Bankruptcy Exemptions in Canada

What Assets Are Exempt in Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy ExemptionsIn Canada many people ask “what can I keep?” when they meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for an evaluation of their bankruptcy options.

The federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act defines two types of exemptions that apply to all the provinces:

  • GST credit payments and payments that provide for your family’s essential needs;
  • Property held in trust by you for other individuals.

The main set of exemptions are set by each of the provinces and territories.

The exempt property that is set by the provinces includes such things as:

  • Clothing;
  • Household furniture and other appliances;
  • Food necessary for you and your family;
  • Fuel necessary for you and your family;
  • A motor vehicle;
  • Medical or Dental aids used by you and your dependants;
  • The tools of your trade needed to earn a living;
  • Farmland, livestock, farming equipment and other related property;
  • Pets and other items of sentimental value;
  • Equity in a principal residence;
  • Land.

The value of these assets that you are able to keep is set by each province or territory, and some might not have all of these in their listed exemptions. If you are claiming a tools of the trade exemption you cannot also claim a farming exemption; it is either one or the other.

The value of the exemption is limited to what you really need and varies for each province or territory.

The exemptions are subject to change at any time.

To learn about whether your personal assets will be exempt in a bankruptcy case please contact one of Bankruptcy Canada’s Licensed Insolvency Trustees to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss all of your options, including any possible bankruptcy alternatives if you would like to avoid bankruptcy.

Before making a decision on declaring bankruptcy you should be fully aware of what assets you will be able to keep and what assets you would lose.

To see the set of bankruptcy exemptions in your province or territory please choose your province or territory from below:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island