Canadian bank notes are seen in Ottawa on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy says the total of number of insolvency filings grew by 9.3 per cent to 140,858 last year with consumers leading the way and business filings rising for the first time since 2001. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canadian consumer, business insolvency filings grew by 9% in 2019: report

More than 97 per cent of insolvency filings were by consumers

The total of number of insolvency filings grew by 9.3 per cent to 140,858 last year with consumers leading the way and business filings rising for the first time since 2001, says statistics released Monday by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

More than 97 per cent of insolvency filings were by consumers. Despite solid jobs numbers, consumer filings rose 9.5 per cent to reach the second highest level on record after 2009 at the end of the Great Recession.

“The sheer number of Canadians struggling with their finances is alarming but the growth in consumer insolvencies and the accelerating insolvency rate is a symptom of a bigger problem: many who have amassed unmanageable debts have no path out,” stated Andre Bolduc, board member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP).

Ontario had the most insolvency filings at 45,754, which grew by 15 per cent from the prior year. Newfoundland and Labrador’s total filings grew 15.4 per cent, Alberta by 14.5 per cent and British Columbia 10.4 per cent.

The overall increase in insolvencies came as the total number of personal and business cases in the fourth quarter of 2019 climbed 9.8 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

The number of business insolvency filings in the fourth quarter were down 4.1 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, but up 9.7 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2019. Filings grew 2.8 per cent for the year.

The mining, oil and gas sector lead the way with a 75 per cent increase in the number of insolvency filings in 2019 over 2018. Among business filings, Manitoba was the hardest hit with filings rising by more than 39 per cent, followed by the Atlantic provinces at 38 per cent.

Consumer insolvencies grew partly because interest rates increased between 2016 to 2018, with a two to three-year lag, said Bolduc.

The household debt-to-income ratio increased to 175.86 in the third quarter, but remains below the 2018 record high of 177.82.

“If consumers continue to moderate their spending habits, this should help dampen the rate of increase in consumer insolvency filings,” he said.

But consumer insolvency filings will continue to grow this year as many Canadians have amassed unmanageable debt loads, said CAIRP.

“The indebtedness across Canadian households is likely to way on credit trends as we move forward,” added Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist, Edward Jones

READ MORE: Bankruptcies down in British Columbia in 2018 compared to 2017

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Bankruptcies

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read