Can individuals take steps to make themselves ‘creditor proof’ against future creditors, even when there is no such creditor at the time? If there are sufficient “badges of fraud” present, the answer may be no.
In a post last year, we discussed the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Poonian v. British Columbia (Securities Commission), 2022 BCCA 274 in which the British Columbia Court of Appeal…Continue Reading Update: SCC To Rule On Survival of Securities Sanctions in Bankruptcies
A bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from pre-bankruptcy debts or liabilities. The purpose is to give the debtor a “fresh start” from excessive debts that cannot be repaid, except in certain situations such as where the debt arises from deceitful or fraudulent conduct. In Poonian v. British Columbia (Securities Commission), the British Columbia Court of Appeal held that securities sanctions are excluded from bankruptcy discharge. This is significant because this decision diverges from other Canadian appellate decisions.
Continue Reading Securities Sanctions Survive Bankruptcy, British Columbia Court of Appeal Rules
On October 28, 2020, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a respected Commercial Court judge’s decision on a motion affecting a range of important legal issues, including the fraud exception to the autonomy principle regarding letters of credit. In 7636156 Canada Inc. (Re), 2020 ONCA 681, Ontario’s highest court clarified the law regarding a landlord’s right to call on a letter of credit (“LC”) when its tenant becomes bankrupt. The Court of Appeal confirmed that, under the autonomy principle, a bank’s obligation under an LC is independent of a tenant’s obligations under the lease, and clarified the fraud exception that allows a bank to refuse to pay on an LC. The case also holds implications for Canadian bankruptcy law.
Continue Reading Fraud exception to letter of credit autonomy principle requires “impropriety, dishonesty or deceit”. Court of Appeal overturns ruling that had denied commercial landlord of bankrupt tenant full amount of credit.
In the recent decision Anisman v. Drabinsky, 2020 ONSC 1197 Justice Morgan voided a transfer of a $2.625 million Toronto home for the nominal sum of $2 by Garth Drabinsky to his wife as a fraudulent conveyance as against Drabinsky’s former lawyer and other creditors. This summary judgment decision provides important guidance for creditors on how to approach issues relating to discoverability and limitation periods in the context of real property that may have been fraudulently conveyed.
Continue Reading Understanding a Creditor’s Duty to Investigate: Recent Guidance from the Ontario Superior Court in Anisman v. Drabinsky, 2020 ONSC 1197
On May 14, 2019, in Christine DeJong Medicine Professional Corp. v. DBDC Spadina Ltd., 2019 SCC 30 the Supreme Court of Canada granted Christine DeJong Medicine Professional Corporation’s appeal and unanimously adopted Justice van Rensburg’s dissenting reasons as their own. In reversing the earlier decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court has provided guidance on when a party will be found to have participated in a breach of trust.
Continue Reading Refrain is the Name of the Game: Supreme Court rules on Breach of Trust
When a plaintiff obtains a judgment from the court, that party is normally precluded from starting another lawsuit seeking the same judgment debt from the defendant. However, in Royal Bank of Canada v Kim, 2019 ONSC 798, Justice Broad of the Ontario Superior Court made an exception because the bank had discovered evidence of fraud after it obtained summary judgment against the defendant. The bank sought to pursue a second action for a judgment in fraud so that the judgment would survive and be enforceable after the bankruptcy of the defendant who, in turn, vigorously resisted the second action arguing that the plaintiff had already obtained judgment against him and could not reconstitute the judgment after the fact.
Continue Reading Bank allowed to allege fraud in second ‘Kick at the Can’
In McGoey (Re), 2019 ONSC 80, Justice Penny of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found trusts over two properties held by a bankrupt were void as shams. In his decision, Justice Penny noted that had he not found the trusts to be sham trusts, he would still have set them aside as fraudulent conveyances, making us ask: “what is the difference between a sham trust and a fraudulent conveyance?”
A sham trust occurs where documents or acts give the appearance of creating legal rights that the parties have no intention of actually creating. In contrast, the documents and acts for a fraudulent conveyance accurately reflect the intentions of the parties and the legal rights that they want to create. The issue with a fraudulent conveyance is not that the transfer of rights is a sham, but that the transfer is being done for fraudulent purpose. With the evidence in front of him, Justice Penny was satisfied that, even if the McGoeys intended to transfer the properties, it was for a fraudulent purpose.
Continue Reading Same Facts, Different Badges – Sham Trusts and Fraudulent Conveyances
In Esfahani v. Samimi, 2018 ONCA 516 the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that a plaintiff pursuing a fraudulent conveyance or preference must recognize that the legal landscapes changes with a bankruptcy and that the…
Continue Reading Fraudulent Conveyance Claim flounders on procedural shores
This is our third and final post on the complex fraud carried out by Norma and Ronald Walton, and the Ontario Court of Appeal decisions arising from their scheme. In our earlier posts, we focused…
Continue Reading When Should a Defendant Bring a Motion for Summary Judgment in Fraud Proceedings?