In most cases, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Most people are able to retain most everything that they own.

What happens is every province has created a list of exemptions.  What an exemption means is that as long as the property you own falls within the exemptions available in your province, then you don’t lose anything. The only time your Trustee would have to seize any assets is if the value of your things (garage sale value, not replacement value) is more than the amount allowed in your province.

In Alberta the exemption rules permit you to keep the following:

  • Food – required by you and your dependants over the next year;
  • Clothing – that is necessary for you and/or your dependants of a value up to $4,000;
  • Household furnishings and appliances – up to a value of $4,000;
  • Motor Vehicle – each individual debtor is entitled to have one vehicle of a value up to $5,000 (or with up to $5,000 of equity should your vehicle be financed);
  • Tools of the trade – this includes any items necessary to earn an income and is up to a value of $10,000
  • Medical and dental aids – that are required by you or your dependents;
  • Principle Residence – this is up to a maximum value of $40,000 per household and is divided by your ownership share (i.e. if you own the home jointly with one other person your maximum is $20,000);
  • If your primary occupation is not farming, personal property up to the value of $10,000 that you use to earn income from your occupation
  • Retirement Savings Plans – including RRSP’s, RRIF’s and DPSP’s (Deferred Profit Sharing Plans)

As you can see the legislation has a large number of exemptions available so that when you file bankruptcy you are not left destitute.

Of course this list is a bit generic and it is often important that we discuss the details of this list to make sure that you aren’t going to have any issues or if there are issues whether there are any ways we can deal with things so you don’t have to lose the property in questions.  So feel free to contact me at 780-435-5110 or simply get in touch with me through the ‘Contact Us’ section of this website.