Will Bankruptcy Protect Me From Losing My Assets

2009-05-07

When a person files for bankruptcy, there are certain assets that are exempt from the bankruptcy, IE:  you get to keep them.  These are called "exemptions." But when you have given this asset as collateral for a loan, you give up these exemption rights until you finish paying for a loan. So for example:  - you own your home but you have a mortgage against it.   In Alberta, you are allowed to retain $40,000 equity in your principal home.  But even if you own less than $40,000 equity (and therefore don't lose the equity to your bankruptcy), if you fall behind with your mortgage, the lender still has the right to collect on their mortgage.   And possibly foreclose on the home.   Bankruptcy will not stop the lender's rights to deal with their security.    If you are current on the mortgage in Alberta, the lender can not foreclose because of the bankruptcy.  - same for a vehicle.  In Alberta, you are allowed to retain $5,000 equity in your primary vehicle.   But if there is a loan against the car, it is up to the lender if they will let you keep it in a bankruptcy or if they will take it back.  Unlike a mortgage, even if you are current with your vehicle payments in a bankruptcy, the lender will have the right to take their car back. If there are no loans against these assets, you are allowed to retain the $40,000 and $5,000 equity discussed above.  Any equity over and above those amounts must be dealt with in the bankruptcy. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your assets, feel free to contact one of our Trustees in your area.   You can view our offices athttp://www.mnpdebt.ca/contact/alberta/default.aspx Donna Carson, CGA, CIRP, Trustee 1.877.500.0792    [email protected]