As an honest but unfortunate debtor, you may choose to use the legal process of bankruptcy, regulated by the Act, to obtain a discharge from your debts (subject to reasonable conditions). Declaring bankruptcy means that your secured creditors cannot take legal steps to recover what you owe them, such as seizing your property or garnisheeing your wages.


If you owe more than $1,000 and have carefully reviewed all your options, declaring bankruptcy may be the right choice to make.

Perhaps the most common question those considering bankruptcies ask is, “Will I lose all my assets?” Happily, the answer is no. There are several exemptions from seizure. They are:

Bankruptcy exemptions in Ontario

  • No limit on clothes for you and your family
  • Household furniture, utensils, equipment, food and fuel up to $14,180
  • Tools and instruments used by you in your business up to $14,450
  • One motor vehicle up to $7,117
  • If the equity in your home does not exceed $10,783, your home is exempt; if the equity exceeds $10,783, then your home is not exempt from seizure
  • Most pension plans and certain types of life insurance policies
  • RRSPs, except for contributions in the 12 months before the date of bankruptcy
  • For farmers, up to $31,379 for livestock, fowl, bees, books, tools and implements of the trade

If you’re involved in a close financial relationship, it is possible to file a joint assignment that will be dealt with as one file. Your debts must be substantially the same, and the trustee must believe it is in the best interest of all parties.

Talk to us

Talk to us about the services we offer Credit counseling, Consumer Proposals, and Bankruptcy. There is a path that’s right for you. Together, we will find it.