Bankruptcy numbers rise in first quarter of 2019

It seems more Canadians are being overwhelmed by personal debt.

New statistics from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy show the number of Canadians who filed for insolvency in the first quarter of 2019 was up six percent compared to the year before.

The uptick comes during a period of relatively low unemployment and decreasing interest rates, according to MNP Insolvency Trustee Darrin Surminsky.

"There's no compelling reason why those numbers would see such a jump except for high levels of personal debt."

British Columbia saw a 3.9 percent increase in insolvency filings. According to Surminsky, the high cost of housing is making it harder for British Columbians to live within their means.

"What we're finding is that people are running their budgets very, very tight. Quite a high percentage of them are saying they couldn't go without a paycheque." 

Part of the problem may be the perceived stigma surrounding bankruptcy. Surminsky notes that many of his clients languish in debt for too long before seeking help.