Filing for Personal Bankruptcy consists of the following five key steps:

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  1. Call 1-800-661-3030 to meet with Sands & Associates for a free consultation.

    • We’ll assess your financial situation and discuss all the options available to you to resolve your debts. For many people, a Consumer Proposal can be a better option than filing for personal bankruptcy.
    • If filing for personal bankruptcy is the right option for you, we’ll review all key concepts of personal bankruptcy and discuss with you what payment you will be required to make, what duties you must perform, and what the impact of filing for personal bankruptcy will be on rebuilding your credit rating. Our goal is a “no surprises” experience so we will spend the time with you, one-on-one, to make sure you understand the key concepts of filing for personal bankruptcy in BC.
  2. Complete a detailed application form and meet with us to sign the legal personal bankruptcy documents.

    • Our application form can be completed online or printed and completed in hard copy. Once we receive your completed application form, we will draft up the legal documents required to file for personal bankruptcy in BC. We can normally process your application and create the legal documents in a matter of days – we can work very quickly if you need immediate relief from your creditors.
    • During your ‘sign-in’ appointment with us we will walk you through each of the legal documents, ensuring that you understand the legal process of personal bankruptcy in BC and are aware of the key duties that must be performed in order for you to achieve a discharge from your personal bankruptcy and be released from your debts.
  3. Report your income and expenses each month and pay the prescribed fees.

    • A key duty after filing for personal bankruptcy will be to submit a monthly statement of income and expenses – essentially a budget that will help assist you in developing good financial habits. Many people find the experience of keeping a monthly budget to be very useful.
    • You will be required to submit a monthly budget for each month you are in personal bankruptcy, and the completed budget is due by the 10th of the following month (i.e. budget for January will be due by February 10th)
    • Your payments in personal bankruptcy are set by Government tariff and will depend on your household size, allowable expenses, and national low-income cut-off guidelines. We will review with you in detail what monthly payment you will be required to make and how it is calculated. For most people, their payments in personal bankruptcy are significantly lower than what they are currently paying to service their debt load.
  4. Attend two financial counselling sessions and assist the Trustee in the administration of your estate.

    • By law, you will be required to attend two financial counselling sessions with us in order to complete the process. The fees for counselling are included in your monthly payment discussed in step 3. The counselling sessions are normally one-on-one, approximately an hour in length, and are conducted in our offices at a time that is convenient for you.
    • The first counselling session is held within 30 days of your bankruptcy, which is a great opportunity to ask any questions and make sure you are in compliance with what is required to achieve your discharge.
  5. Complete the personal bankruptcy, achieving a discharge from your debts and a financial fresh start.

    • Provided you have completed the above steps, and no one has objected to your discharge, you will be free from your unmanageable debt burden at the completion of your personal bankruptcy in BC.
    • Once we have received your final budget and confirmed that all duties have been complied with, we will issue you a certificate of discharge which absolves you from ever having to repay the debts that caused you difficulties.
    • You have now achieved a financial fresh start.
Are creditors harassing you? Are the endless phone calls and collection letters causing you stress? Are you living on your credit cards? Are you unable to maintain your minimum payments? Are you being pursued for government debt? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are not alone. In the twelve-month period ending July 2016, more than 66,000 Canadians were in the same financial position and found relief by seeing a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and filing personal bankruptcy. Another 57,000 Canadians settled their debt management problems by filing a consumer proposal.

If you are not a resident of British Columbia, more information is available about bankruptcy in Canada.

No matter what the cause of your financial difficulties, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act does not restrict a person from filing personal bankruptcy or making a consumer proposal. For example, you could be in financial trouble due to the loss of employment, a divorce, a leaky condo, medical problems, gambling, substance abuse, or poor money management. Regardless of the reason, filing personal bankruptcy or making a consumer proposal to your creditors is based upon your unique individual circumstances and is ultimately your personal decision. In BC, both of these remedies can only be filed by utilizing the services of Licensed Insolvency Trustees. At Sands & Associates, our Licensed Insolvency Trustees understand that most people file into bankruptcy or make a consumer proposal to creditors because of unfortunate circumstances, and we will guide you through this difficult time. 

Personal bankruptcy or a consumer proposal to creditors can provide shelter from the financial storm. Each will stop virtually all legal proceedings, garnishees, and phone calls from your creditors. These legal remedies provide a fresh start by pardoning your debts including credit card debts, lines of credit, legal bills, utility bills, medical bills, automobile insurance, judgments, government debts, etc. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help you understand the relative merits of each of these debt management options within BC. 

At Sands & Associates, we make filing personal bankruptcy or making a consumer proposal to creditors simple. We will arrange for a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable staff to discuss your financial status, and help you to determine whether bankruptcy or a proposal to creditors is the right choice for you.

Should you choose to file personal bankruptcy or make a consumer proposal to your creditors, we will process the necessary paperwork, arrange for possible meetings with creditors, provide two credit counselling sessions at our convenient offices located in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, White Rock, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Kelowna. 

After you have filed personal bankruptcy or a consumer proposal, you are required to perform your duties as outlined in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Some of the duties in a personal bankruptcy include keeping the Licensed Insolvency Trustee informed of your current address, declaring your monthly income and expenses for a minimum of nine months, attending two credit counselling sessions, and paying the Licensed Insolvency Trustee an amount that is dependent upon your income and the assets that you own. 

If this is your first personal bankruptcy, the earliest that you will be eligible for your discharge is nine months after your date of filing. A discharge from bankruptcy means that your debts will be eliminated and your creditors can no longer pursue you for the outstanding amount owed. It provides peace of mind and a chance for a fresh financial start. 

If you choose to make a consumer proposal to your creditors and if the creditors and the court accept it, the contract is binding between you and the creditors. A certificate of completion, which discharges your indebtedness, will be given as long as you meet the terms of the contract and remit the appropriate funds or assets to the Licensed Insolvency Trustee.