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December 2008 personal bankruptcies rise

Government statistics released on February 9 show that consumer bankruptcies in December 2008 were up sharply over the previous December.

Total consumer bankruptcies, according to Bankruptcy Canada, were 90,610 in 2008, up 13.5 percent over 79,847 in 2007.

December was notably bad for British Columbians: 683 of us filed for bankruptcy, compared with 480 in December 2007. That amounted to a 42.3 percent rise between the two months. For the entire year, however, B.C. bankruptcies rose only 9.7 percent -- from 6,651 in 2007 to 7,293 in 2008.

By comparison, 6,066 Albertans went bankrupt last year compared with 4,768 in 2007, for a rise of 27.2 percent.

Strikingly, 2 percent fewer Canadian businesses went broke in 2008 than in 2007, despite the rapid worsening of the economy late last year.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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