What Can I Keep When Filing Bankruptcy?

What Can I Keep When Filing Bankruptcy?

“What can I keep when filing bankruptcy? Will a Trustee take away my car and my home?”

You can imagine that we get asked this type of question many times.

The General Rule of Assets in Bankruptcy

The general principle of bankruptcy law is that upon filing for bankruptcy, your assets become the legal property of the Licensed Insolvency Trustee. The Trustee is then required to liquidate your assets in an orderly manner and deposit the proceeds into his trust account. The proceeds are then distributed to your creditors after the Trustee pays himself a fee for his professional services.

Exceptions to the General Rule – Exemptions

However, there are a number of very important exceptions to this general rule.

    • Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, an RRSP is exempt from seizure by your Trustee. However, any contributions made to the RRSP within the 12-month period prior to the day of bankruptcy would have to be realized by your Trustee. Therefore, he’ll need to examine your RRSP statement to determine if you made any contributions to your RRSP within the 12 months prior to bankruptcy. If this is the case, your Trustee will write to the financial institution holding your RRSP and request a remittance of these funds to his office. The funds are then deposited into his trust account to be held in trust for your creditors.
    • Each province in Canada have laws containing lists of assets that are protected from your creditors, as well as from a Trustee, up to a certain dollar amount. These are called “exemptions”.
    • The list of assets and their dollar exemption limits will vary from province to province. To illustrate, here is a list of exempt assets under the Ontario Executions Act:
      1. Household furnishings and appliances up to $13,150.00
      2. Your principal residence is exempt from seizure IF the equity in your home does not exceed $10,000. If the equity does exceed $10,000 then your principal residence is subject to seizure and sale
      3. All necessary clothing
      4. Tools of the trade up to $11,300.00
      5. A vehicle valued up to $6,600.00
      6. Pensions
      7. Other special exemptions for farmers
      8. Certain life insurance policies

So for example, if you are filing for personal bankruptcy in Ontario, you can keep a vehicle up to $6,600.00 – you wouldn’t have to worry about losing your vehicle to the Trustee so long as its fair market value is beneath that threshold. Your Trustee should be able to look up its value for you.


If you want to work with a Trustee who will give you confidence and peace of mind that your personal bankruptcy proceedings are being dealt with in a professional manner, look no further.

Reviews of Our Services


Victor was quick to contact me and the consistent contact was amazing. Victor is really passionate about listening to my needs and it showed as his service with me was nothing short of an amazing experience. He went out of his way to meet on my sched and his attention to detail is exceptional. If yo

Erin Dunn
Erin Dunn

Victor and his team (Mary) were always extraordinarily prompt with their responses to any inquiries and went out of their way to respond to questions in detail. They were extremely helpful at all times, even after my Proposal was completed. VIctor is an excellent advocate for his client's needs and

S Bal
S Bal

I searched for a Trustee online and Victor was the only one who really sat down and listened to my issues. He explained to me what is to come in the next five years of my life and thereafter. Mary, his office assistant has been very helpful whenever I have questions. Thank you for helping me.

Roger Silva
Roger Silva

Victor and his team were amazing. Treated us with the upmost professionalism. Answered all our questions, took care of everything and turned an unfortunate situation and made it much less stressful. I highly recommend Fong and Partners. Thank you all for your support through the process.

Maricar Venturanza
Maricar Venturanza

Working with Victor Fong was great. We just finished our consumer proposal a week ago and the entire process was quite easy. Mary was amazing at answering all my questions and accommodating me when I had any questions or concerns. Her response time was impeccable. Our initial meeting with Victor wa


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Phone: 416-260-3264

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