Personal Exemptions During Bankruptcy

Here, F. J. Zielski & Associates Inc. offers information on personal exemptions. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have three offices throughout Ontario in Belleville, Kingston, and Trenton, as well as a local number for Cobourg.


  • RRSPs effective July 7, 2008 are exempt from seizure except any contributions made within 12 months of bankruptcy.
  • Student loans are now dischargeable from bankruptcy once the student has been out of school for 7 years, effective July 7, 2008. This replaces the previous 10 year rule.


The Ontario Execution Act

The following chattels are exempt from seizure under the Ontario Execution Act:


  • Necessary and ordinary wearing apparel of the debtor and his or her family. No limit.
  • Household furniture, utensils, equipment, food, and fuel that are contained in and form part of the permanent home of the debtor not exceeding the prescribed amount or, if no amount is prescribed, $13,150 in value
  • In the case of a debtor other than a person engaged solely in the tillage of the soil or farming, tools and instruments and other chattels ordinarily used by the debtor in the debtor's business, profession or calling not exceeding the prescribed amount or, if no amount is prescribed, $11,300 in value
  • In the case of a person engaged solely in the tillage of the soil or farming, the livestock, fowl, bees, books, tools and implements, and other chattels ordinarily used by the debtor in the debtor's business or calling not exceeding the prescribed amount or, if no amount is prescribed, $29,100 in value
  • In the case of a person engaged solely in the tillage of the soil or farming, sufficient seed to seed all the person's land under cultivation, not exceeding 100 acres, as selected by the debtor, and 14 bushels of potatoes, and, where seizure is made between the 1st day of October and the 30th day of April, such food and bedding as are necessary to feed and bed the livestock and fowl that are exempt under this section until the 30th day of April next following
  • Motor vehicle not exceeding the prescribed amount or, if no amount is prescribed, $6,600 in value.


Assets Not Included in Most Personal Bankruptcies

In most personal bankruptcies, the following assets are not included:


  • Necessary clothing
  • Household furniture (up to a value of $13,150)
  • One vehicle (up to a value of $6,600)
  • Tools of trade (up to a value of $11,300)
  • Farmer’s tools (up to value of $28,300)
  • Pensions, certain life insurance policies, and certain RRSPs
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