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Exemptions — Assets you can keep in bankruptcy

Alberta

In Alberta, what you are entitled to keep is determined by the Civil Enforcement Act. In summary, you are generally able to keep the following property:

  • Food required by you and your dependents during the next 12 months.

  • Necessary clothing up to a value of $4,000

  • Household furnishings and appliances to a value of $4, 000

  • One motor vehicle not exceeding a value of $5,000 (equity)

  • Medical and dental aids required by you and your dependents.

  • The equity in your principal residence, including a mobile home, up to a value of $40,000. If you are a co-owner of the residence, the amount of the exemption is reduced to an amount that is proportionate to your ownership interest.

  • Personal property (i.e., tools, equipment, books) that you require to earn income from your occupation up to a value of $10,000.

  • Social allowance, handicap benefit or a widow's pension if the proceeds from the payment are not intermingled with your other funds.

  • Where you are a bona fide farmer and your principal source of livelihood is farming: 160 acres if your principal residence is located on that 160 acres and the 160 acres is part of your farm.

  • Where your primary income is from farming operations, personal property that you require for the proper and efficient conduct of your farming operations for the next 12 months.

  • RRSPs, RRIFs and are RESPs — generally these are exempt assets in the province of Alberta.

  • Life insurance policies — all life insurance policies are exempt as long as the beneficiary is a spouse child grandchild or parent of the owner of the policy.

  • Pension plans — these are exempt in the province of Alberta.

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British Columbia

  • Equity in a home in Greater Vancouver and Victoria up to a value of $12,000. In the rest of the province up to a value of $9,000

  • Equity in household items up to a value of $4,000

  • Equity in a vehicle up to a value of $5,000; The vehicle exemption drops to $2,000 if the debtor is behind on child care payments (to facilitate the enforcement of Maintenance Orders)

  • Equity in work tools up to a value of $ 10,000

  • Equity in essential clothing and health aids is unlimited

Saskatchewan

For Non-Farmers:

  • Household furniture and personal effects to a value of $4,500 per person

  • Tools of the trade to a value of $4,500

  • A motor vehicle, if required for employment

  • $32,000 equity in your home ($64,000 if jointly owned)

  • Certain life insurance policies

  • Certain pensions

  • Necessary and ordinary clothing of the family

  • The books of a professional person

  • The trailer or portable shack occupied by the debtor as living quarters.

  • RRSPs, RRIFs and DPSPs are exempt from seizure

For Farmers:

  • Furniture, furnishings and appliances to a value of $10,000

  • The cash equivalent of produce sufficient to provide food and fuel for heating until the next harvest

  • All livestock, farm machinery and equipment, including one car or truck, necessary for the next twelve months operations

  • One motor vehicle, if required for business or profession, but not in addition to the one above

  • Tools and equipment to a value of $4,500 used by a farmer in his trade or profession

  • Equity in personal residence to a value of $32,000 ($64,000 if jointly owned)

  • Seed grain equal to two bushels per acre of land under cultivation

  • Cash equivalent of crop equal to:

    • unpaid harvesting costs

    • living expenses to next harvest

    • necessary costs of farming until next harvest

  • The homestead, provided it is not more than 160 acres

  • Any trailer that is occupied by the farmer as living quarters and not in addition to the house and buildings already exempt.

  • RRSPs, RRIFs and DPSPs are exempt from seizure

  • Certain life insurance policies

  • Certain pensions

Manitoba

  • Furniture, household furnishings and appliances not exceeding total value of $4,500

  • Necessary and ordinary clothing of the debtor and family

  • Food and fuel necessary to family for period of six months or cash equivalent

  • If debtor is a farmer:

    • animals necessary for farming operation for 12 months

    • farm machinery, dairy utensils and farm equipment necessary for ensuing 12 months

    • one motor vehicle if required for purposes of agricultural operations

    • Home quarter

  • Tools, implements, professional books and other necessaries not exceeding a total value of $7,500 used in practice of trade, occupation or profession

  • One motor vehicle, if necessary for work or transportation to and from work, not exceeding $3,000 in value

  • Articles and furniture necessary to performance of religious services

  • Seed sufficient to seed all land of debtor under cultivation

  • Health aids, including wheelchair, air conditioner, elevator, hearing aid, eye glasses, prosthetic or orthopaedic equipment, necessary to debtor or family

  • Chattel property of municipalities and schools

  • Actual residence of the bankrupt, equity of $1,500 each if in joint tenancy or tenancy in common, or $2,500 if not in joint tenancy

  • RRSPs, Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) and Deferred Profit Sharing Plans (DPSPs)

Ontario

  • Clothing up to a value of $ 5,650.00

  • Household Goods up to a value of $11,300.00

  • Tools of the Trade up to a value of $11,300.00

  • Farmers

    • The livestock, fowl, bees, books, tools and implements and other chattels ordinarily used by the debtor in the debtor's business or calling not exceeding $28,300 in value;

    • Sufficient seed to seed all the person's land under cultivation, not exceeding 100 acres.

    • Fourteen bushels of potatoes;

    • Where seizure is made between the October 1st and the April 30th, such food and bedding as are necessary to feed and bed the exempt livestock and fowl until the following April 30th.

