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COVID-19: many households falling behind on payments

By The IJ Staff | March 26 2020 02:44PM

Families and individuals are already falling behind on personal finances due to the COVID-19 crisis, found a new survey conducted in Ontario, Alberta and B.C.

The survey, by Bromwich+Smith Licensed Insolvency Trustees with Leger, reveals 49% of Ontarians have experienced an immediate income reduction while “19% of Ontario households are already behind on payments with credit cards, utilities and cell phone bills being the first to lag behind.”

In Alberta, 49% of households have experienced an income reduction and 24% are behind on payments, whereas 51% of B.C. households are experiencing lower incomes and 19% per cent are already behind on monthly bills. The survey was conducted over a 24-hour period on March 23.

"The results are quite staggering really. Of course, we get a sense of what is happening when we read the news, but the survey results make it far more real having interviewed 750 people across BC, Alberta and Ontario," says David de Lange, Senior Vice President of Leger Research. 

Seek out financial advice

Jasmine Marra, Vice President at Bromwich+Smith, says it is important for people in difficulty to know that it is okay to reach out to professionals for financial advice. “There is no shame in struggling with finances – we are all in this together.”

She suggested that those in need look at accessing the government programs offered, call their mortgage lender to see if a deferral could work for them, or call a licensed insolvency trustee to understand if restructuring debts makes sense for their current state."

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