Ontarians continue to carry record levels of personal debt and for many residents a consumer proposal or a personal bankruptcy become the only way out of financial trouble.

Below you will find commentary on the most recent annual consumer proposal and bankruptcy statistics for 2016 along with monthly trends for 2017.

Monthly Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposal Statistics 2017

Consumer insolvencies in Ontario declined for the fourth consecutive month, down 1.5% from a year earlier.

A prolonged period of low interest rates, relatively stable unemployment, and rising home equity have combined to help most Ontarians keep ahead of their debt payments. This has led to a prolonged decline in consumer insolvencies in the province.

Higher overall debt levels, however, remain a concern, and a change for the worse in any of these economic conditions will lead to increased loan default and, ultimately, higher insolvency rates.



Hover over the bars to see the most recent consumer insolvency numbers for Ontario.



Bankruptcies declined 6% in May 2017 while proposals in Ontario increased 2.0% year over year. Consumer proposals continue to be the predominant debt relief option for debt-burdened Ontarians at 58% of all insolvencies in May.


Consumer Insolvency Statistics Ontario 2016

Total insolvencies filed by consumers declined 0.8% in 2016 according to data released by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.  Personal bankruptcies fell 5.9%  while consumer proposals increased 3.3%.

In total, 39,611 hard working individuals filed insolvency in Ontario in 2016.

Low interest rates and strong employment have helped restrain consumer insolvencies in Ontario over the past year. As housing prices have increased, the attractiveness of debt consolidation over insolvency as a debt restructuring mechanism has helped temper the growth in Ontario consumer insolvencies despite record debt levels. However, even a small negative change in economic conditions could trigger a shift towards a stronger growth trend for consumer insolvencies in Ontario as we saw happen in several western provinces in Canada in 2016.

In general, proposals account for a much higher share of insolvencies in 2016 than 2015. This has been driven partially by the rapid rise in house prices and homeowner’s equity for insolvent homeowners not eligible for a debt consolidation loan, as well as Ontario’s relatively steady employment picture.

Who files insolvency in Ontario?

The average insolvent debtor looks much like the average person in Ontario. They are working and struggling to make ends meet. To read more about the what the average bankrupt looks like, see our research study: Joe Debtor.

Press Inquiries

For commentary and information about consumer insolvencies and debt issues in Ontario, contact:

J. Douglas Hoyes
CA, CPA, Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Email Doug

Ted Michalos
CA, CPA, Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Email Ted