How Is a Bankruptcy or Proposal Reported on your Credit Report?

A reference to your bankruptcy or consumer proposal will appear in two different sections of your credit report.

First, the fact that you have filed a bankruptcy or consumer proposal is reported in the legal or public records section of your credit report. When you file bankruptcy or a consumer proposal, a notice will appear in this section listing the type of proceeding and the date you filed. When you are discharged from bankruptcy or complete your proposal this information is updated with the discharge or completion date.

This information is provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. The notice will be removed based on time periods set by the credit bureau, which we outline in the next section.

Second, each individual creditor will also report that the account was “included in bankruptcy” or “included in proposal”. Individual creditor information is generally purged six years after the date of last activity.

For some creditors, that will be the date of your last payment. For other creditors that may be the date of filing of your bankruptcy or consumer proposal. Regardless, the legal section of your credit report will show the start and end date of your filing, and that is the most important date that credit grantors should review.

Occasionally creditors will report accounts as ‘included in bankruptcy’ when they are actually included in a consumer proposal. The proper legal proceeding will appear in the public records (legal) section of your report, so if a lender is questioning whether you filed a proposal or bankruptcy, tell them to look at the end of your credit report for full details, since individual creditors often report incorrectly.

When should my bankruptcy or consumer proposal be removed?

NOTE: The information below was obtained from TransUnion and Equifax; however, they have the ability to change their polices without notice to us, so we cannot guarantee that their policies will not change in the future.

TransUnion reports that

  • The consumer proposal and all accounts reported as satisfied through the proposal will be removed from your file three (3) years from the date you satisfied the proposal or (6) years after the date you defaulted on the account, whichever date comes first.
  • A first time bankruptcy will be removed from your credit report in Ontario seven (7) years from the date of discharge

For more information on how long TransUnion keeps information on file see here

Equifax states that:

  • A consumer proposal will be removed from your Equifax credit report 3 years after you’ve paid off all the debts according to the proposal, or 6 years from the date it was filed, whichever comes first. 
  • A bankruptcy automatically purges six (6) years from the date of discharge in the case of a single bankruptcy. If the consumer declares several bankruptcies, the system will keep each bankruptcy for fourteen (14) years from the date of each discharge. All accounts included in a bankruptcy remain on file indicating “included in bankruptcy” and will purge six (6) years from the date of last activity.

More information about retention periods for Equifax can be found here .