This is our most recent study on the average insolvent debtor, “Joe Debtor”, conducted in 2013. Please use the navigation menu on the left hand side of this page to access the complete study, charts, and analysis or download our full 2013 report: Joe Debtor: Who Is He? Who Is At Risk? in pdf format.
What are the characteristics of the average person who files bankruptcy in Ontario? Look in the mirror. It is likely that you have more in common with the average bankrupt than you may think.
Imagine the stress of dealing with the never ending financial burden of overwhelming debt. This is the experience of people our trustees meet with, and help, each and every day. But what brought them to this point? Who is the average insolvent debtor – or Joe Debtor as we will call him?
As required by law, Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. gathers information about each debtor who files with us. We know their income, family size, age, gender, assets, and debts. We examine this data from debtors we assisted to gain an understanding of the average person who files for insolvency. By doing so we answer the questions:
Who is at risk? What does the average debtor look like? Could you follow in his footsteps?
Why We Prepare This Study
Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. has provided consumer proposal and personal bankruptcy services to individuals in Ontario since 1999. We are one of the largest firms in Canada practicing in the area of personal insolvency. We work exclusively with people, not corporations. Our goal is to help individuals solve their financial problems and gain a fresh start.
In 2008, Douglas Hoyes and Ted Michalos were the only independent trustees asked to testify before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce in Ottawa to provide their commentary on what, at the time, were proposed new bankruptcy rules. Our purpose was to give the legislators a picture of the average insolvent person, so that they may more fully understand how these proposed changes might affect the average insolvent debtor. Doug and Ted brought a simple message to Parliament: financial problems affect everyone: male and female, young and old. To support this view, Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. presented their findings to the Senate, and then a month later published their landmark 2008 study, The Face of Bankruptcy.
Every two years we update this study, to look for important trends and changes. We review the risk factors that contribute to financial distress for many Canadians and the eventual choice to file insolvency as a solution. In effect, we continue to put a face on the average insolvent debtor.