In Canada, the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act defines three kinds of exemptions:

  • Property you hold in trust for other persons.
  • GST credit payments and prescribed payments relating to your family’s essential needs.
  • Other exempt property defined by the province or territory in which you live.

You can keep some of your possessions when you file for bankruptcy. These assets are called bankruptcy exemptions because they are exempt from seizure.  The list below outlines the exemptions by each province.   A Licensed Insolvency Trustee has up-to-date information on exemptions for every province and can advise you on how these apply to your situation.

Contact us if you have questions regarding your assets.

Newfoundland & Labrador Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Newfoundland and Labrador, bankruptcy exemptions are set by the provincial government and applies to the equity in an asset.   The Equity is the difference between the value of the asset and what you owe on the asset.

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$4000

Motor Vehicle

$2000

Food

Amount required to feed debtor and dependents for 12 months

Clothing

$4000

Tools of Trade

$10,000

Medical Aids

No limit on medical aids required for debtor or dependents

Equity in Primary Residence

Up to $10,000

 Farming, Fishing /  Land Exemptions:

Primary Occupation is Fishing, Farming or Aquaculture
(Personal Property)

Exempt up to $10,000

Nova Scotia Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Nova Scotia, the Judicature Act of Nova Scotia, the Personal Property Security Act of Nova Scotia and the Insurance Act of Nova Scotia all contain exempt asset rules.

The following assets are protected or exempt assets in Nova Scotia. They are protected against the liquidation by creditors to satisfy unpaid debts: (unless a creditor holds a purchase money security interest).

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$5,000

Motor Vehicle

$6,500

Food

No limit on necessary items

Clothing

No limit on necessary items

Tools of Trade

$7,500

Medical Aids

No limit on medical aids required for debtor or dependents

Pension plans, RRSP’s,RRIF’s and Deferred profit sharing plans.

Exempt – However, there is a claw back period of any contributions made to RRSP in the 12 months prior to bankruptcy

Exceptions to the Exemption(s)

Assets or Chattels used in debtor’s chief occupation
(Personal Property)

Exempt status does not apply to assets or chattel subject to a purchase money security interest (PMSI).  A PMSI is when a loan is given to facilitate the purchase of a specific asset, exempt or not.

New Brunswick Bankruptcy Exemptions

The following assets are protected or exempt assets in New Brunswick. They are protected against the liquidation by creditors to satisfy unpaid debts: (unless a creditor holds a purchase money security interest)

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$5,000

Motor Vehicle

$6,500

Food

No limit on necessary items

Clothing

No limit on necessary items

Tools of Trade

$6,500

Medical Aids

No limit on necessary medical aids required for debtor or dependents

Certain Pension plans, RRSP’s, and RRIF’s

Exempt – However, there is a claw back period of any contributions made to RRSP in the 12 months prior to bankruptcy

Exceptions to the Exemption(s):

Assets or Chattels used in debtor’s chief occupation
(Personal Property)

Exempt status does not apply to assets or chattel subject to a purchase money security interest (PMSI).  A PMSI is when a loan is given to facilitate the purchase of a specific asset, exempt or not.

Farming, Fishing /  Land Exemptions:

Farm Property
Two horses and sets of harness, two cows, ten sheep, two hogs and 20 fowl, and food for them for six months

 

Farm Planting
40 bushels of oats

10 bushels of barley

10 bushels of buckwheat

10 bushels of wheat

35 barrels of potatoes

 

Prince Edward Island Bankruptcy Exemptions

The following assets are protected or exempt assets in Prince Edward Island. They are protected against the liquidation by creditors to satisfy unpaid debts (unless a creditor holds a purchase money security interest):

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$5,000

Motor Vehicle

$6,500 or up to $3,000 if not used for work

Food

No limit on necessary items

Clothing

No limit on necessary items

Tools of Trade

$2,000

Medical Aids

No limit on necessary medical aids required for debtor or dependents

Pension plans, RRSP’s, and RRIF’s

Exempt – However, RRSP’s have a condition they have a defined beneficiary as defined by provincial legislation.

Exceptions to the Exemption(s)

Assets or Chattels used in debtor’s chief occupation
(Personal Property)

Exempt status does not apply to assets or chattel subject to a purchase money security interest (PMSI).  A PMSI is when a loan is given to facilitate the purchase of a specific asset, exempt or not.

Spouse, former spouse, or child

Provincial exemptions do not apply against spouse or child with respect to maintenance orders, except in the case of tools of trade

Farming, Fishing /  Land Exemptions:

Farming Equipment & Property

 

Farmers are allowed the necessary seed to cultivate land under his control, not exceeding 100 acres
and
Livestock, fowl, farming machinery and equipment used by the debtor not exceeding $5,000 in value.

Quebec Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Quebec, property exempt from seizure in bankruptcy is set by the provincial government and applies to the equity in an asset. 

 

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$6,000

Motor Vehicle

Allowed 1 vehicle required for work

Food

No limit on necessary items

Clothing

No limit on necessary items

Tools of Trade

Tools required for debtors work

Medical Aids

No limit on necessary medical aids required for debtor or dependents

RRSP’s

Exempt – However, there is a claw back period of any contributions made to RRSP in the 12 months prior to bankruptcy

Ontario Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Ontario, the Execution Act sets out what assets are protected against the liquidation by creditors to satisfy unpaid debt (unless a creditor holds a purchase money security interest).

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$14,180

Motor Vehicle

$7,117

Food

No limit on necessary items

Clothing

No limit on necessary items

Tools of Trade

$14,405

Medical Aids

No limit on necessary medical aids required for debtor or dependents

Pension plans, RRSP’s, RRIF’s, and RDSP’s

Exempt – However, RRSP’s have a condition they have a defined beneficiary as defined by provincial legislation.

