How long will bankruptcy show on credit reports in Canada for the first time bankrupt after receiving a bankruptcy discharge?
There are two large credit reporting agencies in Canada: Equifax and Trans Union. Unfortunately neither of them is very forthcoming with regards to their credit reporting practices.
A few years ago you could go to their websites and read a complete description of their reporting procedures. Today, unfortunately, their websites are mostly sales vehicles, so that they can sell you their credit reporting services, and that’s a key point to remember: Credit bureaus are profit making businesses: they exist to sell credit information to the lenders (like banks) and to consumers (like you). They are not impartial arbitrators; they are there to earn a profit. There’s nothing wrong with earning a profit, but it’s important that you understand their perspective.
With that background, based on the most recently available information (which I can no longer link to, since it no longer appears on their websites), Equifax’s policy is to retain the note about your first bankruptcy on their system for six years after the date of discharge.
So, for example, if you declare bankruptcy in January of year 1, and you were not discharged until October, year 2, the note about your bankruptcy would remain on your credit report for six more years, until the end of October, year 8. It’s not the date that your bankruptcy started that matters; it’s the date you were discharged.
In the past Trans Union maintained this information for seven years.
Once you are discharged your trustee sends the discharge information to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, and it is the OSB that then reports to the credit bureau. Your trustee is not able to report directly to Equifax or Trans Union.
It should also be noted that each individual creditor also reports to the credit reporting agency, and the information they report individually may be different than the information reported by the OSB. It’s possible that a debt included in your bankruptcy may still appear on your credit report after the six year period if an individual creditor reports incorrect dates.
I therefore recommend that three months after you are discharged from bankruptcy, get a copy of your credit report from both agencies and review them for any errors, and then report those errors to both the credit bureau and the individual creditor.
You do not need to pay for a credit report; you can get a free credit report from Equifax and Trans Union by following those links.
Can I reapply to Scotiabank after I filed for bankruptcy with them? I have also noticed discreptancies on my credit report and Equifax and Transunion has not made changes even with proof of amounts and dates.
Plus, if I apply for a loan do I have to tell them I declared bankruptcy?
Hi Chris. Yes, you can apply to borrow from anyone when your bankruptcy is completed and you are discharged. Whether or not they will lend to you is another matter; it’s up to the bank. My only caution would be that you want to ensure that the bank was aware of your bankruptcy and filed a proof of claim in your bankruptcy, since you don’t want to run the risk of them incorrectly assuming that you are attempting to pay off an old loan.
As for errors on your credit report, you should contact your trustee, who can review your credit report with you and give you advice on how to correct the errors. Without seeing your actual credit report it’s difficult for me to give you more specific advice.
As for applying for a loan, if the loan application says “have you ever declared bankruptcy?” then the answer is yes, you would have to tell them. Of course they will know anyway, because when they do a credit check on you the bankruptcy will appear on your credit report (on Equifax) for six years after the date of your discharge.
How do I clear my name from bankruptcy? My discharge was June 7th, 2007 and I cannot get a loan. It stills shows I have claimed bankruptcy. What do I do?
In a first bankruptcy Equifax maintains the notice of your bankruptcy on your credit report for six years from the date of discharge, so if this was your first bankruptcy the note should no longer appear on your credit report. Trans Union may maintain the note for 7 years, in which case it should disappear shortly. I would suggest that you confirm with the credit reporting agencies that they have your discharge information in their system. If for some reason they have not correctly entered your discharge date that could explain why your bankruptcy continues to appear on your credit report. You could also contact your original trustee to confirm that they submitted all necessary discharge paperwork.
Hi, I have been discharged from my first bankruptcy May 2007. Equifax doesn’t show it anymore (6 years) since I got a copy but Trans Union does (7 years). I have applied for Capital one, declined, BMO declined. Bmo spilled the beans after I pressed them to say exactly why. Because they looked at Trans Union. My question is, people I know got unsecured credit cards 2 years after discharge, I owe nothing and get refused rapidly with no discussion. Which unsecured card can be obtained for sure, I got none. Canadian Tire was suggested, I am not sure. I have to start somewhere and wouldn’t even consider secured, ever. Do you have a precise answer? TY
Hi Adrian. The short answer is no, I don’t have a precise answer. I do have some general comments:
First, you make the comment that “you owe nothing” and get refused, but you know other people who qualified for cards. The answer may be that the lender doesn’t want to lend to someone with no credit history. Presumably your Equifax credit report has nothing on it, since you haven’t borrowed since before your bankruptcy. You say you would never consider a secured credit card, but that may be what’s necessary in your situation. By getting a secured card you will have something on your credit history, which may then allow you to qualify for an unsecured card.
Second, if TransUnion is the issue, and they keep a bankruptcy on your report for seven years, you may have no choice but to wait until the seven years is up.
Finally, in my experience, lenders may want to “let you down easy” and not be completely honest about why they are denying a loan. It’s easy to blame it on your credit report, but as you correctly stated there are lots of people who are able to borrow once their bankruptcy is completed, so it’s likely that there are other factors preventing you from borrowing, such as a low income, other errors on your credit report, or other factors.
