Canadians are going bankrupt at a STARTLING rate not seen in years

Jun 28 2024, 6:28 pm

The country’s ongoing cost of living crisis is pushing Canadians deeper into debt as the rate of insolvencies has reached the highest it has been in years.

That’s according to the latest Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP) report.

Consumer insolvencies increased by 11.3% in May compared to the same month last year, according to the latest data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB).

The number of personal filings reached 12,195, which is the highest monthly volume seen since October 2019, before the pandemic. This breaks down to an average of 393 filings by Canadians per day.

In a statement, André Bolduc, CAIRP chairperson, said that despite June’s decline in interest rates, “the high cost of living and the high cost of servicing debt continue to strain budgets.”

In the 12-month period that ended in May 2024, there was a 17.9% increase in consumer insolvency filings compared to the 12 months ending in May 2023.

The province with the highest rate of consumer year-over-year insolvencies in May 2024 was Saskatchewan, which saw an 18.8% increase to 347 daily filings.

Ontario and Quebec had the second-highest insolvency rate increase at 16%.

It wasn’t just personal insolvencies that saw a large uptick.

CAIRP notes there were 530 Canadian business insolvencies in May — a 41.7% increase from the same time last year.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels in May 2019, business insolvencies saw a striking 67.6% increase this year.

Bolduc said these numbers were “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“The latest insolvency numbers show businesses are filing for insolvency at levels beyond what we were seeing pre-pandemic, and there are likely more businesses in financial distress that have chosen to simply close up shop and walk away without formally filing for insolvency,” he said.

This year’s Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan deadline also added a major burden on Canadian businesses.

CEBA is a government-funded, interest-free business loan introduced in April 2020 and created to help businesses pay for expenses during the pandemic.

A recent survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) found that over 200,000 Canadian small businesses had to take on new debt to repay their CEBA loan.

“We are seeing insolvencies continue to climb, and now more businesses are delaying tax payments as they juggle other financial obligations, increasing their debt burden,” stated  Bolduc.

The report provided little hope for the future of Canadians in debt, noting that despite a drop in interest rates in June, it could still be some time before individuals see “meaningful” financial relief.

With files from Irish Mae Silvestre

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