Hi Ross, I am a local realtor and have been struggling for the past few years. I have some debts that I can not pay plus I owe the government back taxes. I can not get ahead as they are taking 50% of my income every deal.
Can I declare bankruptcy and include back taxes and if I did declare bankruptcy would I lose my license as a Realtor? S.K., Barrie, Ontario
Thanks for reaching out. Interestingly I am working this week with another GTA realtor asking the exact same questions. Yes, you can declare bankruptcy and you can include back taxes. Now, about your licensing question…
You need to notify The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) within five business days of doing so. They will conduct a review of your application into bankruptcy, your list of creditors, the amount of dollars involved etc.
In almost all cases, the license is preserved, though there would be conditions imposed on your license renewal and maintenance. These would generally pertain to limitations on you in regards to being a Broker of Record or Branch Manager etc. So if you are currently a Broker of Record, you would likely have to step down for a period of three to five years.
I’d be happy to meet with you and answer more detailed questions. It won’t cost you anything and it sounds like you need this fast!. A bankruptcy or a consumer proposal will, by law, give you immediate relief from garnishments and other collection processes.