Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on February 28, 2024.


Bankruptcy is a legal process that individuals and businesses can use to obtain relief from overwhelming debt burdens when they are unable to repay their creditors. 

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy involves filing a request in a bankruptcy court, where a judge oversees the process and resolves the debtor’s financial issues. Bankruptcy laws vary by country, but they generally aim to provide a fair and orderly process for debtors to address their financial difficulties while protecting the rights of creditors.

One of the primary goals of bankruptcy is to provide debtors with a fresh start by discharging eligible debts. Bankruptcy laws provide exemptions that protect certain assets from being seized and sold to repay creditors. Exempt assets may include a primary residence, vehicle, household goods, retirement accounts, and personal belongings.

Bankruptcy laws often require debtors to undergo credit counselling before filing for bankruptcy and complete financial management courses after filing. These requirements aim to educate debtors about budgeting, financial management, and responsible credit use to prevent future financial difficulties.

Furthermore, bankruptcy can have a significant impact on a debtor’s creditworthiness and ability to obtain credit in the future. A bankruptcy filing typically remains on a debtor’s credit report for several years, potentially affecting their ability to qualify for loans, credit cards, and favourable interest rates.

Example of bankruptcy

John, a small business owner, has been struggling financially due to declining sales and mounting debts. Despite his efforts to cut costs and increase revenue, he finds himself unable to keep up with his business expenses and repay his creditors.

After careful consideration, John decides to file for bankruptcy. He consults with a bankruptcy attorney and submits a request to the bankruptcy court, listing all of his assets, liabilities, and creditors.

John’s financial documents get reviewed and determine that his assets are insufficient to repay his debts in full. 

Although bankruptcy has a negative impact on John’s creditworthiness and ability to obtain credit in the future, it allows him to resolve his overwhelming debt burdens and move forward with a clean slate, focusing on rebuilding his financial stability.

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