Are Bankruptcy Records Public in Canada?
Official bankruptcy records in Canada are compiled by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) and are entirely accessible to the public. This means that anyone can view them on the OSB website through a search engine. They must pay a fee, however, and the searches must be very specific to find the relevant information.
Who Will Be Made Aware of My Bankruptcy?
While this information is potentially accessible to anyone, the chances of most people (including friends and family) finding out about your bankruptcy are relatively small, unless you tell them yourself. An individual’s Trustee and creditors are likely the only people to learn of their bankruptcy, If you are applying for a loan of over $500, however, then the potential lender (including friends and family) must be informed of your bankruptcy. Newspapers will only publicize a legal notice of your filing for bankruptcy if you have a significant amount of assets.
Creditors will learn of your bankruptcy through a notice sent by your Licensed Insolvency Trustee. After receiving this information, the creditors will then record the bankruptcy. If you are considering applying for credit while your bankruptcy is still recorded on credit bureau records, then the company at which you are applying for credit may document your bankruptcy after they view your record at a credit bureau. Each month, the OSB sends a newly compiled list to the credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion, who then update the credit history of individual consumers accordingly. The OSB will also relay information on discharged bankruptcies. The bankruptcy record is dismissed after a certain number of years.
When Will My Bankruptcy Be Removed from My Credit Report?
For a first bankruptcy, Equifax will remove the record of your bankruptcy from your credit report six years after the date of the bankruptcy discharge. For a second bankruptcy, it is fourteen years after the discharge. TransUnion has a similar time frame.