Know Your Rights: Collection Agencies

Your Rights When Dealing With Collection Agencies

When you owe money, receiving communications from debt collectors can be one of the things that you dread.

Debt collectors might call you or get in touch with you in other ways, including by sending letters, to try and collect on the debt that you owe.

Although one call or letter isn’t going to do much, they can get a lot more determined and even aggressive in their pursuit of payments.

They might start to call multiple times a day, including calling you at work and can even try to get in touch with your friends and family.

All of this can be stressful and frightening, so what can you do to deal with it in the appropriate way?

Firstly, it’s important to know your rights and understand what collection agencies can and can’t do by law.

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Why Is a Collection Agency Contacting You?

A collection agency is appointed by a creditor to collect the money that you owe them on their behalf.

They are hired to collect the loan so that the original lender doesn’t have to spend their time doing it.

A creditor is allowed to use a collection agency to collect your debt if you haven’t been keeping up with payments.

The Law on Debt Collectors

One of the most important things to know about collection agencies is that there are laws governing what they can and can’t do.

Many provinces and territories in Canada have laws that control what debt collectors are allowed to do to collect money.

They are allowed to contact you, but they need to follow the rules.

This includes ensuring you are notified in writing that your debt has been turned over to a collection agency.

This must be done via mail, not through email, and must be carried out before the money can be collected.

The notification needs to include the name of the creditor, the amount owed, and the name of the collection agency.

In some regions, there are restrictions on how often collection agencies can contact you, and when they can contact you.

This varies by province and territory, but there are similar guidelines in place in different locations.

When it comes to what collection agencies are not allowed to do, they are usually not allowed to continue collection when a person claims that they don’t owe the money.

They will need to take reasonable steps to prove that the person does owe the money that they claim.

Some other laws that might be relevant include stopping collection agencies from using false information or threatening legal action when they don’t intend to take any.

Harmful or coercive language is likely banned, too, depending on the location.

Most provinces and territories also say that collection agencies can’t contact your friends, family, or employees with the intention of threatening or embarrassing you into paying.

However, they may contact them to get your mailing address or if they are a guarantor on your debt.

If you think that a collection agency has broken the law or behaved inappropriately, you can make a complaint to your province.

Information on Consumer Proposals

Consumer Proposals in Canada – An Alternative to Bankruptcy
What is a Consumer Proposal?
How to Amend a Consumer Proposal
What are the Benefits of a Consumer Proposal?
What are the Steps in a Proposal?
Consumer Proposal Eligibility
What Debts Are Erased in a Consumer Proposal?
Is There Life After a Proposal?

Canadian Bankruptcies

How to File for Bankruptcy
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy FAQs
How Does Bankruptcy Work?
What is the Cost of Bankruptcy in Canada?
How to Rebuild Credit Following Bankruptcy
Personal Bankruptcy in Canada
What Debts are Erased in Bankruptcy?

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