OTTAWA -- The number of insolvencies in Canada in the third quarter edged up compared with the same quarter last year as the number of consumers unable to pay their bills edged higher.

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy says the total number of insolvencies came to 21,649 in the third quarter, up from 21,335 in the same quarter last year.

The number of bankruptcies fell to 6,740 compared with 7,667 a year ago, while the number of proposals, offers to settle debts under conditions other than the existing terms, rose to 14,909 from 13,668 in the same quarter last year.

The overall increase came as consumer insolvencies rose to 21,113 compared with 20,707 a year ago. The number of consumer bankruptcies fell to 6,324 from 7,164, but consumer proposals rose to 14,789 from 13,543.

Insolvencies filed by businesses totalled 536 in the quarter, down from 628 in the same quarter last year.

Bankruptcies by businesses totalled 416, down from 503 a year ago, while proposals fell to 120 compared with 124 in the same quarter last year.