Will You Have Trouble Opening Bank Account after a Canada Bankruptcy

trouble opening bank accountFor the thousands and thousands of Canadians wrapped in a financial nightmare, the decision to declare bankruptcy to get some relief can be an agonizing one.  They worry about what bankruptcy will do to their lives in the future.  Some of those worries surround their financial affairs.  Will they ever be able to get credit again?  Will they have trouble opening bank account with a mainstream bank? 

Both those financial fears are unfounded.  People who opt to file for bankruptcy in Canada can rebuild their credit once they are successfully discharged from bankruptcy.  The process takes less time than most people think, with many financial experts claiming credit can be restored in as little as twelve months.

What about trouble opening bank account after bankruptcy?  If you walk into any federally regulated bank in Canada to open a bank account and they turn you down because of bankruptcy, they are breaking the law.  In 2003 the federal government passed the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulation.  These regulations prohibit banks from refusing to open a basic personal bank account because you are in bankruptcy or have ever declared bankruptcy.  What’s more, they also prohibit the unemployed from being denied a personal bank account.

You can file a complaint with the FCAC (Financial Consumer Agency of Canada) if you suspect a bank rejected your application due to bankruptcy.  The FCAC is the agency responsible for compliance with the provisions of the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations.  You should know the regulations do not apply to Internet or telephone applications.

Concern over the ability to open banking accounts after bankruptcy is one of numerous worries Canadians have about the bankruptcy process.  Much of what people hear about the drastic consequences of bankruptcy is not true.  Falsehoods and half-truths are often spread by unscrupulous debt collectors who will stoop to any means to keep a debtor from seeking bankruptcy protection.  They know in most bankruptcies, they will collect little, if anything, of what they are owed.

If you are in money trouble, you should know licensed bankruptcy trustees offer free initial consultations.  Rather than staying awake nights worrying about what to do and fearing bankruptcy, why not take advantage of this and visit a trustee to get some straight answers?  A visit to a trustee does not always end in a bankruptcy filing.  By law, trustees are required to advise clients of all available debt solutions.  If a non-bankruptcy debt solution is best for you, a trustee will help you find the right one.

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David Smith

About David Smith

David was initially drawn to accountancy because he was 'good with numbers'.
He has been an insolvency professional since 1993.   Soon after he began to work with debt issues he discovered that the most satisfying part of his role was the ability to make a positive difference in other people's lives.   It is the person, not the numbers that continues to guide his approach toward helping others deal with debt issues.


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