The number of bankruptcies across Canada swelled 22.1 per cent in February compared with a year earlier and was 13.1 per cent higher than in January.

In addition to 9,495 consumer and business bankruptcies, February saw 2,825 proposals to creditors to settle debts on easier terms, up 37.5 per cent from a year earlier, according to data released Thursday by the federal Office of the Superintendent of Bank­ruptcy.

It tallied 9,020 consumer bankruptcies in February, up 25.2 per cent from a year earlier, while proposals by individuals to rearrange their debts — which could lead to bankruptcy if rejected by lenders — surged 38 per cent to 2,686.

In the business sector, bankruptcies were actually down 16.5 per cent year-on-year, though up by six per cent from January to 475. However, business debt-restructuring proposals increased 27.5 per cent from a year earlier to 139.