Nearly everyone struggling with debt suffers from daily calls from bill collectors. While our services are a great way to stop these calls once and for all, it’s important to understand some of the rules that collection agencies must follow regardless of whether or not you file a consumer proposal or assignment in bankruptcy.
Before a collection agency can contact you they need to send you a written notice by regular mail (email doesn’t count).
The notice must include:
- The name of the person or business you owe money (known as the creditor)
- The amount of money that the creditor says you owe
- The name of the collection agency and a statement that the creditor has asked them to collect the debt
The agency must wait 6 days before they can contact you after sending the notice
A collection agency can’t contact you more than 3 times in a 7 day period without your consent.
“Contact” is defined as a collection agent speaking with you, emailing you or leaving a voicemail for you.
If the agents doesn’t leave a message, it doesn’t count as a contact. Also, a letter doesn’t count as a contact as either.
A collection agency can’t:
- Contact you on a holiday
- Contact you on a Sunday, except between 1pm and 5pm
- Contact you on any other day of the week between 9pm and 7am
- Charge you any fees
- Use threatening, profane, intimidating or coercive language
- Use undue, excessive or unreasonable pressure or harass you
A collection agency can only contact your employer once to get your employment information.
They can’t contact your employer unless:
- Your employer has guaranteed the debt
- It’s about a court order or an automatic deduction from your salary (also called an assignment of wages or garnishment)
- You have given them written permission to contact your employer
A collection agency can’t contact your spouse, family member, relative, neighbour, or friend except to get your address and phone number unless:
- The person has guaranteed the debt, or
- You permit the collection agency to contact them so that they may act on your behalf.
Keep in mind that a collection agency can’t:
- Give false or misleading information to any person
- Take legal action against you without sending you a notice first
When dealing with a collection agency it’s important to know the rules. If a collection agency doesn’t play by the rules, you are able to file a complaint with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. For tips on doing so, follow this link.
If collection agencies are stressing you out, then give us a call. We stop all calls within a matter of days, and can solve your debt problem once and for all. We can diagnose most situations over the phone, or in person within a matter of minutes.