Joe Debtor: The Aging Face of Personal Debt: Squeezed From All Sides

KITCHENER, ON, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The average bankrupt is getting older and has a growing level of debt, according to a recent Hoyes Michalos study.

"We reviewed approximately 7,000 personal insolvency filings from 2011 and 2012, and discovered that the typical insolvent person, who we call 'Joe Debtor', is a 43 year old male with over $61,000 in unsecured debt," said Douglas Hoyes, a trustee with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.

Remarkably, the highest debt levels occur in the 50 to 59 age group, where unsecured debts exceed $84,000.  "The most at risk group are 'Pre-Retirement' debtors," cautions Ted Michalos, a trustee with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. "At a time in their lives when they should be rapidly paying down debt, their financial burden continues to grow."

The average 50 to 59 year old debtor is working, but they are earning less than the 40 to 49 year old age group. One in three still supports at least one dependent, and if they own a home they still have a substantial mortgage.  "They are squeezed from all sides," says Douglas Hoyes, "as they are often supporting both older children and aging parents, making debt payments, and may also be dealing with medical expenses for themselves or family members."

"Joe Debtor is using credit to make ends meet, increasing an already heavy debt load that he can't repay on his reduced income," adds Ted Michalos.  "He gets squeezed so much that the 'house of cards' collapses and he has no alternative but to file a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy."

Hoyes, Michalos recommends a proactive approach to dealing with debt. "We deal with debtors of all age groups and income ranges," says Douglas Hoyes. "The truth is that many Canadians are in a state of denial about their overall debt load and the risk they face. Recognizing the need for help and talking to a reputable professional, such as a trustee in bankruptcy, is the first step in eliminating overwhelming debt problems."

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS - JOE DEBTOR

Average Unsecured Debt $61,096
  Age Amount
  18-29 $32,686
  30-39 $50,351
  40-49 $67,180
  50-59 $84,199
  60+ $68,776
   
Average Debt to Income Ratio 215%
  Age   Amount
  18-29   142%
  30-39   173%
  40-49   218%
  50-59   297%
  60+   273%

Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., a consumer proposal and trustee in bankruptcy firm with offices throughout Ontario, helps people in financial difficulty.  For full details:

SOURCE: Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.

For further information:

Douglas Hoyes, CA, Trustee in Bankruptcy, Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.
Email: doug@hoyes.com
Twitter @doughoyes
Phone: 1-866-747-0660 or 310-PLAN

Ted Michalos, CA, Trustee in Bankruptcy, Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.
E-mail: ted@hoyes.com
Phone: 1-866-747-0660 or 310-PLAN


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