Understanding Who Goes Bankrupt in Canada

who-files-bankruptcy-in-canadaWho files bankruptcy in Canada? You might be surprised to find out just how average the average insolvent person is. Every two years we conduct a study we call Joe Debtor which helps us answer this question.

The average bankrupt in Canada:

  • is 44 years old;
  • is more likely to be male, however women make up 46% of all insolvent debtors;
  • is married, although divorce or marital separation is a primary cause of bankruptcy in Canada;
  • is working (81% of insolvent debtors were employed at the time of filing).

What makes Joe Debtor different than the average Canadian is his overwhelming debt. On average he is carrying $56,545 in unsecured debt. That's credit card debt, bank loans, lines of credit, payday loans and outstanding bill payments. What is not included in that number is Joe's mortgage or his secured car loan.

Our 2015 Joe Debtor study reveals who is at risk of filing bankruptcy or a consumer proposal in Canada and why. We look at the profile of the average person who files for bankruptcy as well as the top 3 risk groups identified in our study:

  • seniors retiring or nearing retirement with debt;
  • individuals struggling with student loans, and
  • single parents straining to keep up with debt payments.

We also provide advice and solutions to help each risk group manage their debt, and even avoid filing bankruptcy.

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, talk to one of our local trustees about how we can help. You may not need to file bankruptcy but you do need a solution. We'll explain all your options and help you develop a plan to deal with your debt.