Bills Logo

Learn about the Canada BIA

image alt text Team
UpdatedJun 7, 2023
I am a Canadian citizen residing in the US. Can I file for bankruptcy in Canada even though I live in the USA?

I am a Canadian citizen living in the USA. I am not working for now and having some financial difficulties. Can I file bankruptcy with my Canadian creditors even if I live in the states?

To learn about bankruptcy in Canada, start with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada home page. The key resource for you is the declaring bankruptcy page, which outlines the steps a debtor needs to take to file for bankruptcy in Canada. If you are a debtor, be sure to review the resources for debtors page.

The Canada Revenue Agency Bankruptcy page and the Bankruptcy Assistance Program are also good resources.

In Canada, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (R.S., 1985, c. B-3) covers the law of bankruptcy. The BIA makes references to foreign corporations filing for bankruptcy, but I could find no laws concerning a requirement for a private person to be residing in Canada as a condition of filing bankruptcy. I hasten to add that I am not a Canadian lawyer, and you should consult with a Canadian lawyer who has experience in bankruptcy for a more precise answer.

To learn more about the relationship between US and Canadian credit reports, see the resource Canada Credit Report.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



Struggling with debt?

Debt is used to buy a home, pay for bills, buy a car, or pay for a college education. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q4 2022 was $16.91 trillion. Auto loan debt was $1.55 trillion and credit card was $0.99 trillion.

A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.

The amount of debt and debt in collections vary by state. For example, in Tennessee, 32% have any kind of debt in collections and the median debt in collections is $1892. Medical debt is common and 18% have that in collections. The median medical debt in collections is $888.

Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.

SHOW SOURCEarrow-down


GGinger, Jul, 2012
Thanks so much for posting this! Everyone knows that bankruptcy is a slippery slope. You really need to be careful when filing for bankruptcy, because you never really know what will happen.
SSophie, Jun, 2012
There are a lot of great comments in here! I've been trying to decide if I want to find credit counseling to help me out (the last year was hard for everyone). From everyone's experience, I think it's a good option. It will at least keep me informed, right? Thanks for the article and the comments!
MMoe, Apr, 2012
Thank you so much for these excellent responses. I was going to ask a question about bankruptcy, but everything that I needed was covered in the links provided and in the comments. Thanks again!
BBeth, Nov, 2011
I am in the opposite situation. I owe about 20K credit card debt. I am a born Canadian citizen, naturalized American, living in Canada, with no plans to return to the USA soon. Can I file for bankruptcy in the USA, and will that affect my credit and credit cards in Canada?Thanks!
BBill, Nov, 2011
You do not need to be present in the US to file US bankruptcy.

You will, however, need to tell the court your address in documents you swear are accurate. It is unclear to me if Canadian consumer credit reporting agencies (credit bureaus) pay any attention to US public records. If they do, then your US bankruptcy may impact your credit report and credit score in Canada. If they ignore US public records, or otherwise never learn of your bankruptcy, then the US bankruptcy will have no impact on your Canadian credit score.