Canadian Insolvency Filings Approach 2010 Highs As Growth Accelerates

Canadian insolvency filings have been pushing to new highs recently. Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) data shows insolvencies rising quickly in February. Filings over the past year are now at the highest level since 2010, with growth accelerating… and this is before the pandemic was declared

Canada Insolvency Filings Reach Highest Level Since 2010

Canadian insolvencies are on the rise, hitting the highest level of filings in a decade. There were 11,575 insolvency filings made in February, up 9% from the same month last year. In the 12-month period ending in February, there have been 142,884 filings – up 9.9% from last year. The annual rate of filings is the highest for the month since 2010. Growth is also accelerating from a month before.

Canadian Insolvencies Have Biggest Year Since Great Recession

The number of insolvency filings in the 12-months ending in February.

Source: OSB, Better Dwelling.

Ontario Insolvency Filings See The Fastest Growth In Canada

Ontario remains the market with the fastest growing rate of insolvency filings. The province saw 3,837 insolvency filings in February, up a whopping 16.8% from last year. This brings the 12-months ending in February to 46,843 filings, up 15.9% from the same period last year. Ontario now leads in both the number of filings, and provincial growth. The 12-month rate of growth has also been accelerating.

Canadian Insolvencies – 12 Month

The number of insolvency filings in the 12-months ending in February, by province.

Source: OSB, Better Dwelling.

British Columbia Insolvency Filings Accelerate

British Columbia usually has a low number of insolvency filings, but that’s changing. There were 895 insolvency filings in February, up 13.4% from last year. This brings the total to 11,433 for the 12-months ending in February, up 10.7% compared to the same period last year. Like most provinces, the rate of growth for filings has accelerated from January. B.C. is now the fourth fastest growing province in the country.

Insolvencies Are Rising In Every Canadian Province

The percent change in rolling 12-months of insolvency filings, ending in February.

Source: OSB, Better Dwelling.

Quebec Is The Province With The Second Most Filings

Quebec has the third lowest growth for filings, but it’s the province with the second biggest total. The province saw 3,770 filings in February, up 1.9% compared to the same month last year. This brings the total to 45,368 for the 12-months ending in February, up 4.0% from the same period last year. Quebec is always one of the highest for total filings, but it is growing slower than the national average. Even so, the 12-month growth shows a little acceleration from last year.

Important to remember these numbers are from February, before the impact of COVID-19. Insolvency filings were rising to recession levels going into the pandemic. It’s also a trend that’s been continuing since last year. The number of filings may see growth pause as pandemic relief programs give a lifeline to filers. A lifeline to borrowers on the brink of insolvency during a slow economy is likely to do little but delay the filings though.

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  • Trader Jim 4 years ago

    Join some industry groups on facebook. The number of people that can’t pay their bills is going to capitulate, even with band-aids like wage subsidies. There’s structural inefficiencies that have been playing out.

    • Michael 4 years ago

      Hey Jim, can you share some of the groups you are referring to? Thanks.

  • Fraser 4 years ago

    This is just beginning…bankruptcies, insolvencies, foreclosures…the housing crash will be epic in this country…people have no idea how bad this is going to get…wale up…it has started and will not slow down for many, many years…we need to get back to work , and NOW ……bloody governments bankrupting private business globally , destroying our livelihood with fear mongering, bs…while parasites in government, quebec, ottawa get full pay, nice eh???

  • Dumb Wealth 4 years ago

    February 2020 was before this all started. Markets were at record highs, etc.

    The current Covid-19 crisis is equal to or worse than the global financial crisis.


  • Sam 4 years ago

    Curious about the last 2 sentences… You think 2k per month is enough for people to service their s***load of debt? Especially with reports saying people with new mortgages don’t qualify for deferral

    • neo 4 years ago

      Note that the $2,000 is going to be taxable. It isn’t “free” money.

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