Ontario Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposal Statistics

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

We update this page for monthly data trends as they are released by the Office of the Superintendent of Ontario.

Updated for September 2022.

2022 Consumer Insolvency Filings

Ontario consumer insolvencies were up 29.1% in September compared to a year ago, the 5th straight month of strong double-digit growth. Canadian insolvencies grew 22.1% over the prior year.

Ontario bankruptcies increased by 7.7% year-over-year, while proposals grew by 35.8%.  Across Canada, bankruptcies declined 2.2%, while proposals rose 32.5%. 

Consumer proposal statistics – 8 in 10 Ontario insolvencies are consumer proposals

Ontario proposals accounted for 80.1% of all filings in September, compared to 76.1% Canada-wide. Higher incomes amongst insolvent debtors continue to make a consumer proposal more affordable for most insolvent debtors.

Predictions for the coming months

With the last five months showing an average year-over-year increase of 26%, the consumer insolvency cycle has turned sharply upward again, although we are still not at pre-pandemic volumes.

As noted in previous months, conditions favour continued insolvency growth. Higher interest rates and inflation continue to pressure household budgets and debt repayment. Credit card balances are on the rise again, a strong factor in the typical sequence of events that lead to consumer insolvency.

Home sales have stagnated, and prices have fallen. Our Homeowners Bankruptcy Index, while still low, ticked up to 3.3% in October. We expect moderate swings in the coming months as some homeowners reach the limit on their ability to meet debt obligations, although the index will remain low for the next while. For more, read our explainer on why homeowners are not yet filing for insolvency despite high interest rates.

Ontario Consumer Insolvency Statistics by Region 2021

COVID-19 continued to have an unusual impact on consumer insolvencies in 2021.  Ontario insolvencies ended the year down 10.8% and Canadian consumer insolvencies declined 6.6%. 

In total, 30,327 Ontarians across Ontario filed for insolvency in 2021. Personal bankruptcies fell 17.7% and consumer proposals declined 8.2%. Proposals as a share of Ontario insolvencies increased to 75% in 2020, from 73% in 2020.

To understand how the profile of the average consumer insolvency changed in 2020 read our annual Joe Debtor Bankruptcy Study as well as our report on how COVID-19 affected household debt.

Below is a summary of insolvencies by geographic region as summarized by Hoyes Michalos based on insolvency statistics by FSA provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). Regional FSA allocations may differ slightly from annual economic region data provided by the OSB as the regional data summarized by Hoyes Michalos provides additional location details than is available by economic region.

REGION*

Consumer Insolvencies Total Growth Growth Bankruptcy Growth Proposal % Proposals
Canada 90,092 -6.6% -16.5% -1.5% 70%
Ontario 30,327 -10.8% -17.7% -8.2% 75%
           

REGION*

         
Barrie Region 1,348 -11% -24% -7% 76%
Belleville Region 594 13% -10% 23% 77%
Brampton 1,386 -16% -12% -17% 80%
Brantford Region 556 -9% -17% -6% 78%
Brockville Region 251 -10% 2% -18% 58%
Cambridge 388 -4% -10% -2% 76%
Chatham Region 319 7% -4% 11% 73%
City of Toronto 1,902 -13% -9% -14% 77%
Cornwall Region 321 -20% -19% -21% 60%
Essex-Leamington Region 186 16% 0% 22% 75%
Etobicoke 891 -16% -25% -13% 77%
Guelph 299 -4% -3% -5% 72%
Hamilton Region 1,320 -12% -20% -9% 75%
Huron Region 355 3% -18% 14% 72%
Kingston Region 506 4% -21% 17% 74%
KW-Wellington Region 976 -7% -17% -3% 75%
London Region 1,648 0% -15% 6% 75%
Markham 460 -15% -10% -16% 77%
Mississauga 1,423 -16% -32% -10% 78%
Newmarket & Area 574 -14% -8% -16% 75%
Niagara Region 985 -6% -20% 1% 72%
North Bay Region 342 -17% 9% -26% 67%
North York 2,043 -17% -18% -17% 79%
Burlington-Oakville Region 741 -20% -28% -17% 77%
Orangeville & Area 234 -8% -31% -2% 84%
Oshawa-Bowmanville Region 1,052 -11% -20% -8% 78%
Ottawa Region 2,251 -8% -7% -9% 66%
Parry Sound-Huntsville Region 205 -15% -28% -9% 75%
Pembroke Region 217 -11% 16% -22% 63%
Peterborough Region 578 12% 13% 11% 72%
Pickering 410 -25% -32% -22% 79%
Richmond Hill 344 -20% -30% -18% 80%
Sarnia Region 277 3% -38% 26% 78%
Sault Ste. Marie Region 327 -8% -28% 10% 63%
Scarborough 1,505 -18% -25% -16% 81%
Stratford Region 140 35% 25% 39% 71%
Sudbury Region 679 -24% -30% -22% 71%
Thunder Bay Region 505 8% -24% 40% 65%
Timmins Region 477 -4% -9% -3% 78%
Vaughan 274 -28% -28% -28% 77%
Windsor Region 775 -3% -32% 10% 78%
Woodstock Region 257 -11% -25% -6% 75%
*Region includes surrounding rural areas

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 what the average bankrupt looks like, see our bankruptcy 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