Lady overwhelmed by debt, tax, tax forms

Consumer insolvencies surged again in January, according to new data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB).

The OSB reported that combined insolvencies — including both bankruptcies and consumer proposals — rose in January by 8.7% compared to the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, total insolvencies were up by 10.4%.

That rise was driven by a 15.5% jump in consumer proposals during the month, whereas bankruptcies actually declined by 1.7%.

Compared with January 2019, consumer insolvencies rose by 10.6% this year, and business insolvencies were up by 5.5%.

The OSB also reported that the total number of insolvencies increased by 9.6% in the 12-month period ending Jan. 31, compared with the prior 12-month period.

Consumer insolvencies rose by 9.8% in the period, and business insolvencies were up by 2.5%.

A sharp rise in consumer proposals led the increase in consumer insolvencies. The number of consumer proposals increased by 18.7%, whereas consumer bankruptcies were down by 1.7%.