Personal insolvency is the financial condition where you can no longer meet your debts as they come due or your assets, if sold, are worth less than the amount of your debt.
When many of us read about a drop in oil prices we either cheer at the pumps or cry when we exchange Canadian into U.S. dollars for our next trip. But, for many Canadians the drop in the price of oil means so much more; it has seriously affected their lives financially.
As a result of the drop in oil prices, thousands of people working in the oil and gas industry lost their jobs. And, there is a direct correlation between loss of jobs and personal insolvency.
According to the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP):
- In Alberta, where the bulk of Canadian oil and gas activity occurs, the total number of personal insolvency filings in the 12 months ending April 30, 2016 rose 32.5% compared to the same period a year before.
- In Saskatchewan, personal insolvency cases were 22.5% higher.
- Newfoundland and Labrador, which has its own oil and gas industry and is also home to many workers who travel to the western provinces, saw a rise of 25.6% in personal insolvency filings of either a consumer proposal or bankruptcy filing.
Why are insolvency trustees still seeing the effects of the drop in oil prices over a year later?
It takes time for the full impact of layoffs to be felt. After a period of prolonged unemployment many Canadians have exhausted their savings, their credit and their safety net. This resulted in more than 11,000 people in Alberta enter personal insolvency proceedings compared to just over 8,000 the year before. Trustees in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are continuing to see sharp increases in consumer insolvency.
Edmonton’s 53.3 per cent spike in insolvency filings was the sharpest in Canada in the past year. In Calgary the rate rose by 18.3 per cent. The rate jumped by 37.7 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador, 10.4 per cent in Prince Edward Island, 22.9 per cent in Manitoba and 30.2 per cent in Saskatchewan.
Ontario and Quebec were the only provinces with a decline in their insolvency rates.
What can you do if you’re facing serious financial difficulties?
Take the advice of CAIRP. The first thing you should do is visit a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to get thorough professional advice. In the words of CAIRP’s President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Yakabuski, “They are professionals who can arrange for a stay of most creditor actions, and can offer Canadian consumers with advice on all of their debt repayment options.”
Ira Smith Trustee & Receiver Inc. brings a cumulative 50+ years of experience dealing with diverse issues and complex files and we deliver the highest quality of professional service. Contact us today and Starting Over, Starting Now you’ll be well on your way to overcoming your financial difficulties.