Personal insolvency rate spikes almost 53% in Alberta

The latest figures show that Alberta’s insolvency rate has climbed dramatically since a year ago compared to a more modest increase across the country.

Latest figures show a more modest 4.9% increase across Canada

Alberta consumer insolvencies have increased by 43 per cent year over year, far exceeding the national average increase of 7.8 per cent. (Shutterstock)

The latest figures show that Alberta's insolvency rate has climbed dramatically since a year ago compared to the national rate.

The total number of insolvencies — bankruptcies and consumer proposals — filed by individuals increased 52.8 per cent from April 2015 to April 2016 in Alberta, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada.

Across the country, the number of insolvencies was up 4.9 per cent over the same period.

The number of proposals — the term given to a formal agreement with creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to settle debts under conditions other than the existing terms — registered by individuals in Alberta rose by 68.4 per cent in the past year.

That compares with an 8.7 per cent increase nationally.

The dramatic drop in energy prices since late 2014 and the subsequent layoffs left Alberta with an unemployment rate of 7.2 per cent.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba also saw a sharp increase in personal insolvency in the past year, rising 38.4 per cent and 46.3 per cent respectively.

The rate dropped 0.5 per cent in Quebec and 1.8 per cent in Ontario.

The figures show a downward trend for businesses filing for insolvency in Alberta. In March 2106, 15 businesses became insolvent and in April 2016, six filed for insolvency. The rate dropped 5.7 per cent for the 12-month period from the end of April 2015.

Nationally, business insolvencies were down 7.8 per cent from April 2015 to April 2016.