Canadian federal government (i.e. OSB). The process and legislation under which bankruptcies are administered in Canada is quite different than that of our friends in the United States and other jurisdictions. As such it is important that you contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in your own province.

While bankruptcy is certainly a viable debt solution for many, it’s important to know that you have options. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee will also be able to assess your unique financial circumstances and present you with all of the options available so you can choose the route that’s best for you. The important thing to know, is as a Canadian, financial freedom is attainable, regardless of where you spend the cold season!

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