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Collection Agency Rules

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.

Rule #1

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

Rule #2

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.

Rule #3

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
Rule #4

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
Rule #5

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
Conclusion

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.

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