The Greying of Debtor Nation

According to Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., an Ontario consumer proposal and trustee in bankruptcy firm a recent report of 7000 personal insolveny filings from 2011 and 2012 indicates that a typical insolvent person is a 43 year old male with more than $61,000 in unsecured debt.  However, the highest debt levels occur in the 50-59 age group where unsecured debt topped over $84,000.

The report found that the percentage of older Canadians – 50 or older – rose from 24% to 28% of all insolvent debtors, versus the 2009-2010 period. The average unsecured debt in the 50-59 age group also increased 14% during the same time period.

Although total insolvencies have declined in Canada in recent years, insolvency filings among senior debtors – age 60 and over – have gone up.  Senior debtors accounted for 10 per cent of all insolvency filings in the study, up from 8 per cent two years ago. Up 4% the senior-debtor age group was the only one to show a net increase in total insolvencies.

Not surprisingly easy access to credit coupled with poor financial management and job loss (or reduced income) remain the primary causes for most insolvencies, although marital and health related issues were also cited.