February 20, 2013

     When businesses or consumers cannot pay their debts, they may file for bankruptcy or make a proposal (a payment arrangement with their creditors to prevent bankruptcy). These are legal proceedings carried out under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act; they must be handled by an insolvency professional -- a private sector trustee, and administrator of consumer proposals -- and must be registered with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. 

     BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY ACT The legal framework whereby private sector trustees, administrators of consumer proposals, provincial courts and employees of the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy administer and oversee bankruptcy and insolvency transactions, sets out the rights and obligations of the various parties involved in a bankruptcy or an insolvency proceeding. 

     Individuals who are having financial difficulties may wish to check out National Insolvency Web site ( or obtain a copy of the publication Dealing With Debt: A Consumer's Guide from the local Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. 

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy is responsible for: 
1. Supervising the administration of estates in bankruptcy, commercial re-organizations, consumer proposals and receiverships

2. Maintaining a publicly accessible record of bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings

3. Recording and investigating complaints from creditors, debtors and members of the general public regarding possible wrong doing by someone involved in the insolvency process

4. Licensing of private sector trustees to administer estates and the appointment of administrators of consumer proposals

5. Setting and enforcing of professional standards for the administration of estates. NATIONAL INSOLVENCY NAME SEARCH SERVICE The federal office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy maintains a central databank which records all bankruptcies and proposals filed in Canada since 1978 and of all receiverships filed since December 1992. For a fee, they will search the records for you to confirm the bankruptcy status of an individual. Corporate clients who are requesting this service on an ongoing basis are requested to establish a credit account for billing purposes. To obtain information on setting up an account with them, please contact: Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Search Services Jean Edmonds Tower South, 8th Floor 365 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, ON K1A 0C9 Phone: (613) 941-2863 Fax: (613) 941-9490