Will I lose all of my assets if I go bankrupt? What can I keep? What is meant by Exempt Assets?

Every province in Canada allows you to keep (claim them as “exempt”) some level of personal assets if you declare bankruptcy. The nature of the assets that you can keep depends on the applicable provincial legislation where you file for bankruptcy. If you declare bankruptcy, file a proposal or even if you are sued, in British Columbia the BC Court Order Enforcement Act allows you to keep from your creditors

  • $5000 equity in a vehicle (equity being the value of the assets above the debt attached to that asset)
  • $10,000 in Tools of the Trade (anything you use to earn an income)
  • $4,000 in Home Furnishings and Appliances
  • $12,000 in equity in a personal residence ($9,000 outside of the GVRD area)

In addition to the above amounts there is other legislation that allows you to keep your RRSP’s except for any contributions you have made in the previous 12 months.

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