Massive Increase in Personal Bankruptcy Rate in Ontario and Canada

Posted in In The News
Posted by J. Douglas Hoyes, CA, CPA, LIT, CIRP, CBV

massive-increase-personal-bankruptcyAs predicted in previous posts, there was a massive increase in the level of personal bankruptcy filings in Ontario and Canada in September, 2009. Here are the numbers:

In September, 2009 in Canada there were 12,305 personal bankruptcies filed, a 47% increase over the same month in 2008. In addition, there were 3,160 consumer proposals filed, for an increase of 39%. Not surprisingly, the personal bankruptcy rate in Canada increased by more than the consumer proposal rate due to the new bankruptcy rules that came into force on September 18, 2009. There was obviously a rush by Canadians to file before the new rules were implemented.

Here’s the scary part: for the twelve months ended September 30, 2009 the bankruptcy rate in Canada increased by 36%, and for the three months ended September 30 the personal bankruptcy rate increased by 41%. So the rate increase for twelve months is 36%, for three months it’s 41%, and for one month it’s 46%. That shows that the bankruptcy rate is increasing at an ever faster pace. That’s bad news for the Canadian economy.

In the last twelve months in Canada 148,378 Canadians have filed an insolvency proceeding (116,295 personal bankruptcies and 32,083 consumer proposals). That’s record, by a wide margin. That compares to 100,552 in the same period in 2007, and 108,807 in 2008.

In Ontario, the statistics are equally grim: In September there were 5,007 personal bankruptcies filed (the first month ever over 5,000), an increase of 49% from last September. Proposal filings were up 36%.

The government doesn’t publish statistics by city each month, but we know that in the last three months personal bankruptcies were up by 41% in Toronto, 39% in Hamilton, 55% in Kitchener, 39% in London, and 44% in Windsor.

We will continue to analyze the numbers, but the message is clear: the recession is not over, so now is the time to consider your options and reduce your debt, so that you can survive the continued recession.