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Unseizable property and income

It is important to know that some of your property and income is protected and is considered to be unseizable.

Income protected from seizure

In general, the following amounts of money and income are unseizable:

  • amounts received as child support;
  • employer contributions to a retirement, insurance or social security plan;
  • support payments declared by the donor to be exempt from seizure;
  • amounts received as compensation for costs and losses incurred as the result of physical or moral injury, paid following a judgment or under a public compensation scheme;
  • the value of the food and accommodation provided or paid for by an employer during travel for work purposes.

With respect to government programs, there are several exceptions and special cases. For this reason it is best to consult the government department or body concerned.

Last, part of your gross income is protected from seizure. For more information, see the page Seizure of your income.

Unseizable movable property

In general, the following property is protected and cannot be seized during a seizure of your movable property:

  • the food, fuel and clothing needed for the life of you and your family;
  • the furniture in your main residence needed for the daily life of your family and any personal belongings you choose to retain, up to a market value of $7,000;
  • work instruments needed for the exercise of your profession;
  • objects needed to alleviate a disability or care for the illness of a family member;
  • pets;
  • medals and other similar decorations;
  • objects used for family worship.

To find out more about the seizure of movable property, see the page Seizure of movable property.

Seizure of the debtor’s main residence

In general, if you owe less than $20,000, your creditor cannot seize your main residence.

To find out more about this topic, see the page Seizure of immovable property.

Last update: March 24, 2023


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