Hope that helps, but unfortunately without being a lender I can’t be more precise in my answer.
I’m wondering, when applying for a mortgage how far back can mortgage lenders go to see that there was a bankruptcy in your credit report? It’s been over 20 years since my discharge, so will they see that considering how long ago it was
Hi Bob. It depends where the mortgage lender looks. A first bankruptcy is automatically purged from your credit report by Equifax six years after the date of discharge, so if they are looking at your credit report they won’t see a bankruptcy you were discharged from 20 years ago.
More importantly, lenders don’t care what you did 20 years ago. They care about your situation today, so if you have a decent income, and a down payment, and have otherwise good credit your bankruptcy from 20 years ago should not be a factor.
Am I required to disclose a prior bankruptcy when applying for a mortgage? If I don’t (it has been ten years since discharge) will it be considered a violation of the terms of the mortgage if the lender discovers it later? Is there any risk involved in not disclosing?
Paul: If you were discharged ten years ago from a first bankruptcy, the bankruptcy should not appear on your credit report, so it is unlikely that a lender will “discover it later”. If you are asked “have you ever filed bankruptcy?” the true answer is yes, so presumably if a lender was to discover that you lied they could decide not to grant you a mortgage.
However, mortgage lenders are in the business of making money from mortgages. They want to lend you money, and they are most interested in your situation today, not whether or not you went bankrupt 10 years ago, which is largely irrelevant to your current situation. It may be prudent to talk to your lender, and if they decide not to give you a mortgage because of something that happened ten years ago it may be wise to find another lender.
I was discharged from bankruptcy Aug 24, 2008. My student loans were included in my bankruptcy under the Hardship rule. On both credit reporting agencies my student loans remain on my credit report as “current”. On Trans Union they are not shown as a “derogatory” debt and state that are closed, on Equifax they are listed as current and “past due on payment” but in the comments section state that they state that they were discharged in bankruptcy. I know Equifax takes bankruptcy off after six years and Trans Union seven years but I am wondering how these “current” accounts are affecting my credit now?
My credit scores are low on both agencies. I have current credit in the form of a secured credit card, mobile phone account and car loan. How do I increase my credit score so that I qualify for better interest rates? I have had no late payments on any type of credit account I’ve had since entering into bankruptcy.
Another issue I am having is that RBC Student Loans sent my one student loans to a collection agency (so far it does not appear on my credit report) despite my loans being discharged in bankruptcy. I have sent proof to the collection agency of my loans being discharged so that should rectify matter should itself. Is there anything else besides disputing various accounts on my credit files, so that they can be corrected, that I can do to increase my credit worthiness/score?
Hi Lisa. There are a number of nuances in your question, and without full access to your file it is difficult to give you accurate answers. I would suggest you discuss these issues with your trustee.
You mention that your student loans were included under the Hardship rule. The hardship rule only applies if you have a court order. If you do have a court order, it may help to send that to the credit reporting agencies, the collection agency, and the original creditor.
As for increasing your credit score, your score should improve with the passage of time. Additionally you could get another form of debt (small credit card, loan) that will improve your score, but be careful not to borrow heavily and get back into debt.
Please Help!!!!! I was discharged from my Bankruptcy on May 30, 2014. The only items included in my bankruptcy were 4 credit cards. When I look at my Trans Union Credit Report it still shows the balances for all of the credit cards. In one case, the balance seems to have exceeded the limit by 50%. This will clearly look bad for creditors and I assume will keep my credit score down (it is currently at 568). My question: Is it possible to have these balances listed as $0? Also, is having these balances still on file hurting my current and short term credit score?
Thanks so much for all of your help!
Jason: if you were discharged in May it’s possible that your credit report is not yet completely updated, so the information may be corrected without any action from you. I would suggest you do the following:
First, ask your trustee for a list of proven claims. You want to make sure that the 4 credit cards were actually aware of your bankruptcy, because otherwise they would not report a zero balance to the credit bureau.
Second, you can contact Trans Union and advise them that these debts were discharged in your bankruptcy, and should appear as a zero balance owing.
Trans Union told me that I have to contact the banks associated with my credit cards and have them request that my balance be changed to zero. Is this right?
Thanks again. You are a Godsend!
That doesn’t make sense – it is my understanding that it is the job of the trustee to inform your creditors of your bankruptcy (any of the accounts you submit to the trustee that you are asking for coverage under the bankruptcy for). Once they are informed, if they have concerns or want part of your payments after bankruptcy (whatever that amount is) they submit it to the trustee who’s in charge of distribution to secured and non-secured creditors.
I have no idea why you should have to contact creditors, all you should have to do is submit your proof of bankruptcy and the creditors listed on it to the credit bureaus.
PS – They are getting dirtier now as time goes on, you send in the required documentation in 3 different shades of photocopy of your utility bill, ID, etc., to ensure they get one that’s “just right” and not too dark or too light, and they still refuse to give it to you. Trans Union is the worst – they are trying their best to get us to pay for credit reports.
Hi Terri. I understand your frustration. The credit bureaus don’t work for the consumer; they work for the lenders, so they don’t make it easy for a consumer to correct inaccurate information.
