Young Quebecers are increasingly represented in insolvency proceedings in Quebec. Our investigation and show office I he has met several young people who have gone bankrupt before they turn 25, but also older people who are having trouble paying their bills.
Many elderly retirees on low incomes are struggling to pay their bills and have limited options to cope.
More than a quarter of bankruptcy filings among people aged 65 and over in Canada were in Quebec in 2022, according to data from the Bankruptcy Office.
Our Bureau of Investigation revealed yesterday that young Quebecers are increasingly struggling to make ends meet and now account for nearly a third of Quebec’s insolvency cases.
But it’s not just young people who are trying to come. Murielle, a 75-year-old pensioner, and her 95-year-old mother had to file for bankruptcy within months of each other in 2022 because they could no longer pay their bills.
“I worked for 46 years. I started at 19 and finished at 67. I found out that today I am 75 years old, almost 76, and nothing is waiting for me,” regrets Murielle, who preferred to withhold her last name.
The story of these two women shows how difficult it can be to stick to your budget when your health starts to deteriorate. There are several ways to get new income.
The two elderly ladies never owned the property again, which the trustees say is an important factor in the recent enrichment (see next text).
“We see more and more people who, despite all their efforts, fail. We know that food banks are overloaded, sources of aid are full everywhere,” estimates Marie-Josée Ouimet, ACEF Lanaudière’s budget advisor.
A costly crash
In Murielle’s story, it was her mother’s downfall that precipitated their insolvency.
The two women lived in the same apartment, but Madeleine’s accident resulted in her being hospitalized. She then had to live in a shelter because she could no longer walk.
As a result, she had to pay $1,596 a month for the place, and Murielle had to continue paying for the apartment herself.
- Listen to a legal segment with Félix Séguin where he discusses the issue of financial insolvency for Quebecers through
“It would be too painful for me to take care of her and get up and stuff. She would be condemned to her room and bed all day. CLSC could come three times a day, that’s the maximum. They couldn’t come more than that,” he explains.
This situation means that every load, no matter how small, is now carefully analyzed.
Murielle has provided our investigative office with a notebook recording each disbursement to ensure we do not exceed the fast-track budget.
“There are no trips and leisure activities,” sums up Murielle. The few (luxuries) we could afford before, like going to the hairdresser, once to a restaurant; That’s all we had to put aside to at least live in our apartment.”
Something as simple as buying shoes becomes complicated.
It was necessary to negotiate a rent reduction of about $200 a month with the accommodation center, says the 75-year-old woman, but each time it is an obstacle course to justify limited resources.
Murielle says most financial institutions told her no when she came for help. It must be said that this was not her first bankruptcy. It already declared itself insolvent in 2002 and in 2018.
The interest rates she was offered ranged between 28 and 31%, she said.
“We borrowed $5,000, $7,000 and had to pay back almost $20,000,” says Murielle.
“It’s a humiliation. We feel irresponsible, even though life makes us that way, because everything is increasing and everything is expensive,” he emphasizes.
She says her mother sometimes says she can’t wait to “go away” so she can’t be a financial burden anymore, but it’s something she doesn’t like to hear.