On Friday the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy issued their report on the number of people who filed bankruptcy last year. The good news for Toronto residents is that for the first time in many years the personal insolvency rate (bankruptcies and consumer proposals) actually fell in the Greater Toronto Area, down 0.5% from 2005 levels.
Even with that decline there were still 10,475 people in Toronto that filed bankruptcy in Toronto in 2006, so if you have ever wondered if you are the only person experiencing financial problems, I can assure you, you’re not. In addition to those filing bankruptcy, there were also 4,587 people who filed a consumer proposal in Toronto in 2006, which is actually an increase of 10% over the number of people who filed a consumer proposal in 2005.
Interestingly enough, when you break down the numbers for the different areas in the Greater Toronto Area we see that the bankruptcy rate changed by very different amounts, depending on where you live. Here’s the specifics:
- The City of Toronto fell by 10.9%
- North York fell by 1.9%
- Mississauga fell by 3%, but
- Etobicoke was up by 0.1%
- Brampton was up by 3.8%
- Scarborough was up by 5.7%
For the most part the decline in the personal bankruptcy rate in Toronto was the result of a strong employment picture, as the unemployment rate declined for the third straight year in Toronto to 6.6% (it was 7.7% in 2003).
The Toronto press picked up on these trends, and a number of articles appeared in the local press; they even quoted me! For example, read More Debt, Less Bankruptcy in the Toronto Sun and Strong economy causes bankruptcies to fall in the Toronto Globe & Mail.
Over the years I’ve talked to hundreds (probably thousands) of people in Toronto, and in my experience financial problems are often caused by three significant factors: job loss, marriage break-up, or medical problems. That’s why the statistics only tell part of the story:
It’s not numbers that go bankrupt, it’s people.
If you have financial problems, and if you want to see if it’s possible to avoid becoming a statistic, give me or any member of the Bankruptcy Toronto team a call 310-PLAN (310-7526, no area code required) or E-mail us to arrange a free initial consultation.