For the second year in a row the federal government is writing off millions in student loans it will never collect, this time to the tune of $178.4 million.
The money represents 32,554 loans that federal officials believe they will never be able to collect, either because a debtor may have filed for bankruptcy, the debt itself has passed a six-year legal limit on collection, or the debtor can’t be found.
Last year, the government wrote off 33,967 loans totalling $176 million.
Federal officials have increased their efforts in recent years to collect outstanding student loans after watching write-offs hit $312 million in 2012 and $295 million in 2015.
The previous Conservative government ordered officials to ramp up collection efforts in order to bring the write-offs under control.
The Liberals’ first budget offered a new tool for the Canada Revenue Agency in its collection efforts: legal changes allowing it to use tax information for the …