How Public Is Personal Bankruptcy Is It Published In The Newspaper Will My Employer Be Notified

2010-06-23

Because of the very personal nature of bankruptcy, many individuals are concerned about others finding out about the bankruptcy. However, the vast majority of personal bankruptcies are known only by the creditors of the person who files for bankruptcy.A personal bankruptcy is only published in the legal section of the local newspaper when the bankruptcy is complex and/or involves a high dollar value of realizable assets. A Trustee would have a duty to advise an individual if a newspaper advertisement is necessary. Employers are only notified of bankruptcy if contact with the employer is necessary. For example, if an employee is having his or her paycheque garnisheed by a creditor, the Trustee would, upon the bankruptcy filing, instruct that employer to cancel the garnishee. Another example is if a bankrupt has failed to produce necessary proof of income during a bankruptcy, or failed to produce tax information (so the Trustee can fulfill its statutory duty to file certain tax returns), the Trustee may contact an employer and ask for that information. In my personal experience as a Trustee, contact with employers is very rare. Bankruptcy is, however, part of the “public record”. The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (part of Industry Canada) keeps a records of all bankruptcies (and other insolvency proceedings) filed in Canada. These records can be searched for a fee. Moreover, if there is a court file opened for a bankruptcy estate, the court file is a public record. Court files are not opened in all bankruptcies; in fact, most bankruptcies nowadays do not have court files. Of course, bankruptcy does appear on an individual’s credit report for a period of time. For a first-time bankrupt, a notation would stay on the individual’s credit report for six years following their discharge from bankruptcy. Please contact one of our offices if you would like further information. Regards, Lana R. Gilbertson, CIRP, Trustee MNP – Vancouver 604 637 1599