INSOLVENCY DICTIONARY
(Canadian Insolvency Terms - updated to August, 2000)

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D  -  E

Damages:
Cash compensation awarded by a Court to offset losses or suffering caused by another person's negligence or fault.

Date of the Initial Bankruptcy Event:
In respect of a person, it means the earliest of the date of filing or making (a) an assignment into bankruptcy; (b) a proposal; (c) a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal; (d) the first petition for a Receiving Order.

Debtor:
A person who owes money, goods or services to another.

Decree Nisi:
A provisional decision of the Court that does not have absolute effect until certain conditions are met.

Decree Absolute:
The name given to the final and conclusive Court Order after the condition of a "decree nisi" is met.

Deemed Trust:
A trust that is established by statute to be in effect even though there may not be any actual asset or monies held in that trust.  For example, Revenue Canada in a bankruptcy or insolvency situation takes the position that it has a deemed trust covering source deductions that they claim rank even ahead of certain secured creditors.

Default:
Failure to pay or otherwise perform obligations under a contract.

Demand Letter:
A letter usually from a lawyer on behalf of a client that makes a demand for payment or some other action which is in default.  Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, a financial institution before it takes any action must give demand and notice of intention if it intends to enforce its security and must wait 10 days before it can enforce its security by, say, the appointment of a Receiver or Agent.

Disallowance:
To refuse or to set aside.  For example, the Trustee in Bankruptcy, under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, can disallow a claim submitted by a creditor.

Discharge:
To cancel or relieve a person of an obligation or responsibility.

Disclaim:
The act of denying, refusing, renouncing or repudiating an interest that one might have in some item.

Dissolution:
The act of ending, terminating or winding up of a company or state of affairs.

Distraint:
The right that a landlord has to seize the property of a tenant on the premises being rented and sell that property for payment of rent arrears.

Dividend:
Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act it refers to those monies paid by a Trustee in Bankruptcy to the creditors.

Easement:
The right held by one person to make use of the land held by another person for a limited interest.  For example, a utility may have an easement over a piece of real property which allows that utility to have, for example, electrical power lines running over that property.

Effective Date:
The date an agreement comes into force.

Encumbrances:
Those charges or the security that attaches to any kind of property.  For example, if there is a mortgage on a piece of property, then the property is said to be encumbered by that mortgage.

Equity:
This refers to the excess that the value of a piece of property has over any charges or encumbrances against that piece of property.

Escrow:
The holding on to of money or a written document, such as shares or a deed, until certain conditions are met by the two contracted parties.

Estate:
Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the name given to the file or bankruptcy estate.

Ex Parte:
Latin - for one party only.  Ex parte refers to those proceedings where one of the parties has not received notice and therefore is neither present nor represented.

Examination For Discovery:
A legal proceeding whereby one party examines the party on the other side, usually under oath for the purpose of confirming facts and perhaps obtaining admissions from that other party.

Execution:
To carry out.

Exemptions:
Under the Court Order Enforcement Act  effective May 1, 1998 (in British Columbia), there are certain assets that are exempt from seizure by any execution creditor or by a Trustee in Bankruptcy.

  • Equity in a house in Vancouver or Victoria   =  $12,000;  In the rest of the province = $9,000;
  • Equity in a motor vehicle  =  $5,000;  The vehicle exemption drops to $2,000 if the debtor is  behind on child care payment (to facilitate the enforcement of Maintenance Orders);
  • Equity in household items =  $4,000;
  • Clothing/Medical aids   =  unlimited;
  • Tools of the Trade   = $10,000.

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