  • Motor Vehicle up to a value of $ 5,650.00

Quebec

  • The movable property which furnishes his main residence, used by and necessary for the life of the household, up to a market value of $6,000 established by the seizing officer

  • The food, fuel, linens and clothing necessary for the life of the household

  • The instruments of work needed for the personal exercise of his professional activity

  • Family papers and portraits, medals and other decorations

  • Property declared by a donor or a testament to be exempt from seizure except in certain cases

  • Judicially awarded support and sums given or bequeathed as support

  • Benefits payable under a supplemental pension plan to which an employer contributes on behalf of his employees, other amounts declared unseizable by an Act governing such plans and contributions paid or to be paid into such plans

  • Periodic disability benefits and expense reimbursements under a contract of accident and sickness insurance

  • Property of a person that he requires to compensate for a handicap

  • A certain portion of salaries and wages based on the number of dependants

  • Consecrated vessels and things used for religious worship;

  • Employer contributions to pension, insurance or social welfare funds;

  • The value of the food and lodging supplied or paid for by the employer on the occasion of traveling while carrying out work;

  • Passes given by a transportation undertaking to an employer's employees.

* Nevertheless, the property referred to in first and third items above may be seized and sold by a creditor holding a hypothec thereon.

New Brunswick

  • Furniture, household furnishings and appliances used by the debtor or a dependent to a realizable value of $5,000 or to any greater amount that may be prescribed

  • Food, clothing and fuel necessary for the debtor and his family for 3 months

  • Two horses and sets of harness, two cows, ten sheep, two hogs and twenty fowl, and food therefor for six months

  • Necessary tools, equipment and books to the value of $6,500 used in the practice of the debtor's trade or profession

  • Necessary seed grain and potatoes required for planting purposes to the following quantities: forty bushels of oats, ten bushels of barley, ten bushels of buckwheat, ten bushels of wheat and thirty-five barrels of potatoes

  • One motor vehicle having a realizable value of not more than six thousand five hundred dollars at the time the claim for exemption is made, or not more that any greater amount that may be prescribed, if the motor vehicle is required by the debtor in the course of or to retain employment or in the course of and necessary to the debtor's trade, profession or occupation or for transportation to a place of employment where public transportation facilities are not reasonably available

  • Necessary medical and health aids

  • Pets belonging to the debtor

  • Pension plans

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Food required by debtor and dependants during the next 12 months

  • Medical and dental aids required by debtor and dependants

  • Domesticated animals which are kept as pets and not used for business purpose

  • Fuel or heating as a necessity for the debtor and his or her dependants

  • Clothing of the debtor and his or her dependants, of a value totalling $4,000

  • Appliances and household furnishings (which are defined as washing machine, clothes dryer, "reasonably necessary" bedroom suites and bedding, oven and stove top burners, "necessary" dishes and kitchen utensils, and "necessary" strollers, cribs and highchairs), of a value totalling $4,000

  • Motor vehicle of the debtor, value totalling $2,000

  • Items of a sentimental value to the debtor, a value totalling $500

  • The debtor's equity in his or her principal residence, $10,000

  • Personal property used by and necessary for debtor to earn income from occupation, trade, business or calling, $10,000

  • RRSPs, Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) and Deferred Profit Sharing Plans (DPSPs)

  • Where the debtor's primary occupation is farming, personal property, including agricultural products, ordinarily used by and necessary for the debtor to earn income from farming, to a value not exceeding $10,000.

  • Where the debtor's primary occupation is fishing, personal property ordinarily used by and necessary for the debtor to earn income from fishing to a value not exceeding $10,000.

  • Where the debtor's primary occupation is aquaculture, personal property ordinarily used by and necessary for the debtor to earn income from aquaculture to a value not exceeding $10,000.

Nova Scotia

  • Necessary wearing apparel, household furnishings and furniture

  • Necessary fuel and food

  • Necessary grain, seeds, cattle, hogs, fowl, sheep and other livestock for the domestic use of the debtor and his family

  • Necessary medical and health aids

  • Farm equipment, fishing nets, tools and implements used in debtor's chief occupation, not exceeding $1,000

  • Motor vehicle not exceeding $3,000

Prince Edward Island

  • the necessary and ordinary clothing of the debtor and his family;

  • any motor vehicle owned by the debtor not exceeding $3,000 in value;

  • the household furniture, utensils, equipment, food and fuel that are contained in and form part of the permanent home of the debtor, not exceeding $2,000 in value;

  • Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)

  • RRSP's are exempt (no limit) provided they have a defined beneficiary which is a specific member of direct family;

  • in the case of a debtor other than a farmer, tools, instruments and other chattels ordinarily used by the debtor in his business, trade or calling,not exceeding $2,000 in value;

  • in the case of a debtor who is a farmer:

    • livestock, fowl, agricultural machinery and equipment ordinarily used by the debtor in his farm operation,not exceeding $5,000 in value,and

    • sufficient seed to seed all his land under cultivation not exceeding 100 acres

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon

  • household furniture, utensils and equipment that are contained in and form part of the debtor's permanent home.

  • necessary and ordinary clothing of the debtor and the family of the debtor;

  • food, fuel and other necessaries of life required by the debtor and the family of the debtor for the next 12 months;

  • tools, implements and other chattels necessary to, and actually used by the debtor in his business, profession or calling (not exceeding $600.00).

  • house and buildings occupied by the debtor and the lot on which they are situated (not exceeding $3,000.00).

  • RRSP's associated with life insurance policies are exempt from seizure or attachment.

Exemptions — assets you can keep in bankruptcy, by Canadian province:

Alberta  |  British Columbia  |  Saskatchewan  |  Manitoba  |  Ontario

Quebec  |  New Brunswick  |  Newfoundland & Labrador  |  Nova Scotia

PEI  |  NWT, Nunavut, Yukon

For all provinces:

Other Legislation

Other Legislation also allows you to keep:

  • all registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)

  • cash surrender value of life insurance policies where the beneficiary named is the spouse, child, parent or grandchild.

  • generally, pension plans.

  • For further details on what you can keep, see Directive 11-R2 (from the Superintendent of Bankruptcy)


These answers to frequently asked questions are provided as general information only. Each individual's situation is unique. To speak to someone now call us at 310-8888 for a free, no obligation, confidential consultation.

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