Personal bankruptcies up significantly



    TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy
reports that the number of consumer bankruptcies and consumer proposals
increased in Canada in 2008 by 14.3%, and by 16.2% in Ontario.
    "That's only part of the story" says Douglas Hoyes, a bankruptcy trustee
with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. "Personal insolvencies in Ontario rose
by 30% in the last quarter of 2008, so it's clear that the rate of increase
has risen dramatically as the economy has worsened."
    The sharp increase in personal insolvencies is due to a significant
increase in personal debt. The average Canadian now has a household debt to
income ratio of 133.9%. "That means for every $100 of disposable income the
average consumer has, he owes $134 in debt, and that's the highest level in
Canadian history," says Ted Michalos, a bankruptcy trustee with Hoyes,
Michalos & Associates Inc.
    As the unemployment rate increases, and as asset values decline, Hoyes,
Michalos & Associates predicts double digit growth in consumer insolvencies
for at least the next few months.
    "Calls to our 310-PLAN helpline increased 70% in 2008, and they continue
to increase in early 2009 as people lose their jobs and worry about how they
will service their debt" says Hoyes.
    "Our advice is to pay down debt" says Ted Michalos.
    If you have more debt than you can handle, seek professional advice
immediately, since debt problems in a recession generally only get worse.
    "Now is the time for people to try to reduce their debt and develop a
plan to deal with their financial problems" concludes Hoyes.

    Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., a trustee in bankruptcy firm with
offices throughout Ontario, helps people in financial difficulty. Further
information can be found at http://www.hoyes.com/press.htm .





For further information:

For further information: Douglas Hoyes, CA, Trustee in Bankruptcy,
dhoyes@hoyes.com; Ted Michalos, CA, Trustee in Bankruptcy, ted@hoyes.com,
310-PLAN (310-7526, no area code required) or 1-866-747-0660


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