Bankruptcy Abuse and Fraud
Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada osb.ic.gc.ca
The majority of people who declare bankruptcy are honest, but they have experienced such significant financial problems that the only way to resolve them is through the bankruptcy system. Their difficulties may result from a change in employment, income or family situation, a serious illness, or poor financial management.
There are cases, however, where people abuse the system and continue to obtain and use credit knowing that they can’t repay the money they are borrowing. There are also people who use bankruptcy to get out of situations that they have created themselves through bad faith and fraud.
The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) is responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy files in Canada and investigating cases where offences may have been committed. It may intervene before the Court in cases where bankrupts have failed to meet their obligations or when their conduct is deemed to be inappropriate. Trustees in bankruptcy and creditors may also make representations to the Court in such matters.
What are the offences?
The most common offences committed under the BIA and the Criminal Code are when the Bankrupt:
- Fraudulently disposes of property before or after the bankruptcy;
- Makes false entries in a statement of account or hides, destroys or falsifies a document related to his/her property or affairs;
- Obtains credit or any other good through false representations;
- Conceals or fraudulently removes property, or conceals claims or debts;
- Obtains credit or engages in trade without informing the people involved that he/she is bankrupt;
- Refuses to respond fully and truthfully to questions posed during an examination held in accordance with the BIA.
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