Bankruptcy is a legal process by which you part with your remaining assets in exchange for escaping many of your debts.
It’s a chance to start over when the odds that were stacked against you take a drastic toll on your life.
Because bankruptcy is a legal process, you might think that you should only get bankruptcy legal advice from a lawyer. The truth is that some of the best bankruptcy resources are available right under your nose – and they’re free.
Are you in the early stages of bankruptcy and don’t know where to turn?
4 Bankruptcy Resources in Your Area
Need financial help and aren’t sure where to turn? Here are four bankruptcy resources to get you started.
1. Visit Your Local Library
Your local library does so much more than lend books. They also help direct you to advocates who may be able to help. Visit your local librarian about the financial services your local or regional branch offers.
2. Talk to Your Local Government
Bankruptcy has social consequences, and governments want to help. Talk to your city or provincial government to see if they have a dedicated task team available for those on the verge of bankruptcy.
For example, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan offer bankruptcy alternatives like Orderly Payment of Debt. These alternatives make managing your debt more straightforward without requiring you to forfeit your assets like a house or car.
Alternatively, get in touch with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy for Canada.
The office is in charge of several duties under both the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act Canada and Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
On their website, you’ll find information about what to do when you owe money and where to find licensed insolvency trustees.
3. Get in Touch With a Local Bankruptcy Charity or Program
If you’re on the verge of bankruptcy, you’re not alone.
A local financial services charity or government program will help you find out if you’re eligible for extra support. If you can’t afford a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or other fees, fill in the form over at Steps to Justice or another program to seek bankruptcy assistance.
4. Request Free Resources from a Trustee
Some Licensed Insolvency Trustees provide free resources dedicated to personal finance. Search for a Licensed Trustee near you to find free downloads like brochures, worksheets, and forms.
Make Bankruptcy a Last Resort
Bankruptcy in Canada should be a last resort, but it is available for those who genuinely need it.
Before deciding to file for bankruptcy or insolvency, visit one of the bankruptcy resources listed above. They provide factual information about the process and may even turn you on to some programs you didn’t know you qualified for.
Have you ever been in financial distress? What resources helped you decide what to do? Share your stories in the comments below.