On August 28, 2019 Deputy Registrar Stevens of the Superior Court of Justice in London, Ontario delivered his written reasons in 2019 ONSC 5048, with respect to a discharge application filed on behalf of a fourth-time bankrupt.
Remote Law Canada and Principal Lawyer and Founder, Tara Vasdani, in the face of opposition to discharge from the Licensed Insolvency Trustee of the bankrupt, argued that the client be granted an absolute or conditional discharge as a result of each of the four (4) bankruptcies having occurred at the hands of the bankrupt's former bookkeeper and accountant.
Despite no reported decisions in their favour wherein a fourth-time bankrupt has been granted a suspended discharge (except for one of 1991 whereby a fourth-time bankrupt was granted a fifteen (15) year suspension), Ms. Vasdani and her client were successful in obtaining a twelve (12) month suspended discharge.
In the decision of Re Willier (2005), 14 C.B.R. (5th) 130, 2005 BCSC 1138 (CanLII), at paras. 12 and 13, the Court famously held:
By the time an individual has entered a third bankruptcy, the purpose and intent of the Act shifts from its remedial purpose of assisting well-intentioned but unfortunate debtors to one of protecting society, and in particular unsuspecting potential creditors. The best intentions and hopes of such bankrupts become subordinated to the need to protect others from the bankrupt’s demonstrated financial incompetence, negligence, and carelessness. If there can be a concept of debtors’ recidivism, it is demonstrated in stark relief by a third-time bankrupt. To even consider a discharge for a third time bankrupt the court must be satisfied that the bankrupt has gained sufficient insight and made sufficient changes in his or her life that it is not reasonably possible that further bankruptcy will occur.
Although the odds remained in their disfavour, Ms. Vasdani and her client were successful in obtaining a twelve (12) month suspended discharge, with the bankrupt being absolutely discharged on August 28, 2020.