Is There A Statute Of Limitation On A Government Of Ontario Debt?

Understanding Statute of Limitations on Debts in Ontario

The world of finance and debt can be a complex and intimidating landscape. One question that often arises is “Is There A Statute Of Limitation On A Government Of Ontario Debt?” In the following sections, we will delve deep into this topic, discussing the nuances of the statute of limitations, rules that changed post-2004, the implications for creditors and debtors, and the recourse available for harassment from debt collectors.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time period during which legal proceedings can be initiated, after an event occurred that may warrant such proceedings. In the context of debt, the statute of limitations sets the time limit within which a creditor can sue a debtor to recover the debt.

Changes in Ontario’s Statute of Limitations

In Ontario, the rules pertaining to the statute of limitations for debts underwent a significant change effective from January 1, 2004.


Before 2004: If the debt was incurred prior to this date, a creditor had a window of six years to initiate collection proceedings against a debtor.
Post 2004: For debts incurred after this date, the window was reduced to two years.


It’s important to note that the two-year period can be reset if the debtor acknowledges the debt or makes a partial payment towards it.

Implication for Creditors

The statute of limitations, while setting a time limit for legal proceedings, does not eliminate the debt. Creditors or their agents can still attempt to collect the debt by contacting the debtor. However, they cannot take the debtor to court if the latter is unable or refuses to pay, and the statute of limitations has passed.

Consequences for Debtors

For debtors, the statute of limitations offers a degree of protection against legal action. However, it does not absolve them of their obligation to pay the debt. It’s also worth noting that any acknowledgment of the debt or partial payment can reset the two-year time limit.

Debt Collection Harassment

While creditors and their agents have a right to attempt debt collection, they must not cross into the realm of harassment. Persistent calls, especially to numbers where the debtor is not present, can be classified as such.

How to Deal with Debt Collection Harassment

If a debtor is facing undue harassment from a debt collector, they can take certain steps. First, they should inform the collector that they are not the debtor. If the calls persist, they should ask for the collector’s license number to file a complaint with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services.

In conclusion, the statute of limitations provides a time frame for creditors to take legal action against debtors. However, it does not erase the debt, and it’s crucial for debtors to understand their rights and obligations in this context. Understanding these aspects can help individuals navigate the complex world of finance and debt more effectively.

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