The trustee notifies your creditors of the bankruptcy, but the trustee does not have the power to notify the credit bureau directly. The trustee also notifies the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, who then notifies the credit bureau of the bankruptcy, but they don’t notify the credit bureau of the individual creditors listed on the bankruptcy.
So, what often happens, is the legal section of your credit report shows you are bankrupt, but the individual creditors may not reflect accurate information. Unfortunately the only solution is to get a copy of your credit report and go through the process of asking the credit bureau to make corrections. It is time consuming, but it’s the only option available.
🙂 Yes, Mr. Hoyes, that was what I’d said, that the trustee notifies the creditors. I didn’t say that the trustee notifies the credit bureaus. Again, all the bankrupt should need to do to correct errors at a reporting agency is send a copy of their discharge and a list of the creditors included beneath that bankruptcy.
So if the trustee notifies the creditors, they should then be aware and change what they are reporting to the credit bureau – creditors reporting falsely to a credit bureau surely must be illegal, unless it’s a clerical error?
Therefore, if there are errors on the credit report from TransUnion, why would they suggest that a person contact their creditors, when it was the paid job of the trustee to do this in the first place in order that creditors can make a claim? Creditors likely aren’t going to take our word for it anyway and would want something directly from an official source – the trustee.
I would add that recently with TransUnion I tried to go through their phone menu for a free credit report – the menu voices literally changed from pleasant, clearly-speaking female voice to harder to understand computer-voice to Stephen-Hawkins type indecipherable male while asking the verification questions – add that to a menu that goes by so fast, unless you have pen poised and are rocket-quick to write, you miss how to have those indecipherable questions repeated. To top it off, when I finally understood a question, I answered it correctly (I know I did) I was told I had given the wrong answer and was disconnected!
**That said, as an irate customer following this experience, I went to their website and related this to them via their contact link. I was almost bowled over the next day when someone phoned from their CS that I actually gushed a thankyou to them for calling me back. A very kind, professional and understanding lady called me back the next morning and walked me through the verification so I was finally able to get my report – I say ‘understanding’ because I had been up till 5am the night before reading a book and to be honest my mind was stunned and unable to recall what should have been simple answers, so she gave me options of other questions. My report arrived last week in the mail).
As for the report itself, I noted that it had my employers mis-listed and dates of employment that were years off, nor does it list my most recent employer (government) of over 2 years. I will write to them and ask about that.
I filed for bankruptcy in 2006. Today I am considered undischarged from my bankruptcy. I fulfilled all of my commitments other than the money part! I did pay a lot of the required debt off but was still being asked for a lot of money to complete the process. I went into bankruptcy with my former wife and she ended up paying the minimum amount while I was stuck with a huge bill. Anyway I believe I still owe $10-15000 and I’m not sure what to do. Equifax reports no bankruptcy but transunion still reports the bankruptcy. I was basically turned back over to my creditors and did repay a lot of that debt $17000. At this point I feel as though the process has been a nightmare and I really do want it to go away!
#1- even though the process began almost 8 years ago can transunion still report it? They also have reports (positive ones) from 1995, which seems odd.
#2- how should I go about putting this issue to bed and if I do, will the bankruptcy release then be added to my file again thus putting me back at square 1 and another 7 years of a poor credit showing on my equifax and transunion files?
Currently my situation is one where I can get credit from lenders but those who use transunion typically deny. What is your recommendation?
Hi Sean. I would suggest you review your Trans Union credit report in detail. My understanding is that Trans Union maintains bankruptcy information for up to 7 years, so I don’t know why it continues to appear on your credit report. It is possible that since they have not received notice of your discharge (since you are not discharged), they are maintaining the information on your credit report. I suggest you contact them and ask them to explain their “purge” policies so you know when information is removed from your credit report.
The other option is to contact your bankruptcy trustee and determine what is required to obtain your discharge (probably paying the outstanding money). And yes, if you get your discharge, the note with the date of your discharge will appear on your credit report for six years after the date of discharge (on Equifax, and up to 7 years on Trans Union).
Can you clarify or explain the puzzle on why Equifax purges bankruptcy after 6 yrs and TransUnion after 7 years after discharge date?
I spoke to Customer Service at each. Both of them say they are following provincial and federal regulations? How can they both be correct?
If TransUnion bankruptcy records remain until yr 7 and this affects only the Transunion credit score, then getting around this during this 1 yr period means finding a lender who uses only Equifax….right?
Hi Michael. Your understanding is correct. Equifax and Trans Union are private companies, and they each set their own policies, so for whatever reason one decided on a six year rule, and the other decided on 7 years.
I filed for bankruptcy in 2009 but they said I didn’t make enough surplus payments, thus it is 2014 and I still haven’t been discharged. However, I recently did credit check with Equifax and nothing showed up on my credit file. Absolutely nothing. No prior debts and no bankruptcy. I’m like a credit history ghost. My question is what are the consequences of staying non-discharged and not completing my bankruptcy if my record is currently a clean slate?
