Public access to voluntary deposit files
The public has access to voluntary deposit files.
The list of creditors is kept up to date by the clerk. A copy of the list can be issued to any person who requests it, whether or not the person is a creditor.
Any person may ask to consult a file in the presence of the clerk, excepting any documents or information that have been placed under seal by order of the court.
The right to consult a file also gives the person the right to make copies of documents in the file, after paying the cost of making photocopies.
The clerk cannot require a debtor to provide his or her date of birth, social insurance number, health insurance number or driver’s licence number--such information can only be disclosed voluntarily.
However, in some cases the debtor’s social insurance number may be required since it is also the debtor’s income tax file number and allows the creditor to establish the debtor’s identity.
The voluntary deposit staff can only use personal information the debtor has consented to provide. If the debtor refuses to provide personal information, the creditor must find a legal way to demand the information, for example under the law establishing the creditor if it is a government body, or using a mechanism under the Act respecting Access to Documents Held by Public Bodies and the Protection of Personal Information.
If the file contains personal information, precautions must be taken when the file is consulted by a third person. The clerk must avoid disclosing personal information to any other person or body, unless a request for access has been authorized in the manner provided for by law.
A debtor who provides, as proof of income, a stub from a pay cheque or any other document containing personal information, should ask for it to be returned once the information has been noted.