Bankruptcy. It’s a scary word. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who likes the word ‘bankruptcy’. A lot of that fear and dislike comes from a lack of understanding of what bankruptcy is and how it works.
My offices are in Mississauga and Toronto, and a lot of the people I help, have family living in another country. One of their main concerns is the impact on bankruptcy will have their ability to travel. People imagine heading to the airport and having their passport “flagged” because they are bankrupt. Don’t worry – this does not happen. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms confirms your right to freedom of movement within Canada and internationally. You are free to travel and come and go as you please while bankrupt.
People also wonder if they can move out of province or to another country. Again the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects your ability to move where you want to or need to while bankrupt. Many times people have to move to find work or to follow their spouse who has changed jobs to a new city, province or country. In these cases, you must inform your trustee of your new address as soon as you move. Also, in order to meet the required duties of a bankrupt person, you may be required to return to participate in counselling (if possible) or arrangements may be made to complete these meetings by phone. In general, there are no issues that can’t be resolved in some way that is acceptable to all parties. The only circumstance that would require an in-person attendance is if the bankruptcy proceedings required a court hearing. However, hearings are not common, and are practically never required in a typical bankruptcy filing. In cases where a hearing is required, it’s common for the issues to resolved to everyone’s satisfaction removing the need for attendance at the hearing.
Bankruptcy is not a scary thing. In fact, people often tell me that it was in fact the best thing they ever did for themselves. The relief from collections pressure, the peace of mind of being debt free, and the ability to rebuild a positive credit history while still being able to travel or move, makes bankruptcy an effective and reasonable solution for overwhelming debt. If you are struggling with too much debt contact a licensed insolvency trustee to learn more about bankruptcy. They can review your finances and walk you through your options.