Tips For Dealing With a Debt Collector

If you have a debt that you owe that you have stopped making payments to your creditor on then your creditor may hire a debt collector to attempt to collect on the money that you owe to your creditor(s).

What Debt Collector Will Contact Me?

If the creditor to whom you owe money has a debt collection department, in-house you will likely be contacted by the creditors’ own debt collector. If their own in-house debt collectors are unable to collect from you, the debt might be sold to a collection agency who will then use their own debt collectors to attempt to make collection from you.

If your debt has been sold to a debt collection agency they will send you a letter to notify you in writing of the fact before they attempt to call you to make collection.

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What Should I Do When I’m Contacted By a Debt Collector?

If you are contacted by a debt collector the best thing to do is confirm that the debt is yours and the amount is correct and if so you should pay the full amount as soon as possible to resolve the issues in the easiest manner possible.

When you are contacted by a debt collector you should get the following information:

• Confirm whether you are speaking with a debt collection agent from the original debt holder or a collection agency to whom the debt has been sold to;
• The name and contact information of the person calling and the company name if it is a third party debt holder;
• Confirm the amount of the debt that is owed, the creditor to who you owe that debt, and when the debt was incurred (started). You might find that the debt does not seem familiar to you in which case you should confirm that the debt is truly yours. You can tell the debt collector you would like to verify the information;

What Should I Do If I Cannot Pay The Debt Owed in Full?

If it is not possible for you to pay the debt in full you can:

  • Explain your situation and why you cannot pay the debt in full to the debt collector;
  • Offer an alternative payment method, such as making monthly payments until the debt is completely paid off;
  • Show your commitment to repaying the debt by sending a first payment by registered mail to the debt collector.

What Should I Do When Repaying My Debt?

When repaying your debt make sure to:

• Never send cash;
• Always get receipts to have a record of all payments you make;
• Do not contact the original creditor if your debt has been sold to a collection agency.

Do I Have Any Rights When Dealing With a Debt Collector?

You have many rights when dealing with a debt collector, which are outlined here.

Who Regulates Debt Collection?

When you are dealing with a Federally Regulated Financial Institution (FRFI) or a debt collector acting on behalf of a FRFI, then you can contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) through their toll free phone number (1-866-461-3222) or by email.

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