Consumer Debt at Epidemic Levels Warn Financial Experts

    TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - Consumer debt levels have reached epidemic
levels, say financial experts, and the situation continues to get worse.
Household credit grew 12.2% in the first six months of 2008, increasing at a
pace not seen since 1990. Household credit per Canadian is now $37,467, and
household debt at a percentage of personal disposable income is now over 131%,
the highest level on record.
    "Canadians have more debt than ever before, and with the economic
slowdown they are finding it increasingly difficult to make their debt
payments," said Douglas Hoyes, a trustee in bankruptcy speaking at the recent
Annual Fall Conference of the Ontario Association of Credit Counselling
Services (OACCS).
    "Our member agencies report they are counselling an increasing number of
people suffering from debt burn-out", said Henrietta Ross, Executive Director
of the OACCS. "Our clients are already burdened with higher gas prices and
living costs, and as debts increase debt service costs become one more monthly
payment that is tipping many people over the financial edge."
    "Now is the time to reduce your debt to give you the financial
flexibility to survive the recession" cautioned Ted Michalos, a bankruptcy
trustee also speaking at the conference. "A not for profit certified credit
counsellor is a great resource for people in financial difficulty. Our
accredited member agencies offer free initial consultations where we provide
practical solutions to financial problems" advised Ms. Ross.

    Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., a trustee in bankruptcy firm with
offices throughout Ontario, helps people in financial difficulty. Further
information can be found at

    Established in 1970, the Ontario Association of Credit Counselling
Services (OACCS) is a registered charity that represents a membership network
of professional, not-for-profit Credit Counselling Agencies. See also

For further information:

For further information: Douglas Hoyes, CA, Trustee in Bankruptcy,; Ted Michalos, CA, Trustee in Bankruptcy,;
1-866-747-0660; Henrietta Ross, Executive Director, OACCS,,
(905) 945-5644 ext 222

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