Will I Lose Everything in a Winnipeg Bankruptcy?

  • By Jillian Taylor-Mancusi

If you’re thinking about bankruptcy, chances are you’ve probably wondered, “Will I lose everything?” In a Winnipeg bankruptcy you’ll still be able to keep many of your possessions. Each province has a list of exemptions, or things that can’t be seized when you file bankruptcy.

While your licensed insolvency trustee can tell you exactly what you’ll be able to keep and what you’ll have to give up, here’s a general overview of what you can expect:

Your Home

The first thing most people want to know is whether or not they will lose their homes. This depends on the amount of equity you have in it. This is the difference between the amount of money your home is worth and how much you owe on it. If you have more than $1,500 in equity in your home, it may need to be sold to pay your creditors.

If you’re a farmer, you can keep your home and up to 160 acres.

Your Car

Most people who file bankruptcy are limited to one vehicle with a total worth of $3,000 or less. For example, if you bought a car for $25,000 several years ago and it is now worth $2,500, you will be allowed to keep it. However, if you recently purchased a $25,000 vehicle, it has probably retained more than $3,000 in value and will be lost.


When it comes to furniture and household appliances, you are allowed to keep $4,500 worth of these items. During a meeting worth your licensed insolvency trustee, you will be able to value and choose which of your furniture and appliances you wish to keep.


In Manitoba, the exemption for clothing has no limit, which means you are allowed to keep all of your clothing. This allows you to go through the bankruptcy process and be appropriately clothed for work and recreation without the need to purchase extra items.


Men and women who use tools as part of their occupation are allowed to keep $7,500 worth of tools of the trade. Remember that tools are valued like other items that lose value over time, and the price you paid for your tool when it was new is not how the value is determined. Your trustee usually uses garage or estate sale prices to help determine how much each tool is worth.

Food and Fuel

The food and fuel supplies you own are also subject to an exemption limit. You are allowed to keep a 6 month’s supply or the cash equivalent. In other words, if you do not presently own a 6 month supply of food and fuel, you are allowed to keep enough money to purchase these items.

There are also certain things that cannot be seized, regardless of their worth. This includes:

  • Pets
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Possessions you need for religious devotion
  • Locked-in pension plans

When filing bankruptcy, losing everything is a concern to many people. In a Winnipeg bankruptcy, the exemptions in place allow you to keep many of your personal possessions. Contact a trustee to learn exactly how bankruptcy will affect you and your belongings.

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