Equity in Home (Primary Residence)

$10,783,  if a debtor’s equity in the house is less than $10,783. If a debtor’s equity in house is greater than $10,783, there is NO exemption.

 

Farming, Fishing /  Land Exemptions:

(Farming Only) Tools and Livestock

 

31,379 for livestock, fowl, bees, books, tools and implements of the trade

Manitoba Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Manitoba, property exempt from seizure in bankruptcy is set by the provincial government and applies to the equity in an asset.

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$4,500

Motor Vehicle

$3,000

Food

No limit on necessary items for 6 months

Clothing

No limit on necessary items

Articles and furniture necessary for Religious Services

Exempt

Tools of Trade

$7,500

Medical Aids

No limit on necessary medical aids required for debtor or dependents

Equity in Home (Primary Residence)

$2,500 if you are the sole owner
$1,500 if you co-own your home

Farming, Fishing /  Land Exemptions:

 

Farming Equipment & Property

 

          All Farm equipment and animals needed for the next 12 months

          One motor vehicle if required for you agricultural operations

          Sufficient Seed to seed all land under cultivation

          Up to 160 acres of farmland

          Any house, stable, barn and fences on your farm (up to 160 acres)

Saskatchewan Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Saskatchewan, property exempt from seizure in bankruptcy is set by the provincial government and applies to the equity in an asset.

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

Exempt – All necessary household furniture & appliances

Motor Vehicle

$10,000

Food

No limit on necessary items for 6 months

Clothing & jewelry

$7,500

RRSP, RRIF’s, certain pensions (DPSP) and life insurance policies

Exempt with some restrictions. 
Contact your local LIT for more details

Tools of Trade

All Tools required for debtors work

Medical Aids

No limit on necessary medical aids required for debtor or dependents

Equity in Home (Primary Residence)

$50,000

Farming, Fishing /  Land Exemptions:

 

Farming Equipment & Property

 

        Enough cash or crops to provide food & fuel to farmer until next harvest period.

         All Livestock & arm machinery , including car or truck, for up to 12 months of operation.

        Two bushels of seed per acre of land

        Tools of Trade necessary for farming up to $20,000

Alberta Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Alberta, the Civil Enforcement Act sets out what assets are protected against the liquidation by creditors to satisfy unpaid debt (unless a creditor holds a purchase money security interest).

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$4000

Motor Vehicle

$5000

Food

Amount required to feed debtor and dependents for 12 months

Clothing

Up to $4000

Tools of Trade

$10,000

Medical Aids

Medical aids required for debtor or dependents

RRSPs, RIFs, RESPs, RDSP’s and certain life insurance policies

Exempt (with some restrictions).
Contact your LIT for more details

Equity in Primary Residence

$40 000 for the property but subject to conditions. Contact your LIT for more information

Farming, Fishing /  Land Exemptions:

(Farmer’s Only) Land

160 acres of land; if principal residence is located on that land and is part of your farming operation

(Farmer’s Only) Personal Property

Any property that is required in order to sustain up to 12 months of farming operations

British Columbia Bankruptcy Exemptions

In British Columbia, the Court Order Enforcement Act  and Insurance Act both set out what assets are protected against the liquidation by creditors to satisfy unpaid debt (unless a creditor holds a purchase money security interest).

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$4000

Motor Vehicle

$5000, unless debtor owes for family or child support payments, in which case their exemption is reduced to $2,000

Food

No limit on necessary items for debtor and dependents.

Clothing

No limit on necessary items for debtor and dependents.

Tools of Trade

$10,000  (Cannot be applied to a work vehicle)

Medical & Dental Aids

Medical aids required for debtor or dependents

RRSPs and RDSPs

Exempt, except for RRSP contributions made in 12 months before bankruptcy

Equity in Primary Residence

$12,000 if located in Capital Region or Metro Vancouver Region District  (see below)
$9,000 if located outside of these regions

** Capital Region or Metro Vancouver Regional District includes: **
Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, Langley, Delta, North Vancouver, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, West Vancouver, Port Moody, Langley, White Rock, Pitt Meadows, Bowen Island, Anmore, Lions Bay, Tsawwassen, Belcarra, Saanich, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Victoria, Langford, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Colwood, Sooke, Sidney, View Royal, Metchosin, Salt Spring Island, Juan De Fuca, Southern Gulf Islands

Yukon Bankruptcy Exemptions

In the Yukon, property exempt from seizure in a bankruptcy is set by the territorial government and applies to the equity in an asset.

 

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Furniture, Household Appliances

Up to $200

Equity in Home (primary residence)

$3,000

Food

No limit on necessary items for 12 months

Clothing

No limit on necessary items for debtor and dependents

Tools of Trade – Livestock, fowl, bees, books used for business

$600

North West Territories Bankruptcy Exemptions

In the NWT, property exempt from seizure in bankruptcy is set out in the Exemptions Act and applies to the equity in an asset.

 

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Unsecured Furniture, Household Appliances

$5,000

Motor Vehicle

$6,000

Food & Fuel

No limit on necessary items for 12 months

Clothing

No limit on necessary clothing

Hunting Tools

$15,000

Tools of Trade

$12,000

Equity in Home (Primary Residence)

$50,000

Nunavut Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Nunavut, property exempt from seizure in a bankruptcy is set by the territorial government and applies to the equity in an asset.

Category

Maximum Amount of Exemption (Realizable value)

Furniture, Household Appliances

No limit

Medical & Dental Aids

No limit

Food & Fuel

No limit on necessary items for 12 months

Clothing

No limit on necessary clothing

Hunting Tools / Tools of Trade

No limit

Certain Pensions & Life insurance policies

Most Exempt.
Contact LIT for details on restrictions

Equity in Home (Primary Residence)

$35,000