More Nova Scotians are going bankrupt, while even more and richer people struggle to avoid it, according to new provincial data.
In November, 325 people went bankrupt in the province. That’s an 18 per cent increase over the 2007 number of 275.
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That’s in line with the rest of the country. Overall there were about 15 per cent more bankruptcies in Canada in November 2008 than a year earlier.
And there are signs of worse news to come. Other data shows that more people are seeking counselling to try to avoid going bankrupt.
Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada, which offers sessions to help consumers avoid bankruptcy, has seen a spike of new appointments. A growing number are from the middle and upper class.
In December, Credit Counselling had 688 appointments across Atlantic Canada, an increase of almost 20 per cent over last year.
“They’re pretty startling numbers,” said president John Eisner.
“You take an 18 per cent increase over the year before, that’s a statement.”
January is continuing the trend. Last year there were about 700 appointments for the entire month. One week into this year, about half that many are already booked.
“On Monday of this week, for instance… there were 72 appointments. That’s a heavy day,” said Eisner.
But the high number of people looking for information doesn’t necessarily mean more people will go broke. Eisner said some people come in proactively to be prepared if their situation does get worse.