In Alberta, property exempt from seizure in bankruptcy is set out in the Civil Enforcement Act and applies to the equity in an asset. Equity is the difference between the value of the asset and how much you owe on the asset.
Example: If you have a car worth $10,000 and you owe $6,000 in car loans, the equity you have in the car is $4,000. In Alberta, the exemption for a car is $5,000. In this case, you have equity of $4,000 and your unsecured creditors cannot take this from you when you file for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy exemptions in Alberta:
- Enough food for you and your dependants for the next 12 months
- Clothing for you and/or your dependants up to $4,000
- Household furnishings and appliances up to $4,000
- One motor vehicle up to $5,000
- Tools of your trade up to $10,000
- No limit on medical and dental aids
- Your principal residence up to $40,000; if you co-own your home, this amount will be reduced based on how much of the home you own
- Social allowance, handicap benefit or a widow’s pension as long as the proceeds from the payment are separate from your other funds
- RRSPs, RESPs and pensions
- Certain life insurance policies
Bankruptcy exemptions for farmers
Up to 160 acres of land is exempt if your principal residence is located on that land and is part of your farm. Any personal property necessary for your farming operations over the next 12 months is also exempt from bankruptcy. For more information about bankruptcy exemptions in Alberta, speak to a local Licensed Insolvency Trustee.