Question: I have several credit card debts in my name that have been caused predominantly due to my gambling problem. It is coming to the point that I can no longer make payments on the cards due to my over use of them Gambling. Currently I am married with 2 kids and own a house with little to no equity. I am finding it overwhelming to pay off the debt and deal with the real issue at hand here which is the gambling addiction! If I were to file for bankruptcy what effect would that have on my house, my furniture and things in the house and my financed car (aka the wifes vehicle), please advise.
Answer: In a bankruptcy in Ontario you are required to pay your house equity into your bankruptcy estate. If there is no equity, you could keep your house, provided you continued with your mortgage payments. You can continue making your car payments and keep the car as well. If your household furnishings have minimal value you could keep them as well.
The bigger issue is your gambling addiction. Before filing bankruptcy you should get help, through a gambling counsellor or other means. A bankruptcy can deal with your debts, but it will not stop you from gambling, so your gambling problems will continue.
In addition, because gambling is the cause of your financial problems, you will be required to appear in bankruptcy court and request your discharge from bankruptcy from the bankruptcy judge. The judge will want proof that you have received treatment for your gambling problem, and that you are no longer gambling. It is likely that your bankruptcy will also be extended as a result of the gambling issues.
Therefore, you should seek help for your gambling problem now, and then arrange a meeting with an Ontario bankruptcy trustee to decide whether or not a bankruptcy is the correct course of action.