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BC Bankruptcy Statistics – February 2017

June 13, 2017

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In comparison to February of last year, consumer insolvency filings decreased by 22.1%.

February Commentary

In total, there were 800 consumer insolvencies in British Columbia (BC) this past February.

Although this is an increase from the 773 filings in January 2017, it marks the ninth month in a row where BC had year-over-year declines in consumer insolvencies.

Due to BC’s relatively low unemployment rate, many individuals have been able to resolve, or at least postpone, any formal insolvency filings. Unfortunately, delaying this process can be detrimental as postponing a formal insolvency filing denies the individual the fresh start they receive by dealing with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

Nationally, consumer insolvency filings decreased by 7.5% during the month of February when compared to last year’s statistics.

Provinces that benefitted from a weak Canadian dollar and were strong in manufacturing, tourism and the film industry exhibited a steady decrease in consumer insolvencies. These provinces included BC (- 22.1%), Ontario (-9.5%) and Quebec (-4.3%). Ontario and BC also have the benefit of a strong real estate market, which has enabled people to tap into the equity in their homes to deal with their financial difficulties.

Oil dependent provinces, on the other hand, have shown year-over-year increases in consumer insolvencies in excess of 30%. During the month of February, the year-over-year change for Alberta was -0.5%, Saskatchewan was +15.9% and Newfoundland was -2.2%. It should be noted that although the growth of consumer insolvencies in the oil dependent provinces has slowed, the actual number of filings remained high. In Alberta, the total number of consumer insolvency filings for February were almost 30% more than in BC, despite BC’s larger population.

Consumer proposals continued to be popular with 59% of insolvency filings in February in BC being consumer proposals. Consumer proposals offer many people a legal means to avoid bankruptcy and settle with their creditors for a portion of the total amount owing, while still retaining their assets.

Source: Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, Insolvency Statistics

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