Question: If a person claims bankruptcy in Ontario, is it public knowledge? Can anyone find out about it in Ontario?
Answer: Yes, personal bankruptcy is a legal process, and there is a public record that you filed for bankruptcy in Ontario. There are two main places where the information will appear in public:
Your bankruptcy is filed with the federal government. The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy maintains an insolvency database that records all bankruptcies filed since 1973, so it is a matter of public record. While technically anyone can access the information, in order to check the registry you must pay a fee. Also, few people know of the existence of the registry. But it is possible for anyone to check whether you have ever had a bankruptcy in your life. They would however likely have to have a reason to do so.
If you declare bankruptcy a note will be placed on your credit report, so any lender than does a credit check on you will know that you have declared bankruptcy. In most cases that note is removed six years after your discharge from bankruptcy. However, in most cases, once you are discharged from bankruptcy lenders will allow you to repair your credit, so as time passes your prior bankruptcy is less of an issue.