The latest figures from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada show the number of Canadian businesses and consumers financially going under jumped significantly in November compared to a year ago.
Alberta had some of the highest number of consumer insolvencies.
Donna Carson, a financial insolvency trustee with MNP Ltd. Calgary, said she wasn’t surprised.
“We’ve been seeing spikes in insolvencies in Alberta for the last two-and-a-half years or so,” Carson said on Friday.
Total insolvencies in Alberta in November 2018 — including actual bankruptcies and proposals — for were up 20.2 per cent from November 2017.
Consumer insolvencies alone saw a rise of 20.9 per cent.
The blame is often put on consumers overspending and racking up too much debt.
According to the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP), Canadians owed $1.78 in credit market debt, which includes consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans, for every dollar of household disposable income in the third quarter. That was up from $1.77 in the second quarter.
Carson said while debt loads continue to be a big problem for some, there are other factors leading to insolvency hikes in Alberta.
“Some of it is, ‘I’ve run out, I’ve run out of credit, I’ve run out of savings’,” Carson said. “EI (employment insurance) probably has run out a while ago.
“But it’s also with the businesses and the struggles they’ve had over the last few years. Now we’re starting to see some of the lenders and suppliers maybe have run out of what they can do for the company.”
Carson and other financial experts with CAIRP suggest those in trouble be proactive and make the call to get help right away.
They added there are options out there, and while they may not fix things, they may help.
What won’t help, they said, is ignoring your problem and hoping it just goes away.