Restructure your corporation under the CCAA

The Canadian Creditor’s Arrangement Act, (“CCAA”) is federal legislation that provides insolvent companies the opportunity to restructure their affairs, in doing so, it provides the company the ability to avoid bankruptcy while opening dialogue with its’ creditors.

To start the dialogue the troubled company seeks an order from the court under the CCAA. This Order provides an immediate 30 day Stay of Proceedings*against the company affording the company the time to prepare its Plan of Arrangement.

A Plan of Arrangement is an offer from the company to its creditors in which the creditors are offered a reduced amount, on the outstanding debt, in exchange for the company paying a lump sum of cash, or entering into a payment plan. The CCAA offers significant flexibility and not all plans involve a payment. Plans can include an offer of shares, possessions or cash or a mixture of the three.

The troubled company has the ability to exclude a specific creditor or group of creditors from its Plan, and can even include the shareholders as creditors. There is no limit to what the Plan could entail.

In order to be eligible under the CCAA, the company must be:

  1. a Canadian company; or,
  2. a foreign company with assets in Canada or conducting business in Canada; or,
  3. an income trust;

The company must be insolvent or have committed an act of bankruptcy and the company must have an excess of $5 million in debt.

After receiving the Plan of Arrangement the creditors will meet to vote on acceptance of the Plan. In order to be accepted, and therefore binding on all the creditors in that class, 2/3rds of the creditors, by dollar value, must approve the Plan. If the creditors don’t immediately approve the Plan it can be altered by negotiation between the creditors and the company until all the necessary changes are made to have it approved.

If the creditors and the insolvent company cannot come to an agreement the Plan is rejected and the troubled company loses the protection of the Stay of Proceedings, which ultimately would result in the insolvent company filing for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (“BIA”). From a creditor perspective, an insolvent company filing for bankruptcy would be the least beneficial option available.

*Stay of Proceedings is the halting of all legal and collection actions by the creditors against the insolvent company.

Restructure your Corporation & Return to Profitability!

Whether you are a high profile company, such as Air Canada, or a tradesman operating through a numbered company, ex: Bob’s Tiling, your outstanding tax, debt and supplier obligations have the ability to derail your hard earned business in an instant and leave you personally liable; affecting your home, your family and your livelihood.

If this sounds similar to you, rest assured knowing that there are options available which can help restructure your company’s outstanding debt obligations ensuring the survival of your business while protecting the life style you have come accustomed to living.

In Canada, insolvent* companies have three legislative options available to them in order to restructure their outstanding debt obligations.

The first is The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). This option is the usual legislation, insolvent companies with outstanding debts, utilize. However, the CCAA is only for companies with more than $5 Million in outstanding debt.

If this doesn’t sound like you, then the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) might be right for you. The BIA is for insolvent companies with less than $5 million in outstanding debts. A corporate restructuring under the BIA is a less costly measure than an arrangement under the CCAA, and is normally used by small to mid-sized businesses.

The third option is to file a plan of arrangement pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA). Arrangements under the CBCA are very limited as only certain companies meet the very specific requirements.

*Insolvency is defined as the inability of a company to pay its bills, debts and other financial obligations.