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Can You File for Bankruptcy Without Losing Your Car and House?

Few words are as unnerving to people as “bankruptcy.” This term evokes the loss of one’s material possessions: your car, home, furniture, appliances and more. A licensed insolvency trustee at Bernier & Associates in Ottawa can work with you to solve your debt problems by helping you file for personal bankruptcy or a consumer proposal. In this article, we respond to a question that our clients in Ottawa and Gatineau frequently ask us: can you file for bankruptcy and still keep your car and house?


Can you keep your car after filing for bankruptcy?

There are certain circumstances in which you’re allowed to keep your car despite filing for bankruptcy:


  • Your vehicle is leased (and therefore doesn’t belong to you) and you’re able to continue to make your monthly payments.


  • You’ve financed your vehicle and haven’t completed the monthly payments, but you’re still able to make them.


  • Your vehicle is paid for in full and you meet certain criteria permitting you to keep it (such as needing it to get to work or there is a provincial exemption).


If none of these conditions apply and your car can be seized, there are still steps you can take if you’re intent on keeping it. By working with a licensed insolvency trustee, you can compensate your creditors by paying a sum that’s equivalent to the value of your car.


Can you keep your house after filing for bankruptcy?

Whether or not you can keep your house depends on how much equity you have in your home. You can determine your home equity by subtracting your outstanding mortgage (which you can obtain from your mortgage broker) from the market value of your home (which can be determined by hiring an appraiser).


A licensed insolvency trustee will consider various factors to determine whether your home has equity, if there is a provincial exemption for a certain amount, if the property is owned in co-ownership or if it is the matrimonial home.


In any case, rest assured that you won’t suddenly lose the roof over your head when filing for bankruptcy.


Are you looking for an experienced licensed insolvency or bankruptcy trustee in Ottawa, Ontario, or Gatineau, Quebec? Turn to Bernier & Associates for a personalized solution to your financial problems, from filing a consumer proposal to declaring personal bankruptcy. We’ll review your case in complete confidentiality. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation in Ottawa.




Bernier & Associates

226, rue Papineau






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