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Legal Guide


Receivership is a remedy primarily used by secured creditors to recover collateral over which a security interest has been granted to them by the debtor. In the common law provinces of Canada (i.e. excluding Quebec), there are two types of receivers: privately-appointed receivers and court-appointed receivers.

A privately-appointed receiver is appointed by a secured creditor pursuant to an appointment letter, in accordance with the contractual rights granted to the secured creditor by the debtor in a security agreement which provides for the appointment of a receiver. A privately-appointed receiver is deemed to be agent of the secured creditor for the purpose of realizing on the collateral secured under the security agreement executed by the debtor, and an agent of the debtor for the purpose of operating the business. A privately-appointed receiver has the powers granted to it under the security agreement.

A court-appointed receiver is appointed pursuant to a court application made, generally, by a secured creditor, under provincial law where it is “just and equitable” to do so, or under the BIA. As court officers, receivers are required to act in a commercially reasonable fashion and in good faith. A court-appointed receiver has only those powers granted to it pursuant to the court order under which it was appointed. Court-appointed receivers may seek directions from the court with respect to issues such as sales of assets.

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