As an undischarged bankrupt it is generally very difficult to borrow money, or re-establish credit. I have no explanation why your bankruptcy does not appear on your credit report, unless for some reason the name on your bankruptcy does not match with the name on your credit report. You can confirm the details of your bankruptcy by doing a search on the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s website: https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/scr/bsf-osb/ins/login.html?lang=eng (it will cost you $8), or you could confirm the details with your trustee. Since there is nothing at all on your credit report, a name mismatch would appear to be the likely explanation, and if the error is corrected that would then make it difficult to borrow in the future, which is why it is generally recommended that you do what is necessary to get your discharge.
Hi there. My husband and I are currently in bankruptcy. His will be discharged this February and my own next February. My question is as follows: I have old student loans from 1999-2003. They would have been included in my bankruptcy however; I returned to school in 2009 and obtained a new OSAP loan. Because of this, all my prior OSAP loans became lumped in with the new date of my OSAP. I am therefore; being declined to include them in my bankruptcy as they are only now at the 5 year mark and not 7. It was explained to me that I can apply to the court to have these included in my bankruptcy under hardship (which is truly the case, hence, why we are in a bankruptcy situation – my husband became disabled and I am now the main income supporter). How do I go about applying to the court? I live in a small town where the lawyers here have not heard of this and are not willing to represent me without a very hefty fee (as they say they will have to research legislation – they are unfamiliar with this). Thank you.
This is a very complicated area of law, and yes, lawyers generally won’t represent you without getting paid. You can find more information here: http://student-loan-bankruptcy.ca/what-constitutes-hardship-with-a-student-loan-after-bankruptcy-in-canada/
I would suggest you talk to your trustee, and ask them to refer you to a lawyer who is experienced in these matters, and therefore may not need as much research time to take on your case.
I was discharged from Debt Management in July 2013. I asked for a free credit report from Equifax and some accounts are still showing R9. I assumed that when I finished my program the rating will be changed to R7. Anyway my question is come July 2015 I would assume that the negative ratings should be removed from my report automatically? Is this right or should the credit counselling company whom I dealt with be dealing with the updates?
Hi Jen. You should contact your credit counselling company for more information. A debt management plan is not a legally legislated process, so it will depend on what arrangements your credit counselling company has with each of the credit bureaus.
In a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, since it’s a legal process, all communication with Equifax and TransUnion is handled directly by the government, based on information supplied by the trustee, so the purge rules are applied automatically.
Hey there. I had filed for bankrupsy and have been discharged now for about 5 years. For some reason I was told that transunion and equifax did not get my discharge papers and that it was my responsibility to send them the papers myself. From what I was reading on here and how other questions were answered it seems as if that would have bene up to the trustee? I this correct? I am just looking to get the answer to this so they can get that paperwork and have their files updated.
Yes, the trustee files your discharge paperwork with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (the government), and they send the information to the credit reporting agency. So, if there is an issue, you should contact your trustee to confirm that you were in fact discharged, and that they have completed all necessary paperwork.
I am from Quebec and I declared 2 bankruptcies one in 1999 and the second in 2001 in which I have both been discharged. I have recently viewed my credit reports with TransUnion and Equifax and I don’t understand why my 2 bankruptcies are still not erased from the system.
It is standard practice for credit reporting agencies in Canada, when you file a second bankruptcy, to “bring back” the first bankruptcy and report both bankruptcies for a period of 14 years from the date of discharge from your second bankruptcy. If you filed a second bankruptcy in 2001 and were discharged perhaps in 2003, it is likely that the bankruptcies will be removed from your credit report in 2017.
I have recently been considering applying for a Mortage with my current partner. I files for bankruptcy back in Feb of 2007, first and only bankruptcy. I was discharged from bankruptcy in Nov of 2007. I have never checked my credit score to see where I stand and I do have a couple credit cards that I use and pay off in full every month. I may have missed full payment a month or two but never late with a payment and always paid min amount or more.
I was wondering if I would still be showing a bankruptcy now if I were to apply for a mortage? I seem to have a fear of going and being turned down for that reason. That being said, I have a full time perm job and make decent money and all my bills are always paid in full and on time every month. Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Wanda. Equifax maintains the note about your bankruptcy on your credit report for six years from the date of discharge, so for you the note should have disappeared shortly after November 2013. Since you have a full time job and have re-established credit, you should have a good chance for qualifying for a reasonable mortgage. If you want to know what’s on your credit report, you can request a free copy of your credit report through Equifax or Trans Union, which I recommend you do before you apply for your new mortgage.
I declared bankruptcy in March 2014 after a consumer proposal. I received a copy of my Equifax and my student loans are still showing in default status by 42 months. I am supposed to be discharged from the Bankruptcy in November 2015. My question is are items that were included in the Bankruptcy taken off the Credit Bureau at different times. I was told that my student loans could be included in the bankruptcy because I was out of school long enough to qualify. I want to make sure I am not going to be stuck paying student loans when I am discharged from my bankruptcy.
Hi Chris. Whether or not a debt appears on your credit report does not directly impact whether or not you owe that debt. It’s likely that the student loans have not yet reported an update for your bankruptcy to the credit bureau, which is why they continue to appear. We suggest you contact your trustee and confirm that student loans have filed a claim in your bankruptcy; if not, they should be requested to file a claim, which will probably also trigger them to issue an updated report to the credit bureau.
