What You Need To Disclose To A Bankruptcy Trustee

Category: Personal Bankruptcy (4) comments

On the day you sign your bankruptcy paperwork you will be required to “swear” before a Commissioner of Oaths that the information contained on your Statement of Affairs is true and complete.  To do that, you must disclose various information to your bankruptcy trustee, including the following information about:

  • what you own
  • what you owe
  • specific personal information
  • certain transactions

How To File Bankruptcy Forms

What You Own

You must disclose all of your assets, including real estate, motor vehicles, investments, and household goods and furnishings.  In most cases your trustee will require supporting documentation, such as your most recent RRSP statement, or a house appraisal.

What You Owe

You will also disclose all of your liabilities (a fancy word for “who you owe money to”).  Your debts will include credit cards, bank loans, taxes, student loans, and anyone else to whom you owe money.

Necessary Personal Information

You are also required to disclose basic personal information, including your:

  • full legal name
  • address
  • birth date
  • marital status
  • employer
  • occupation
  • monthly family budget
  • number of people in your family; and
  • whether or not you have operated a business in the last five years, with details

Certain Credit and Asset Transactions

In addition, you are required to disclose whether or not, in the last year, you have

  • sold or disposed of any property;
  • made any payments in excess of regular payments to creditors; and
  • had any property seized by a creditor.

If any of the answers are “yes”, you are required to provide details.

You must also disclose, whether or not in the last five years, you have:

  • sold or disposed of any property; and
  • made any gifts to relatives or others in excess of $500.

Again, you must give details.  You must also disclose if you have ever filed bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.  You will also be asked to give reasons for your financial difficulties.

All of those questions deal with the past.  You will be asked one question about the future:

“Do you expect to receive any sums of money which are not related to your normal income, or any other property within the next 12 months?”  This question is designed to determine if you are expecting, for example, an inheritance, which would have an impact on your bankruptcy.

While these questions are detailed, for most people they are relatively easy to answer, and can be recorded in a few minutes.  Your bankruptcy trustee will walk you through the entire process, and is available to answer any questions you have about what you are required to disclose prior to filing bankruptcy.

Leave A Comment

  1. Leslie B.

    During separation does the spouse filing a consumer proposal have to advise the other spouse of this action?

    1. J. Douglas Hoyes Post author

      When filing a consumer proposal or bankruptcy the debtor is required to advise the trustee of all known creditors so that they can be advised of the filing. If the ex-spouse is a creditor, they are required to be notified. If they are not a creditor, there is no requirement to notify them of the filing.

  2. Heather S.

    What are the rules and laws for Trustees asking for bank statements with dates prior to your actual assignment into Bankruptcy?

    1. J. Douglas Hoyes Post author

      Hi Heather. There are no specific laws. A trustee is required to determine your income, and establish if you have made any preferential payments in the period leading up to filing bankruptcy (such as making a large payment to one creditor, but not to others) which would be why they may ask to see bank statements. Your trustee can explain their reasoning for wanting to see your bank statements from prior to filing.


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