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Do I need a Bankruptcy Lawyer to go Bankrupt?


In general a person does not need a bankruptcy lawyer to go bankrupt in Alberta, and in most bankruptcy situations, the cost of a lawyer can be avoided.

Although there are bankruptcy lawyers in Alberta who may, as a part of their general practice, specialize in bankruptcy law or in assisting people with certain aspects of a bankruptcy, bankruptcies in Alberta and Canada are administered by Licensed Insolvency Trustees and overseen by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, a division of the federal government in Ottawa, Ontario.


The Superintendent of Bankruptcy licenses qualified individuals to administer the provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, who are referred to as Licensed Insolvency Trustees.

Although bankruptcy trustees are not bankruptcy lawyers, they specialize in administering one aspect of the law in the form of The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. As bankruptcy involves finances and financial assessments, the majority of Bankruptcy Trustees are professional accountants who are members of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP), and they are often members of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) or another professional accounting association.

The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act does not allow an individual to practice as both a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and a Bankruptcy Lawyer. The Superintendent of Bankruptcy considers Trustees and Lawyers as incompatible professions, because acting in a dual capacity may lead to a conflict of interest.

In the vast majority of cases, a bankruptcy lawyer is not required and most people proceed with and complete their bankruptcy without the need of a lawyer’s services. For further information on this or any other aspect of a bankruptcy, you can contact an Alberta Bankruptcy Trustee for a free confidential no obligation consultation.

In most cases, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee will be able to assist you in determining whether a particular aspect of your bankruptcy requires legal representation and whether you need a bankruptcy lawyer to go bankrupt in Alberta.