My partner declared bankruptcy in 2004 and thought that her case was fine as her trustee had not contacted her since she’d moved to BC. It turns out that her trustee had died and her case was not passed to another trustee.
She found all of this out this year, after finally getting her life in sufficient order to pursue a mortgage. She checked her bureaus to make sure things were in order and was shocked to see that she had been bankrupt and not discharged since 2004. After many inquiries, she tracked down her file and the trustee who had it immediately discharged her from bankruptcy.
So she has already had her credit ruined for 11 years. She’s since contacted the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to ask if there is anything that can be done so that she won’t be haunted by it for another 6 years (17 total).
They Office of the Superintendent maintains that they are not involved with Equifax and that they can’t do anything about it. I have 2 questions:
First, Is it true that the OSB can’t reverse the items that they put on a person’s credit bureau?
Second, can you offer any advice on how to proceed that would spare her from having to wait a total of 17 years to clear her first bankruptcy? It seems as though there should be some limit on how long someone can be bankrupt without discharge and that there should be some provision to forgive someone the 6 year waiting period as “time served” since a normal 1 year discharge and 6 year waiting period would have had her clear by 2011.
Thanks for any answers you can provide.
Hi Ryan. You are describing an unusual situation, so I don’t have any obvious advice to give you. It is true that the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy does not control credit reports. They simply report to the credit bureau, who then in turn report that information.
My advice would be to take steps now to repair her credit. Here’s an article with more information or credit repair after bankruptcy. If she starts by getting a credit card, and builds up a down payment, it will not be necessary to wait six years. I would suggest that she talk to a mortgage broker or the bank about what is required to qualify, and work towards that goal.
hello I filed bankruptcy back in 2003 payed it in full to my trustee but they nerver discharged me. It’s 2015 now went an brought an new car got approved but high interest . I just got off the phone with Honda Trying to get an motorcycle and I got the shock of my life my pervious bankruptcy is still showing after all this time
What do I need to do to get rid of this please help?
You need to contact your previous trustee and find out why you didn’t get discharged, and then you, or your lawyer, or your trustee need to go to bankruptcy court and prove to the court that you have fulfilled your duties and then ask the court to grant your discharge from bankruptcy.
I filed a consumer proposal which was accepted in 2010. The proposal was accepted. IN 2011, a revision was negotiated and agreed. In 2013, I was able to arrange full payment of the proposal balance and received a certificate of full performance. Two of the unsecured creditors on the credit report I recently obtained, show, numerous delinquencies between 2010 and 2013. Given that I met all of the terms of the proposal, on time, after 2010, can creditors legitimately report delinquencies during the period after they accepted and participated in the proposal? I’m trying to clean up my credit report. Any advice you can provide is much appreciated.
I would suggest that you contact your consumer proposal administrator (your trustee). They will confirm that the creditors in question received a copy of your proposal. You can then request that the creditors and the credit bureau correct the information on your credit report to indicate that the amounts were included in your proposal.
Hi there, I filed my bankruptcy in 2008 and matter went to court. after 2 hearings i didn’t followed. I found my Trustee got discharge few months ago. Do I got discharge as well? if not then what should I do?? what will and can happen next?? what is your honest suggestion for me?? Thanks
My honest suggestion is that you need to talk to your trustee. It would appear that you did not complete your duties. Your trustee can advise as to next steps.
Both creditors should be either 6 or 7 years and not Equifax 6 years while TransUnion is 7 years from the discharge date to remove the bankruptcy off of your credit report
They both should be aligned for the same time period!
How can i make the change to this unfair business practice?
Hi Vanessa. It would make sense for the credit bureaus to be aligned, but unfortunately there are no specific rules that force them to be in alignment. They are private companies, and that is one area where they decide their own policies. You could complain to the Ministry of Consumer Services in your province; they would be the ones with jurisdiction of this matter.
I understand that in Nova Scotia it is 6 years. When I spoke to a TransUnion rep last week as I was in the process of obtaining a report, she asked me which province I was in when we were discussing bankruptcy dropping off my report.
Hello, I filed a Consumer Proposal (in Ontario) in 2010 and ended up converting it to a bankruptcy in 2012. (the proposal was “deemed annulled”). For credit reporting purposes, is this considered as single bankruptcy (7yrs) or a double bankruptcy (14yrs). I’ve had conflicting information on this. Thanks for the great site!
Hi Brian. You have only file bankruptcy once, so the bankruptcy would appear on your credit report for six years after the date of discharge. The annulled proposal should appear on your credit report for three years from the date of annulment. You could contact Equifax or TransUnion to confirm that this is how it will be reported on your credit report.
Hi there I declared back in 94 and may have to do so now in 2015. would they consider it the first or second bankruptcy?
It would be a second bankruptcy.
