Complex US/Canada Question/Advice PEI NH


I have been listening to your show on, and visited your website.

Please read the situation below. What would be the cost to talk with you on the phone for a half hour on these issues?

Here's my situation, and what I would like to do:

My wife is an American, I am a Canadian with a US green card. I have been living in the US for 32 years.
My wife is currently a housewife. I am an engineer with an annual salary of $120K. We are 46 and 50 years old.

We are just about finalizing a joint Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for unsecured debt. This was caused by mismanagement of
credit cards, and, while self-employed, not paying the IRS on time. We have learned the very hard way.

My chapter 13 repayment plan will be somewhere in the $1300/month range for the next five years.

We own our current home, and it is on the market. We expect to net aprox. $60K when it is sold.

Now, here come the Canadian questions:

We want to relocate to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx We love the province. We love Canada. I have 25 years of software development experience,
and am setting up some nearshore consultancy arrangements. My income will probably come from the US, and will be reduced
somewhat, probably into the $85-$90K range, and my wife expects to work (expecting $15-20K a year).

What we would like to do is buy land in xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and rent a house for a year or more, then build.

The questions I have are:

1 How will the US Bankruptcy affect me in Canada? Is the lack of credit in Canada a factor? If I buy land, say for $70000, and put $30K
down, will I be able to get a mortgage?

2. Is it better to attempt to get a mortgage right away in Canada, and build a house, or rent and build up a credit rating in Canada?

3. I have paid significant money into the US social security System. Will I be able to collect when I am 65?
(b) Can we collect from both social security systems when we reach the correct age?

4. I have an 19-year-old who will be going to college in Canada in the fall so, I expect to be working for a while. Can you think of any immediate issues with this?


david ingram replies:

1. You will have made a proposal in bankruptcy under Canadian law and if asked will have to disclose it. A very good argument can be made that you should volonteer the information. However, I am going to suggest that you call Murray Morisson a BC Canadian bankruptcy lawyer at (604) 930-9013 [email protected] and ask him. You can find his site at With $30,000 down and proof of inocme you should be able to get a mortgage although you might pay a premium becasue of the proposal and becasue it is vacant land which usually carries an intrerest penalty.

2. My suggestion is that you likley have a better chance of getting a mortgage for a house than for the vacant land. CMHC will/should guarantee the mortgage with $30,000 down.

3. You will be able to collect but will pay a penalty if you have not paid in for 30 years under WEP. It sounds like you are close. My suggestion is that you get your US citizenship first before coming to Canada if you intend to keep on working in the US. Although you can fill out form I-131 and get permission to reenter the US with your green card, it has to be renewed every year and the most I have ever seen it renewed was 8 years. If yuo intend to keep on working or providing services to US companies I GUARANTEE that you will be better off with US citizenship under these circumstances. And, yes, after paying into the CPP, you will be able to collect from both but will get significantly more from the US if you have put in for 30 years (120 quarters).

4. As the parent of many, I could write a book. Good luck with the 19 year old.

You will need tax help when you make your move and will NOT find anyone that I know of on PEI who can look after the US NH and arriving in Canada returns at the same time. We deal with these regularly by fax, courier snail mail and email (pdf files only please).