What Assets Can Nova Scotia Residents Keep In Bankruptcy?

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Updated:  March 23, 2023

There are certain assets that you generally get to keep when you file personal bankruptcy. This list of assets varies from province to province; the following is a list of assets that are exempt from seizure in the Province of Nova Scotia:

Each province in Canada has legislation that protects certain assets from seizure by your creditors unless you have pledged those assets as security for a specific debt.

For individuals living in the province of Nova Scotia, these exemptions are controlled by the Judicature Act and the Personal Property Security Act.

Assets exempt from seizure under execution, by an unsecured creditor, debt collectors or judgment creditors in Nova Scotia include, but are not limited to the following:

  • furniture, household furnishings and appliances used by the debtor or a dependent to a realizable value of $5,000 or to any greater amount that may be prescribed;

  • all fuel and food reasonably necessary for the ordinary use of the family;

  • all grain and other seeds, and all cattle, hogs, fowl, sheep and other livestock which are reasonably necessary for the domestic use of the debtor and his family;

  • medical or health aids necessary to enable the debtor or a dependent to work or to sustain health;

  • such farm equipment, fishing nets, tools and implements of, or other chattels, as are used in the debtor’s chief occupation, not exceeding in the aggregate value of $7,500;

  • one motor vehicle having a realizable value of not more than $6,500 at the time the claim for exemption is made, or not more than any greater amount that may be prescribed, if the motor vehicle is required by the debtor in the course of or to retain employment or in the course of and necessary to the debtor’s trade, profession or occupation or for transportation to a place of employment where public transportation facilities are not reasonably available;

  • RRSPs are not exempt from seizure by creditors. However, the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act states that RRSPs are not realizable by the Trustee in Bankruptcy, except for contributions in the 12 months prior to the date of bankruptcy;

If all or a portion of the asset is not exempt, you will generally have the option of keeping the asset by repurchasing it from the bankruptcy estate.

For example – if you have a vehicle worth $9,500 that does not have a loan against it, you could keep this vehicle; however, you would need to pay the bankruptcy estate $3,000. Since the vehicle is worth $9,500 and the exemption is only $6,500, there is $3,000 in value that is not exempt that the Trustee must collect.

When you file personal bankruptcy, all of your assets are transferred to the Trustee to be liquidated for the benefit of your unsecured creditors, except those assets which are exempt from seizure by provincial or federal legislation, examples of which are listed above.

Your Trustee must recover any assets that have equity above and beyond what is owed against them.

You will note that there is no exemption for any real estate (House / Land). If you own real estate worth more than the mortgages registered against it, the Trustee must collect this excess value.

There is also no exemption for Registered Education Savings Plans (“RESP”).

If you are keeping an asset that has a loan against it, you need to continue making the loan payments to keep the asset.

Powell Associates Ltd. is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. We are experienced, hands-on insolvency and restructuring professionals who understand the personal impacts of major financial stress;

  • You won’t be stuck in an assembly line process.

  • You will expect and receive prompt responses and resolution of issues from our supportive and experienced team.

  • We will review your debt solution options, including filing a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy.

  • We help Canadians with overwhelming debt get fresh financial starts.

Once you file a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy, we deal directly with your creditors on your behalf. Your unsecured creditors are required to stop contacting you or continuing legal proceedings against you. The consumer proposal and bankruptcy process can be complicated; contact us for a free initial consultation. As Licensed Insolvency Trustees, we are the only licensed and regulated professionals who can assist you with a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.

We offer free consultations to review your financial situation and practical debt resolution options and help you with your unsecured debt. Contact us to discuss your situation over the phone, a video chat, or in-person in Saint JohnMoncton, FrederictonCharlottetownDartmouth, or Miramichi.