Hello, my husband had filed bankruptcy in 2009 due to a marital breakdown with his former spouse and he was discharged in October 2010. There is a public record on his Equifax report that shows all the correct information concerning the bankruptcy with the comment ‘Bankrupt absolute discharge’. Included in that bankruptcy was his mortgage through First National Financial. My husband has been monitoring his credit report very closely over the years and has built up good credit and his score is in the “good” range, has credit cards and a car loan etc, so he has done a lot to repair his image since the bankruptcy. We saved up a 5% down payment for home and were going through a mortgage broker to obtain a mortgage to purchase
our first home together. However, just recently in October 2015 we see that on my husband’s credit report the First National Financial who held his previous mortgage that was included in the bankruptcy and discharge from 2010 has reported the written-off mortgage. If this was written-off mortgage was already included in the 2010 discharge why are they able to report this to the credit bureau in 2015? Now our mortgage broker has informed us that no lender or CMHC will approve a mortgage for him since this item is showing as reported in 2015. It also has other comments under the Prior Paying History with states ‘Showing a repossession (2015-04)” We were told by many parties that since he is 5 years after discharge and showing a good credit rebuild that we would be able to qualify for a mortgage, but now the broker is saying the lender and CMHC will deny us because the First National Financial reported the loan in 2015. Something doesn’t seem right with this. Now our main concern is finding out why they reported this item 5 years after discharge and if this item will come off my husbands credit report in October 2016 since that is the end of his 6 year waiting period. We are very concerned that if they reported this in 2015, that it won’t come off his report until 2021! I should also note that under the First National Financial item on his report is lists the Date of Last Activity as July 2010, and then the Date Reported as October 2015. This all seems wrong and we are not sure where to start to get some answers about how this is going to impact us. Thank you
Hi Kelly. I agree; what you are describing is wrong. Since the last activity date is July 2010 (and if fact it could be argued that it should be 2009 when he filed his bankruptcy) they should not be reporting anything in 2015. If you have a copy of your Equifax credit report there is a Dispute Resolution form at the back of the credit report. You should complete it, with a full explanation, and send it to Equifax (and perhaps Trans Union if they have the same information) and ask them to correct it. You should also send a letter to First National and ask them to make the correction.
As an aside, the mortgage broker and CMHC should understand that this is an error, since with a bankruptcy in 2009 there is no way this debt would still exist in 2015, but unfortunately mortgage brokers sometimes don’t understand credit reports, or are powerless to convince the lenders that the credit report contains an error.
Hey Kelly. It doesn’t really matter if they report it. The only thing that matters is the date of last activity. Once the date of activity is off for 6 years it disappears. This is pasted directly from the Equifax report. Also, is the balance being reported “$0”? If it is reporting as zero it shouldn’t affect current credit either.
“This section contains information on each account that you’ve opened in the past. It is retained in our database for not more than 6 years from the date of last activity.”
Hello, I have been monitoring my credit report to see when my bankruptcy will be purged from my record and it was but something new has shown up which I think is one of the creditors that should have been part of the bankruptcy. Its showing up under collection accounts. is it just a matter of getting both bureaus to update my file?
Ahmed: yes, you should report this to both credit bureaus so that they can remove old and outdated information.
I have filed 2 times for bankruptcy discharged 1st Feb 2003, 2nd Oct 2009.
My credit score is now 711 at TransUnion and 709 with Equifax. I wanted to sign onto our existing mortgage last year and was told this was not possible by ATB Financial.
I have been employed at the same company for over 3 years, have had a small credit card since 2009, and making just over $100K a year no debts.
I did read your 14 year after last discharge comment, so am I now to wait until 2023 to get my name on the mortgage?
Any information you could provide to get my credit fixed enough to get a mortgage and a new truck without paying 29.99% to Carfinco would be appreciated.
Great blog thanks for helping everyone out!
Hi Roger. You are correct, a second bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 14 years. However, that does not mean that you won’t qualify for a good loan rate sooner than that. If you have no debts and earn $100K per year you should be able to qualify at good rates.
Lenders generally want to see that you have re-established credit, and for that they like to see at least two different forms of credit, or “trade lines”. You have one credit card now. It’s likely that your credit score would improve if you had either another credit card, or a small bank loan or line of credit. That would probably be the quickest way to improve your credit score.
I declared bankruptcy in April 2009 and was discharged on May 10, 2010. Apparently my bankruptcy will be removed from my credit report May 10, 2016 (Equifax). When it is finally removed, what happens to my credit score? All through my bankruptcy I have received high interest loans for purchasing my vehicle. I have maintained these loans in good standing at all times. Can I expect my rating to rise?
Hi Phil. Yes, as a general rule, your credit score will increase when your bankruptcy is purged from your credit report. You can also take other steps to improve your credit score, such as obtaining new credit, such as a secured credit card or other similar types of debt.
Hi There. Up in the comments, Phil said ” Apparently my bankruptcy will be removed from my credit report May 10, 2016 (Equifax).” Would this be the case? would it be removed on the exact date?
It may not be removed on exactly that date, but is generally removed by the end of that month (so by the end of May in this example).
I was just wondering what happens to accounts that are R9 after you are discharged from Bankruptcy. Are they supposed to be deleted after discharge or will they continue to show and impact your credit score until they are gone in 6-7 years? I filed in sept 2010 and was discharged in 2012 and only one previous account was still there. It looks like the last activity was 2010-05, so it’ll be gone from Equifax anyway, but I haven’t yet cleaned up my Transunion.
