Insider: Bankruptcies in Canada

A look at bankruptcy rates in Canada. In this economy the numbers are rising — fast.

Bankruptcies in Canada are rising dramatically. More than 98,000 consumers and businesses filed for bankruptcy during the 12 months ending Jan. 31, 2009, a jump of 13.6% compared to the same period last year. That could mean more unclaimed funds residing with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB). Trustees aren’t always able to locate creditors by the time money is recovered during a bankruptcy. The money is turned over to the OSB in those cases, where it sits forever until the rightful creditor steps forward. The OSB maintains a searchable unclaimed funds database online. But with hundreds of claims filed each year, be prepared to get in line should you find your name.

$179,636 The largest single amount of an unclaimed fund currently with the OSB.

258 Number of claims filed with the OSB between April 1, 2008 and March 25, 2009.

70,147 The total number of records in the unclaimed funds database, which contains digital files back to 1994. The oldest paper record is from 1950.

Amount owed to Chung-Lee Chang by Mynix Technology Inc., which took trustees five years to recover. It would cost Chang $30 to claim it from the OSB.

$12,146,413 The total amount of unclaimed funds with the OSB. Trustees are to make a “reasonable effort” to locate creditors before turning over funds to the OSB.