Can I Pursue an Undischarged Bankrupt for Collection?

Yes you can.  However, you must wait until the Licensed Insolvency Trustee is discharged.

When a person goes into bankruptcy a Stay of Proceedings is issued.

The Stay of Proceedings protects the debtor from any collection activity by his unsecured creditors.  When the debtor receives their discharged, all his unsecured debts, with a few exceptions, are erased.

You can pursue an undischarged bankrupt once the trustee is discharged.  The key word being undischarged.

In rare cases a debtor is not discharged, usually because he fails to meet the obligations imposed on him by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, namely duties, or payments pursuant to a mediation agreement or conditional order of Discharge.

Once the trustee is certain the debtor is not going to honour his obligations the trustee can and should proceed to seek his own discharge from the bankruptcy.

At this point the Stay of Proceedings is lifted and creditors are revived.  So, all creditors can pursue the bankrupt for debt collection just as though he was never in bankruptcy.

Insolvency Searches

Recently the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (“OSB”) announced that it is modernizing its Insolvency Record Search function including the elimination of the $8.00 fee charged to the general public.

The announcement of the fee elimination caused a bit of concern by some in the insolvency community thinking that insolvency records could now be searched by anyone, for free.  It was suggested that this would eliminate the confidentiality of an individual declaring bankruptcy or filing a consumer proposal and that nosy neighbours would have free access to the database of insolvency filings.

The elimination of the fee has been endorsed by some, primarily those who may benefit from it being eliminated, credit counselling firms and debt advisors, who are direct competitors of the Licensed Insolvency Trustee.  They have stated that the only debt relief option available where a consumer’s privacy is protected is credit counselling.  Not so fast.  Every debt management program is recorded on your credit record, just like a bankruptcy and a consumer proposal. So, I don’t know how the privacy is being protected.

But hold on.  Is this really an issue? Is it much ado about nothing?  Is this Chicken Little crying out the sky is falling?  In my view, it is not.

The $8 fee per search was never an impediment for anyone to search the database.  If someone really wanted to know about an individual’s insolvency, they would pay the fee.  The elimination of the fee, coupled with the enhanced search requirements being proposed by the OSB, will still keep the insolvency process free from the nosy neighbours.

The OSB has indicated that the proposed Insolvency Record Search system will include modern safeguards to protect the personal information of debtors.  Some of the new protections which are not available in the current system which will protect disclosure of personal information:

  • Personal information disclosed about an insolvent person will be limited to that entered by the searcher. Personal information entered will only be confirmed, not provided in a search result. Searchers will need to know the first, last name, and date of birth of a debtor in order to obtain confirmation of an individual insolvency.
  • The new system will no longer provide access to insolvent debtor records that do not match the search criteria (e.g. lists of names).
  • For each correct search, a reduced amount of personal information will be returned in the public search results. For example, home addresses and full postal codes will no longer be included in search results as they are in the current system.
  • The public record search retention period for information will be reduced to 10 years post-discharge.
  • The new system will include technologies designed to reduce the potential for unintended uses of insolvency information (e.g. machine-based searches).

From what I know about the OSB, I would be surprised if this mandate was undertaken without some regard to the privacy of the individual debtor. The OSB has stated that it has consulted with the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP) throughout the development of the new system, and has addressed comments received to date. The design will maximize protection of personal information while also meeting the specific needs of LITs, in fulfilling their insolvency estate administration and legislative requirements.

It should be noted that the OSB has no plan to propose to remove the $8 fee from the current system prior to its being retired from service.

The full OSB article about this can be viewed here.

The experienced professionals at Boale, Wood & Company Ltd. understand the stress that financial difficulty can cause.

We know that realizing that you are experiencing financial problems is a hard thing to do for most people and sometimes you feel helpless. But instead of feeling helpless, let us help you gain control of your debts and understand your options.

Start by scheduling a meeting with us to discuss the solution best suited to your situation. This meeting is free and there is no pressure or obligation for you to make a decision right away.

We have the expertise to find the solution best suited to you.

Call us, it’s not too late. (604) 605-3335.

David Wood voted Top Three Licensed Insolvency Trustee

David Wood is pleased to have been selected as one of the Top Three Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Vancouver BC., for the second year in a row by Three Best Rated.  As well, he has been chosen one of the Top Three Trustees located in Surrey, and New Westminster BC by the same firm.

Boale, Wood & Company Ltd., has been selected one of the Top Three Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Coquitlam.

Too much debt.

Call us. Its not too late.

(604) 605-3335

Boale, Wood & Company Ltd. News

Tracey Stewart

The partners at Boale, Wood & Company Ltd. are pleased to announce that Tracey Stewart recently passed the Insolvency Administrators Course put on by the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals.  Tracey’s works in our Vancouver office and her profile can be found here.

Surrey Office is moving

Our Surrey office is moving effective January 31, 2018.  Effective February 1, 2018, we will be located at 250 – 15117 101 Avenue, Surrey, BC.  V3R 8P7.  Our phone and fax numbers will remain the same.  The Surrey office is staffed by Lisa Breault, CIRP and Cindy Hidalgo


OSB Issues Report on 10 Year Insolvency Trends

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy recently issued a report on Ten-Year Insolvency Trends in Canada.  The ten year period covers 2007 – 2016.  The statistics show that the trends have been fairly steady for the last 10 years with the exception of the recession of 2008 – 2009..

Consumer Insolvency Volumes

In 2009, consumer insolvency filings peaked in 2009 at 151,712, which represented 95.75% of all insolvency filings.  In 2016, there were 125,878 consumer insolvency filings or 97.03% of all insolvency filings.  Insolvency filings have been decreasing since 2009 but have remained somewhat constant since 2011.

In BC, consumer insolvencies since 2011 have remained fairly constant as follows:

Total BC
% Consumer
in Canada

As is apparent, although the number of filings remains constant, the number of proposals has increased from 31.14% in 2011 to 56.32% in 2016.  This is slightly ahead of the rest of Canada but in line with all statistics across the board.

In terms of age demographic, the report breaks down insolvency filings by age group as a percentage of insolvency filings as follows:

18 -
25 - 4446.546.145.545.245.045.2
45 - 6441.742.242.141.941.540.6
65 +

All numbers are expressed as a percentage of consumer insolvency filings.  Of particular note is the upward trend in 18 – 24 age group and in the 65+ age group.

In terms of gender, slightly more males than females filed for insolvency throughout the period, a trend consistent for both bankruptcy and proposal filings.

Business Insolvency Volumes

Business insolvency volumes represents only a small portion of all insolvencies in Canada.  Business insolvencies decreased by 7.3% per year, from 7,612 in 2007 to 3,849 in 2016. Both business bankruptcies and business proposals decreased during this period, with proposals falling at a slower pace.

Total BC
% Consumer
in Canada

The report has been published on the OSB website and can be found here.

For more information relating to insolvency, please contact David Wood at (604) 605-3335.

Canadian Economy Slowdown

Headline: Somebody forgot to tell employers that Canada’s economy is slowing down.

Via: The National Post

Growth Slower in 2018

Headline: Slower growth for Canada in 2018.

Via: Advisor.CA


NDP MP Proposes Changes to Insolvency Laws

Headline: NDP MP proposes changes to insolvency laws to improve pension protections.

Via: CTV News

Atlantic Canada Debt Woes

Headline: Debt woes growing for Atlantic Canadians.

Via:  Annapolis Spectator

UK Mountain of Debt

Headline: Britain’s debt mountain has cost taxpayers £222BILLION in interest payments since 2010.

Via:  The Sun