Why Did An Account In Collections Disappear From My Credit Report?

Why Did An Account In Collections Disappear From My Credit Report?

Written by Veronica Ott
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated October 14, 2020

Your credit report includes specific information regarding your financial habits, decisions, and history and helps determine your creditworthiness. It shows potential creditors both the good and bad financial data pertaining to you, including any accounts that have been sent to collections.

Should you be answering collection calls? Find out here.

How Long Does Information Stay On Your Credit Report?

In general, information remains on your credit report for 6 years. However, each item has its own set timeline, based on a variety of circumstances, that are put in place by the credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion.


Credit inquiries are the number of times your credit report has been pulled by yourself, a lender, or authorized individuals. Inquiries remain for 3 years on your report, unless you have 5 or less, these will stay on your report despite the date.

Trade Items

These are your credit accounts, such as loans and credit cards. They are classified as installment, revolving, open, or mortgage. These items remain on your credit report for 6 years from the last date of activity. If the account has had no activity, the item will remain on your report for 6 years from the account opening date.


Any formal court decision resulting from lawsuits is a judgment. Judgments will remain on your credit report for 6 years starting from the filing date. An exception exists in Prince Edward Island. If the judgment is satisfied, it remains on your report for 7 years. If the judgment is unsatisfied, it remains on your report for 10 years.

What is a collection agency allowed to do to you? Find out here.


Any accounts sent to collections will show on your credit report, regardless if the amount was paid. Collection items stay on your report for 6 years from the last payment date. If there are no payments, the collections item will stay on your report for 5 years from the assignment date.


Bankruptcies classified as assigned, discharged, bankruptcy receiving order, voluntary, and involuntary will remain on your credit report for 6 years from the discharge date. If you were not discharged, bankruptcies stay on your report for 7 years from the filed date.

If an individual has two bankruptcies, it is called a double bankruptcy. The oldest bankruptcy will remain on your report for 14 years from the settlement date. If no settlement date exists, both bankruptcies remain on your report for 14 years from the filed date. The recent bankruptcy will be taken off your report 14 years from the date it’s settled. If unsettled, it will come off your report 14 years from the filed date.

Consumer Debt Counseling

Debt counselling is a service used to provide support if you are struggling financially and aims to avoid bankruptcy. Debt counselling will remain on your report for 3 years from the date your debt was satisfied. If the debt is unsatisfied, it will remain on your report for 6 years from the date filed.

Consumer Proposals

A consumer proposal is a legally binding procedure enforced by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). The LIT works with you to create a proposal of the percentage of debt you’re able to pay. If satisfied, consumer proposals stay on your report for 3 years. If unsatisfied, it stays on your credit report for 6 years from the filing date.


Garnishment is the legal process that has an outside party or company remove payments directly from your bank account or wages (click here for more information). This type of item will remain on your credit report for 6 years from the filing date. There is an exception in PEI, it will remain on your report for 7 years from the date it was satisfied or, if unsatisfied, 10 years from the filing date.


If you haven’t been making mortgage payments, the bank will take possession of the mortgaged asset which is known as a foreclosure. A foreclosure will remain on your report for 6 years from the filing date.

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Why Does Debt Go Into Collections?

Sometimes individuals don’t pay their debts on time, or at all. The company that is seeking payment will try to collect the debt by sending notices or calling. After a certain period of time, the creditor seeking payment gives up. Creditors might sell the debt to a collections agency to recover their money. The creditor may get partial payment or no payment through collections, but it’s worth a try.

What is a Debt Collector?

Debt collectors are companies or agencies in the business of recovering owed money. If your debt is sent to a collection agency, you should receive a written notice before being contacted by the collector. The notice should include the debt collector’s name, the name of the person or business you owe money to, and the amount owed. At this point, you have an opportunity to verify the information.

You have the following rights if your debt is sent to collections:

  • The debt collector can contact your friends, employer, relatives, or neighbors to attain your phone number and address unless the person is also a guarantor, co-signer, is your employer and contacted to verify employment.
  • Debt collectors can contact you between 7 am and 9 pm Monday through Saturday and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays, excluding holidays.

Tips for how to deal with a debt collector, click here.

Debt collectors cannot do the following:

  • Suggest to friends, employers, relatives, or neighbours that they should repay your debts unless the individual is a co-signer.
  • Utilize threatening, intimidating, or abusive language.
  • Initiate excessive or unreasonable pressure to force debt repayment.
  • Misrepresent the situation, including providing false or misleading information.
  • Call you on your mobile phone, unless you provided the number.
  • Add collection-related costs to the owed amount, except legal fees and non-sufficient funds fees.
Canadian Credit Score

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Why an Account in Collections Disappeared from Your Credit Report

  • Mistake. Mistakes happen, it is likely that the debt will reappear should the mistake be discovered.
  • Technology error. Credit bureaux and financial institutions use computer systems which are susceptible to errors and glitches. Information is usually backed up and restored, it is probable that the debt will reappear.
  • Six years have passed since the item showed on your credit report. The majority of items remain on your credit report for 6 years. The items are removed from your credit report to give struggling individuals an opportunity to improve their credit.
  • The debt was paid by someone else. A loved one, family member or friend paid off the debt without your knowledge, in this case, the debt should appear as satisfied instead of disappearing entirely.
  • Collection agency bought the debt. It is possible that your report has been pulled in the transitionary period between debt being listed with the original creditor and collection agency.

Your Credit, Your Responsibility

If an account in collections has disappeared from your credit report for a legitimate reason, that’s fantastic because you can start to rebuild your credit health and move forward from your financial setback. Keep in mind that the item may reappear on your report, so it’s important to keep reviewing your credit report!

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Veronica is a writer who specializes in creating unique and educational personal finance content. She has extensive experience writing blog posts for companies in the financial sector. Veronica's background is in accounting as she graduated from Western University in 2017 with a degree in accounting. She is passionate about using her accounting expertise to help others with their personal finance questions and issues and enjoys using her writing to educate Canadian readers. When Veronica is not writing, she enjoys film, reading, travelling, going to the gym, and listening to music.

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