When Do Collection Agencies Give Up?

Dealing with overdue debts is an incredibly stressful situation, exacerbated by the relentless pursuit of collection agencies. However, it’s important to know that there are legal limits to their actions. In this guide, we delve into the question – When do collection agencies give up?

Understanding Collection Agencies

Debt collectors or collection agencies are often brought into the picture when you have debts that are long overdue. Their initial contact may be sporadic but can quickly escalate into what feels like harassment. Knowing your rights as a debtor can empower you to manage the situation and reduce the stress.

Timeline for Collection Agencies

The persistence of a collection agency in pursuing a debt depends on the laws of your province. Here’s a brief overview of the timelines for some provinces in Canada:


In Ontario, the legal limit for debt collection is two years, which is significantly less than the nationwide policy of six years. After this period, while the debt still exists, agencies cannot pursue legal action against you.


Alberta follows the same guideline as Ontario, with a collection limit of two years. However, this time frame can be extended by up to a decade if there’s a court judgment against you.

British Columbia

The timeline for debt collectors in British Columbia is also two years. Even though the debt still exists after the two-year period, collection agencies cannot threaten legal action.


In Saskatchewan, the legal time frame for debt collection is two years, provided there’s no acknowledgment or payment towards the debt.

For other provinces like New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the territories, the legal limit is six years.

Can Collection Agencies Contact You at Work?

Collection agencies do have the right to contact your employer to confirm your employment information. However, without your written consent, they cannot discuss any other details unless it pertains to wage garnishment.

How to Communicate with Collection Agencies

Knowing how to deal with collection agencies can help reduce stress and ensure effective communication. Here are some tips:


  • Identify the caller: Know if it’s the creditor or a collection agency.
  • Get information about the debt: Ensure the debt is legitimate and ask for written confirmation.
  • Confirm the collector’s information: Dealing with the same collector simplifies the process.
  • Ask for a receipt for any payments made: This helps track your payments.
  • Verify the legitimacy of debt requests: Ensure any collectors are registered.

Stopping Collection Agencies from Contacting You

To legally stop the harassment from collection agencies, a stay of proceedings needs to be in place. This legal prevention stops creditors from pursuing any money owed.

Filing a Consumer Proposal

In Canada, a consumer proposal is a legal form of debt settlement. A bankruptcy trustee will discuss an affordable amount for you to repay each month and negotiate with your creditors. Once a consumer proposal is filed, your creditors are legally prohibited from contacting you.

Filing Bankruptcy

Another way to stop collection agencies is filing bankruptcy. This process involves assigning any applicable non-exempt assets over to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in exchange for clearance of your debt. It also triggers a stay of proceedings.

Debt Relief Solutions

Remember, there’s always a solution to debt, and there’s an option to suit everyone. Licensed Insolvency Trustees can help discuss your financial circumstances and stop collection calls.

Trustworthy Bankruptcy Firms

Trusted bankruptcy firms like Bankruptcy Canada have been administering consumer proposals and bankruptcy for over thirty years, helping Canadians gain debt relief.

In conclusion, understanding when collection agencies give up and the legalities surrounding it can be empowering. With the right assistance, you can navigate through the process and find the best solution for your financial situation.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

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