A Web-based service that will make filing new summary administration bankruptcies more convenient for Canadian bankruptcy trustees was recently launched.

The first phase of the E-Filing Initiative – headed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) – allows trustees to use electronic data transfer to file the bankruptcy documents. Within moments of filing, the trustee receives confirmation of the bankruptcy. Once trustees learn the system, they can complete a filing in as little as 20 seconds.

The service’s nation-wide launch follows a pilot project involving four trustee firms. Users at all four firms credited the system’s speed and efficiency.

More features will be added to the initiative in the coming months. In June, the OSB will be launching an enhanced version of the system. It will include automatic letters of comment for summary administration bankruptcy that meet certain criteria, an automatic name search for records of previous bankruptcy, and the ability to switch from hard-copy file to e-file without having to start the process over again. Eventually, the system will handle all consumer and business bankruptcies and proposals, as well as receiverships.

Almost 96 per cent of bankruptcies in 2001 were summary administrations, which are suitable for electronic filing.