Insolvency Filings in Canada Nearing Pre-Pandemic Levels

The number of Canadians filing for insolvency is approaching pre-pandemic levels, according to numbers from the federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, reported. Insolvency rates dropped during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Michelle Statz, a Saskatchewan-based licensed insolvency trustee with Bromwich+Smith, says that November 2022 saw the highest number of insolvencies since March 2020, the month that saw COVID-19 lockdowns and the announcement of the initial Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Statz said that it's the first time insolvency numbers have approached pre-pandemic levels, adding that it's not entirely unexpected given high inflation, rising interest rates and the end of government benefits such as CERB. "It's not necessarily surprising to us in this industry," she said, noting rising household consumer debt levels. "We've been somewhat expecting this." Numbers from the bankruptcy office show there were 9,784 insolvencies across Canada in November, 17.5 percent higher than in November 2021. Among the provinces feeling the pinch are British Columbia and Ontario, which saw year-over-year rises in insolvencies of 32.5 percent and 23.9 per cent, respectively. Read more.