Cost of Claiming Bankruptcy in Ontario

When you are considering claiming bankruptcy in Ontario you will want to understand what it will cost. How much it will cost to go bankrupt depends on a number of factors, including:

  • your monthly income,
  • what assets you own,
  • the size of your family, and
  • whether or not you have been bankrupt before.

These rules are complicated, so we strongly recommend that you contact an Ontario bankruptcy trustee today to arrange for a free initial consultation; they will review your situation and calculate the cost of bankruptcy for you in your situation.

Your Base Cost

In most cases you will be required to make a contribution to your bankruptcy estate each month to cover the government filing fees, mailing costs, court fees, and other administrative costs during a bankruptcy. The minimum period for a bankruptcy is nine months, so you will be making these payments for at least a nine month period.

Surplus Income

You are required to pay a portion of your surplus income into your estate each month. Surplus income is defined by the government, and if you and your family earn over a certain amount each month, you pay a portion of your earnings over that limit. The calculation is reasonably complicated, so we suggest your bring your recent pay stubs to your meeting with your trustee so that they can estimate the amount of surplus income payments you will be required to make while bankrupt. If you have surplus income, your bankruptcy will be extended for an additional year.

If you would like a preliminary idea of what your surplus income payments would be, try our Surplus Income Calculator.

Non-Exempt Assets

As part of your bankruptcy, you will lose all of your non-exempt assets (see our bankruptcy exemptions page for a list of assets you can keep).

Tax Refunds

You will lose any tax refunds and HST credits you would otherwise receive during the bankruptcy period. (Your trustee will explain how taxes work in a bankruptcy in more detail).


Finally, you will lose any windfalls you receive or become entitled to during the bankruptcy period. For example, if you inherit money while bankrupt, or win the lottery, that money must be surrendered to the trustee.

The minimum bankruptcy period in Ontario is nine months, but if you have surplus income, or if you were previously bankrupt, your bankruptcy could last for 21, 24, or 36 months depending on your circumstances.

The amount you will pay while bankrupt will depend on your monthly take home pay, your family size, and your assets. To establish how much it will cost to go bankrupt in Ontario, contact an Ontario bankruptcy trustee today.