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Today, almost everything can be done online, whether you want to get food delivered to your home, buy new clothing, or even call an Uber car to your house.

The internet also contains a wealth of knowledge on thousands of different topics, including financial information. So, if you’re struggling with debt or other financial problems, it’s always a good idea to look online for some tips or tricks that could help you.

Naturally, because of the ease of online access, some people, who struggle with debt and are considering bankruptcy as a solution, are curious to know if they can file for bankruptcy online. In an effort to help these people out, we’re going to discuss how to file for bankruptcy in Canada, as well as touch on some other debt options available to Canadian consumers.

What is Bankruptcy?

Before tackling the question of whether people can file for bankruptcy online in Canada, we should make sure everyone understands what bankruptcy is. Bankruptcy is designed to help people who have no foreseeable or reasonable chance to get out of debt. Once the bankruptcy process is complete, most of their debts will be forgiven and they will start fresh, back at square one.

Most of the time, bankruptcy stems from unsecured debts, such as credit card bills. As long as your debts are more than $1000, you can technically file for bankruptcy, according to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of 1985, which governs bankruptcy in Canada.

Pros and Cons of Filing For Bankruptcy in Canada

There are many pros and cons that go along with filing for bankruptcy. In terms of pros, the most notable is that you get to start over financially and will no longer be in debt. Also, filing for bankruptcy will enable you to get the financial counselling you need to avoid massive debt in the future. It will definitely be a huge learning experience for you.

Click here to learn how much it costs to file for bankruptcy.

On the other hand, there are many cons of bankruptcy to consider before you decide to file. The first is that your credit will suffer for around 7 years for your first bankruptcy and 14 years for your second. This means it will be very difficult for you to get a mortgage or to take out new loans for quite a while. Also, bankruptcy will often force you to surrender certain amounts of equity in your home, vehicle, or other assets.

What elements can’t be included when you file for bankruptcy? Find out here.

Can I File For Bankruptcy Online?

So, now we can get to the question of whether it is possible for Canadians to file for bankruptcy online. The simple answer is no, filing for bankruptcy online can’t be done. It is not possible or legal to file for bankruptcy over the internet because you need to meet, in person, with a licensed insolvency trustee for a bankruptcy assessment.

The purpose of this assessment is to have a face to face discussion with a professional about all the aspects of bankruptcy and the laws surrounding it. They want to ensure that you have the most information possible before you make the choice to go bankrupt. Thus, while the internet can provide plenty of knowledge on the subject of bankruptcy, it is not possible to file online.

Also, now that you know filing for bankruptcy online isn’t an option, you should be aware of fake organizations, companies, or services that try to trick people into thinking they can file for bankruptcy online. Unfortunately, there are many bankruptcy scam artists out there who say that they can help you file online for a fee. DO NOT believe them under any circumstances. As we said, a bankruptcy filing cannot legally be done online!

To learn about Canada’s recent financial scams and how to avoid them, click here.

What Are Your Alternatives?

So, since you cannot file for bankruptcy online, what are some of the alternatives? Of course, there is the possibility of filing for bankruptcy in person. All you need to do in that case is fill out some forms, then meet with a licensed insolvency trustee, who will provide you with all the tools and knowledge that you require.

Read this to find out if the Federal Government provides debt relief.

However, bankruptcy isn’t the only debt relief option that you should consider. There are many different methods that can potentially help you out of debt. The method you decide to go with will depend on your particular financial situation and what you feel comfortable doing.

With that in mind, here are some of the best debt relief options for you in Canada that you could consider it before you resort to bankruptcy:

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is perfect for those with a lot of debt from a variety of places and who find it overwhelming. It can be extremely hard to manage several debts of different origins. Essentially, consolidation helps by rolling all of your many, smaller debts into one larger debt.

Did your debt consolidation loan application get denied? Here’s what to do.

Oftentimes, you will be able to get a lower interest rate on this debt consolidation loan and in the process, managing your debt will become much easier, as you only have one payment to make every month. There are both unsecured and secured options available. The option you choose will depend on the assets you have, your credit score, and more. Debt consolidation loans are simply there to make your debts easier to manage.

Just make sure you understand how applying for new credit affects your credit score.

Debt Management/Credit Counselling Programs

If you are not able to qualify for a debt consolidation loan or simply want to become more educated on budgeting, or your finances, a credit counselling service might be the right option for you to try. These services will pair you up with an experienced credit counsellor, who will sit down with you and educate you on budgeting/finance, while you work together to figure out what debt relief option is right for your situation.

Now, these people aren’t magicians. You will still need to buckle down and adhere to the plan you came up with, or else it won’t work and you will end up suffering from the same debt-related problems. But, if you work closely with your counsellor, there is a good chance you won’t have to pay off your debts in full. You will also leave armed with the financial knowledge to keep yourself (and your debt) in check for the rest of your life. This is an incredibly useful service and is one of the most popular debt relief options in the country.

Read this to learn more about credit counselling agencies.

Debt Settlement

If you are very deep in debt and don’t have enough money (or a high enough income) to get out of it, settling your debt could be an option. In a debt settlement, you will work closely with a counsellor, who will reach out to your creditors and negotiate a possible debt reduction.

This will ultimately lead to you paying less than you actually owe. While that sounds amazing, debt settlement isn’t often a great idea as future creditors will know you only paid off part of the debt you owed, which might stop them from lending to you.

How does a debt settlement affect your credit? Look here to find out.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, you are not able to file for bankruptcy online in Canada. However, there are several different (and beneficial) debt relief services available in Canada for people in a wide variety of situations. And, while you can’t use the internet to file for bankruptcy, it is a great source to learn more about finance and the various debt relief options that are available to you.

Kale Havervold avatar on Loans Canada
Kale Havervold

In his over six-year career as a professional writer, Kale has focused on writing about finance, technology, cryptocurrency, entertainment, and sports. Kale's work has been published on Yahoo, RentHop, the Regina Leader-Post, LoansCanada.ca, and ReboundFinance.com. Kale loves to create a wide variety of personal finance-related content. Including everything from how-to guides to featured articles, to advice pieces and everything in between. Whether he’s writing about the newest piece of technology or providing tips to help people with their finances, Kale is passionate about educating Canadian consumers and making sure they have the information they need to make the best decisions.

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