Hi Craig. This is a question that is confusing to many.
In general, individual debts are purged from your credit report six years after the date of last activity. Unfortunately each creditor has a slightly different interpretation of what this means. In general, if you filed bankruptcy in September 2010, the individual debts would be automatically purged by the end of September, 2016.
The bankruptcy note itself, in the legal section of your credit report, will appear for six years (Equifax) or seven years (TransUnion) from the date of discharge, so if you were discharged in 2012 the bankruptcy note itself will remain until at least 2018.
I was discharged of my bankruptcy in August 2011, I tried applying to a car loan and I got refused by 2 banks (scotia and BMO), I have a credit score of 702 as of May 2016.
I’ve been told by a bank rep from the TD bank that i will never be able to get credit with them because they lost money with me, is this normal bank practice and is there anything I can do about it?
Hi Assad. No, it is not normal practice for a bank to say “we will never deal with you again for the rest of your life because you had a debt with us when you went bankrupt.” However, if the loan officer at the bank doesn’t want to deal with you, the solution is simple: find another bank. There are lots of banks, credit unions and other car loan lenders in Canada, so you could try others.
Also, it may be wise to take steps to rebuild your credit before applying for a loan. For example, you could get a secured visa card or a small unsecured card, which may improve your credit score and allow you to qualify for a loan.
I went through a bankruptcy at the same time as a divorce in 2005. It was a rough time in my life and I did not follow through on my bankruptcy proceedings. I am 100% to blame for everything. I have since paid off some of the debts in full but I noticed on my TransUnion account under the public record it shows a derogatory under the bankruptcy. Will that ever go away? Its been there since 2008 and was updated in 2010.
Hi Reggie. TransUnion often leaves an undischarged bankruptcy on your credit report for an extended period of time. Your best option may be to contact your original trustee and determine what is necessary to obtain your discharge, which will ultimately remove the bankruptcy from your credit report.
I was discharged in jan 2014. I was just wondering, when do you think I could apply for a personal loan from a bank?…Ive been hearing 3 years but im not sure.
M name is Chris.
I was recently discharged from a bankruptcy and am in the process of correcting errors on my credit files with both Equifax and TansUnion. I have only sent a request to one credit bureau so I’m in the early stares of correcting this mess. All nine credit accounts on my file are reporting me as delinquent after the date I entered bankruptcy and after the date I was discharged. They are also all showing a balance owing.
I got myself into this situation and I’ll get myself out but it’s hard to believe that all nine credit accounts are incorrectly reporting. Or maybe the credit bureaus are not updating correctly. I don’t really know why but I’m trying to fix it. I have one account showing me as delinquent all 20 months after entering bankruptcy.
My trustee was not much help with the following questions…I hope you can answer these.
1) Once entering bankruptcy status can a creditor still report my account as delinquent? Or does this come into effect after my discharge date?
2) Once discharged, would the balances owing on each credit account be $0?
Hi Chris. You are correct; the credit reporting agencies often do a poor job of reporting accurate information. The individual creditors also often report incorrectly, as it appears they have done in your case. They should be reporting the debt as “included in bankruptcy”, but often they take the easy way out and just show it as delinquent.
You should confirm with your trustee that each of those creditors actually filed a claim in your bankruptcy, since it is possible they don’t have the bankruptcy on record. Then, keep doing what you are doing, which is to file a dispute resolution request with the credit bureaus and request that they correct the inaccurate information.
First of all, thank you for making all this information available on this website. From reading the posts I understand that a discharged bankruptcy remains on one’s credit report for 6 or 7 years after discharge, and then it gets dropped off the report. I do however want to ask for a clarification regarding your answer to the post of Sean from Nov 15, 2014. From your answer I was left with the impression that an UNdischarged bankruptcy also gets dropped from one’s credit report automatically after 6 or 7 years and may not re-appear on the report until it is discharged, at which time it will again show up for 6 or 7 years. Is this indeed the case, or did I misunderstand? If an undischarged bankruptcy gets dropped off the credit report, does this not run counter to what a credit bureau is supposed to do, ie provide an accurate credit history? I imagine most lenders would like to know they are dealing with an undischarged bankrupt, and credit bureaus should include information about a current undischarged bankruptcy on a credit report, just in case a would-be borrower “forgets” to mention that fact on their application.
Hi Rita. You would have to contact Equifax or TransUnion to see how they do it, but my understanding is that information is purged from your credit report after six years. So, if you went bankruptcy in 2000, and were not discharged, the bankruptcy would likely be purged in 2006 or 2007. If you then obtained your discharge in 2010, the bankruptcy would re-appear on your credit report and stay there for six or seven years after discharge, so up to 2016 or 2017, if it was a first bankruptcy.
I had filled for bankruptcy in 2002. After a few months I stopped making the payments due to a hard familial situation and did not finish the agreement. A few years later as I wanted as things got better I decided to regulate my situation so I contacted the court. I went in front of a judge and he liberated me from my bankruptcy as of march 2012. Is there anyway way that this can be erase from my credit report before 2018-2019? Cant they look at the date of filling in my case? thanks
Hi Marc. That would be a question to ask the credit reporting agencies. In general, a first bankruptcy remains on your credit report for six years from the date of discharge, so I suspect there is not much you can do, other than perhaps asking Equifax and TransUnion to include an explanatory note on your credit file.
