Bankruptcy is a system that allows an insolvent debtor to be relieved of most debts by filing an assignment in bankruptcy.
Role of the Bankruptcy Court
The Bankruptcy Court makes judicial determinations as required by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act in the administration of bankrupt estates. Most matters that go to court are heard by the Registrar in Bankruptcy, although some matters are referred to a Justice of the Supreme Court.
The Bankruptcy Court sits regularly at the Law Courts building in Halifax and all court documents must be filed in Halifax. However, to make the proceedings more accessible for debtors, the Registrar does hear matters in communities throughout the province.
To file for personal bankruptcy, you must use a licensed professional known as a Trustee in Bankruptcy. The federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy maintains a list of all active, licensed trustees in Canada. All the available property of the individual applying for bankruptcy is turned over to the trustee (subject to various exemptions), who realizes upon it and distributes the proceeds among the bankrupt's creditors in accordance with the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. In some instances, the debtor may also be required to pay a portion of their post-bankruptcy income to the Trustee.
Individuals appearing in Bankruptcy Court must go through a licensed professional, known as a Trustee in Bankruptcy. The federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy maintains a list of all active, licensed trustees in Canada.
Debtors are actively encouraged to appear at their hearing, as they may be called upon to give evidence, and an Order can be granted in their absence. Certain post-bankruptcy matters, such as variations of prior orders, and student loan forgiveness applications, may be filed by the debtor or debtor's counsel. Contact the Bankruptcy Court for more information.
Most matters that go to court are heard by the Registrar in Bankruptcy, although some matters are referred to a Justice of the Supreme Court. The current Registrar is Raffi Balmanoukian.
The following resources may be helpful for individuals considering filing for bankruptcy or those going through the bankruptcy process.
Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
This federal legislation outlines how different financial options work legally, and defines the roles that the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, the representatives of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (official receivers), the court, trustees, creditors, and consumers have. The Act also provides a system that enables debtors to make proposals to creditors to pay debts over time, usually at a reduced amount.
Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy
This office is responsible for administration of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, as well as certain duties under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). It licenses and regulates the insolvency profession, ensures an efficient and effective regulatory framework, supervises stakeholder compliance with the insolvency process, and maintains public records and statistics.
Licensed Insolvency Trustees
The federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy maintains a list of all active, licensed trustees working in Canada.
Canadian Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Professionals
CAIRP advances the interests of its members and the public by providing professional development, enforcing Rules of Professional Conduct and Standards of Professional Practice for CAIRP members, maintaining rigorous certification standards and advocating for a fair, transparent and effective insolvency and restructuring system throughout Canada.
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
The FCAC ensures federally regulated financial entities comply with consumer protection measures, promotes financial education, and raises consumers’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities. This site includes resources and initiatives on financial literacy.
Tips for Managing Your Debt
Service Nova Scotia, through its Access Nova Scotia centres, provides advice and resources for managing your debt and putting forward a Consumer Proposal.
Contact the Bankruptcy Court
Although the Bankruptcy Court hears matters across the province, the Registrar of Bankruptcy is located at the Law Courts building in Halifax. All Bankruptcy Court documents must be filed at this location.