May 28, 2019 2:19 pm

Insolvency rate in Thompson-Okanagan increases for first time since 2010: National bankruptcy office

The insolvency rate for the Thompson-Okanagan region rose slightly in 2018, the first increase since 2010, according to the national Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

The Canadian Press

After years of steady decline, the insolvency rate for the Thompson-Okanagan region inched upwards in 2018, according to the latest federal statistics.

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) says the consumer insolvency rate for the region increased to 3.4 people per 1,000 aged 18 years or above.

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The stats, which were released Friday, marked the first increase since 2010.

Nine years ago, the insolvency rate was 4.6 for the Thompson-Okanagan. In 2011, it fell to 4.3, the start of a steady decline that reached 3.3 in 2017.

The national insolvency average for 2018 was 4.3, up from 4.2 in 2017. The provincial insolvency rate for B.C. in 2010 was 3.6; in 2017 and 2018, the rate was 2.6.

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Notably, there were seven regions listed: Vancouver Island and Coast (3.4), Lower Mainland (2.2), Thompson-Okanagan (3.4); Kootenay (2.6), Cariboo (3.3), North Coast and Nechako (2.0) and Northeast (3.4).

Five regions had slight decreases, with only the Thompson-Okanagan and Vancouver Island and Coast posting increases.

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“People in the region are struggling with debt which makes them incredibly vulnerable to any kind of unexpected expense,” Dean Prentice, a debt expert and licensed insolvency trustee with MNP LTD, said in a press release.

“One of the biggest problems is that most don’t have a budget or an emergency savings plan, so something like an increase in interest expenses or a car repair could easily throw their finances into a tailspin.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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