I Am Leaving Canada – What Happens to my Debts?
The quick answer is nothing. Whether you live in Canada or anywhere else in the world, your debts remain owing. Your creditors do not care if you left Canada to obtain employment in another country or to look after a sick member of your family back home. Creditors have no heart or compassion – they only want your money. Once you leave Canada, either temporarily or permanent, your creditors have to decide what to do about your debt. First, do they know where you are? Did you leave your current address with the creditor or with anyone else? The biggest factor to the creditor is the size of the debt.
The higher the debt, the more time, effort and money the creditor will invest to try to collect what is owing from you wherever you are. The creditors can sue you in Canada and, if they obtain judgement, they could try to enforce the judgement in the country where you are now living. These are, of course, problems for the creditors. First, they have to satisfy the court that you were properly served with the lawsuit in order to get the judgement against you. Than they have to be able to enforce the judgement in the country that you are now living in. Not all countries have a court system that will enforce a Canadian judgement. It is a time consuming and expensive process as a local lawyer must be hired.
Unless the amount owing is high, most creditors will not choose to chase you in another country. The creditors usually try to convince anyone in your family who is still in Canada that you must pay the debt or terrible “things” will happen to you when you return to Canada. This is not true. The creditors must follow the law just as everyone else is required to do. In most cases, the creditors will simply wait and hope that you return to Canada and that they have the legal right to pursue you to collect the debt. You, as the debtor, also have rights. Within one year after leaving Canada, you have the right to file a proposal or a bankruptcy. It is more complicated as permission for remote assessments and counselling must be obtained from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. The reason why debtors do this is that they want to return to Canada with no outstanding debts. Essentially, the debtor returns to make a fresh start for the rest of his life.
Contact Rumanek & Company Ltd. for more information on bankruptcy and debt solutions. Or please fill out the free bankruptcy evaluation form, to learn more please visit our YouTube. Rumanek & Company have been helping individuals and families overcome debt for more than 25 years.