Who will know about my bankruptcy?

Within 5 days after your Trustee receives the Certificate of Appointment from the Official Receiver, your Trustee sends a Notice to Creditors, which notifies all creditors about the fact your bankruptcy has occurred; the possibility of a First Meeting of Creditors; and, your pending automatic Discharge from Bankruptcy.  A copy of the Notice to Creditors is also sent to Revenue Canada Agency, and to you. 

Notifying Your Current Creditors 

The Notice to Creditors includes a copy of your Statement of Affairs; your Statement of Income and Expenses and information about the amount of money required to be paid into your bankrupt estate under the Surplus Income Guidelines, if any, and a Proof of Claim form. 

A relative, or a friend to whom you owe money is considered a creditor under the law. These people must be included on your list of creditors in spite of your personal relationship with them. 

Notifying the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy 

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy keeps a record of ever bankruptcy filed in Canada. Any documents filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy become public records and are available to anyone who may search for them. 

Notifying the Local Newspaper 

Your Trustee must publish a legal Notice of Bankruptcy in your local newspaper in an Ordinary Administration Bankruptcy when your unsecured assets are greater than $15,000. 

Notifying the Credit Bureaus 

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy notifies each credit bureau of the new bankruptcy filings each month. The two prominent Canadian credit bureaus are Equifax and Trans Union. The credit bureaus record the fact you filed bankruptcy in their systems so this information will appear on your credit report. The credit bureau will remove your bankruptcy information from your credit report 6 years after your discharge from bankruptcy for a first time bankrupt, and 14 years after your discharge for a second or more time bankrupt. 

Notifying New Creditors 

A bankrupt person must disclose their bankruptcy to any new creditor who will provide more than $1,000 of credit. 

Notifying Your Business Relationships 

A bankrupt person must disclose their bankruptcy to any person they will enter a business relationship, such as a partnership or shared corporate ownership.  

Notifying Your Employer 

It is uncommon for your Trustee to notify anyone other than your creditors unless there is a specific reason. Your Trustee will not normally notify your employer unless it is to stop a Court Order such as a garnishment, or to obtain income tax information which you have not provided to your Trustee. 

Certain jobs and professions such as a lawyer, a real estate broker, a chartered accountant, or an insurance broker may be affected by bankruptcy. Most of these occupations involve handling money. You should research your situation before making a decision about filing bankruptcy. Check will the specific association or licensing body which governs your industry, or check with your employer’s human resource department. Remember, if you cannot maintain your job or work in an industry if you file bankruptcy, there are other options available to you for dealing with your financial difficulties. Speak to your Trustee. They are often aware of any employment restrictions. 

Your employer may never know unless you tell them provided you have no restrictions in this area. 

Some Creditors Not Usually Notified 

There are some creditors your Trustee usually does not notify.  These creditors are the ones providing an ongoing service to you.  Some examples are: 

  your landlord, provided you intend to stay at your current residence, and your
      rent is paid up to date.
 

  your gas heat or hydro company, assuming you intend to maintain their
      services under your existing account.
 

  your municipality tax or water supplier, assuming you intend to maintain their
      services under your existing account.
 

  your cable, internet and telephone company, or a cell phone supplier,
      assuming you intend to maintain their services under your existing account.
 

Notifying Someone You Tell About Your Bankruptcy 

No one will know about your bankruptcy except those noted above unless you tell them. Your bankruptcy is no ones business but your own. Keep it to yourself.