There is no legal restriction preventing you from leaving the country if you have filed a bankruptcy in Ontario. However, there are numerous situations where you are required to be physically present. The inability to attend in person would likely result in a delay in getting your discharge from bankruptcy.
Credit Counselling Sessions
After bankruptcy is filed, you are required to meet with the trustee or a licensed counsellor for two financial counselling sessions. This can be done via phone with prior approval from the government, but only in extraordinary circumstances. Having left the country would not be considered an adequate reason.
A meeting of creditors is an opportunity for the creditors to ask questions of the bankrupt and give direction to the trustee with respect to dealing with the affairs of the bankrupt person. There is always a meeting of creditors in a corporate bankruptcy, but rarely in a personal bankruptcy. However, if a meeting is required in a personal bankruptcy, the bankrupt is required to attend.
Sometimes, a bankrupt person is required to attend for examination under oath. The examination is usually conducted by a government official where the purpose is the look further into the bankrupt person’s affairs. If you were out of the country, and unable to attend for the examination, the discharge would be delayed until after the examination could be completed.
There is a general duty of the bankrupt person to keep the trustee informed of his or her address and contact information until the bankruptcy is completed. This is to ensure that the administration of the bankruptcy not be delayed unnecessarily if the assistance of the bankrupt person is required.
Another general duty is for the bankrupt person to provide a monthly summary of his or her income and expenses. Not being in the country does not have to be an impediment since this information can be transmitted to the trustee via electronic media like e-mail or fax.
Most bankruptcies end with an “automatic” order of discharge, meaning that there was no requirement to go to court to set the terms of discharge. If a discharge hearing is required, the bankrupt person is most often required to attend. The most common reason for a discharge hearing is not completing the required duties, such as those described in this article. Being unable to attend the court hearing could mean that the court refuses to make a ruling until the bankrupt person is able to attend.
In summary, the simple answer is: yes, you can leave the country during the bankruptcy. As you can see, though, it is important to be aware of your responsibilities to ensure that there is not a delay in receiving your discharge from bankruptcy.