Please help. I filed bankruptcy in Dec 2014 and was discharged in Sept 2015. I am still fighting to correct errors but no one seems to want to tell me if some things are actually errors. My four credit cards were included, they were all paid on time never any late payments prior to filing. Actually made payments days before filing. Credit report status show as Collection / Charge-Off for TransUnion and for Equifax Bad debt, collection account or unable to locate. Should this not show “discharged” instead? Under comments they are all stated as Included in bankruptcy Written-off with the exception of one stating Included in bankruptcy Closed by credit grantor. Also should each credit card now be counted as derogatory as well as the bankruptcy or should the bankruptcy be the only derogatory listed? Thank you so much for any help. Im getting no answers from my trustee or credit bureaus.
Hi Wayne, you are correct, your credit report should show “included in bankruptcy” for each credit card. I suggest you complete the Dispute Resolution Form for both Equifax and TransUnion and list the specific items you believe are incorrect, and request that they correct the information to show “included in bankruptcy”.
Hi I file a bankruptcy in 2013 have a full-time job for 14 years and a credit score of 637 would I be qualify for a mortgage I have a down payment of 10%
Hi Annmarie. You may be able to qualify for a mortgage. You should discuss this with your bank or mortgage broker.
I was discharged from second bankruptcy in 2005 next June 2019 it will be 14 years does this fall off my credit file .?
According to the policies published by Equifax and Trans Union, it should. I suggest you check your credit report every year just to see what appears anyway – this year you have an even more important reason to check – to see if your second bankruptcy has been dropped.
I had a second bankruptcy in 2010. It was just discharged in 2019. Two years ago is when I found out why this was still on my report I was told there was still a balance owing, so I paid what was owing and attended the required hearing before a judge. No problems as all requirements were fulfilled. My question is , will it now be 14 years from my discharge date?. I have a good credit score and have maintained two credit cards which are in good standing. I always pay early and more than the minimums. Is there any chance they would backdate to 2010..considering it as time served?
Hi Andrea. The answer will depend on how it was reported to the credit bureau. In most cases a second bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 14 years from the date of discharge. However, since you have already taken steps to rebuild your credit, and you have a good credit score as a result, the fact that there is a note about a bankruptcy on your credit report will probably not serious impact your ability to continue to rebuild.
Hi I am currently going through bankruptcy and my discharge date should be end of August. I was told that I couldn’t included my student loans (Quebec) as it hasn’t yet been 7 years however I have not had a full-time loan since 2014. I paid off my part-time loan of 2015-2016 almost two years ago. I graduated in the spring of 2016. Could I apply to have my student loans cleared under the Hardship Rule? My second question is that my credit report (equifax) has not been updated since September so I am still seeing a balance in the collections part of my report which should be included in the bankruptcy. Will this information be updated once I am discharged? And how do I get more up to date information?
Hi Suzie. These are good questions to ask your trustee, who will be more familiar with your specific situation.
In general, the starting point is to contact Quebec student loans and ask for your end of study date. If what they have in their computer is more than seven years old, they will be discharged. If not, then yes, if they were more than five years old at the time you filed bankruptcy, you could apply under the hardship rule. Again, your trustee or an insolvency lawyer can explain in more detail.
I had a bankruptcy 17 years ago that I was never discharged from, is there a statute of limitation on how long it will stay on my credit report? and if I do go finally get a discharge will it take another 7 years to be removed from that date? some places online say it must be removed 14 years after original date of filing regardless if its discharged, but I really cannot find a definitive answer. Please link the applicable law number ect in your answer
First, if you have not been discharged, there is no statute of limitations on a bankruptcy. Your status will remain an “undischarged bankruptcy” until you are discharged. As far as your credit report goes, the reporting agencies (Equifax and Trans Union) report what they are told to report. When you file bankruptcy it is reported by the government. When you are discharged the status is updated and may remain on your record for 7 years for a first bankruptcy, 14 for a second. If you aren’t discharged the fact that you filed may not be updated…
Thanks for all of the back and forth you do with people on here!
I filed a consumer proposal January 20th, 2014 and paid it off a year and a half ago. The proposal dropped off of my reports as expected on the 20th of this January. I had several issues corrected with my credit profile but one thing is left that I sent a request to have updated.
I had a bank account with scotia that was open for several months after the proposal was filed. It was in overdraft and they ended up closing it out and it was then included with my proposal (and shows on my discharge).
Not once did I receive anything from scotia after they closed it out, no mail, no call, they just added it to the proposal. It is showing on my Equifax report as an installment loan with MANY months of missed payments despite also showing included in proposal with a $0 balance.
Transunion has removed it along with all other accounts included in the proposal.
My question is: should this be gone from my credit report (equifax) because it was included in my proposal and that is gone and purged now?
Yes, since the debt is gone from TransUnion it should also be gone from Equifax, so you should file a dispute resolution form with Equifax and ask them to correct this error. Hope that helps.