Once you fall behind on bill payments, the calls from creditors start. Around the clock, nonstop, they'll do whatever it takes to get you to pay. Here's how you can put a stop to it and regain financial control.
If you fall behind on your payments to your creditors, you'll begin to get collection calls. At first, these calls will be coming from the original creditor but if the amount owing falls far enough into arrears, the original creditor will write off the account and either send it to a law firm to file a lawsuit against you, or to a third-party collection agency.
What is a Collection Agency Allowed to do?
Contact you regarding the debts you owe.
Use reasonable means to get you to pay the debt.
Not required to tell you what your rights are; it's up to you to find that out for yourself.
What is a Collection Agency NOT Allowed to do?
Make charges or threats unrelated to the collection of the debt.
Make abusive calls where they lose their temper, use profanity, or engage in other forms of verbal abuse.
Talk to your employer without your permission, other than a single call to confirm your employment.
Make frequent calls that constitute harassment.
Call at times prohibited for calling under the provincial Collections Act, which vary from province to province.
Give you documents made to look like official court documents, when they are not.
Everybody Has a Story
Hear how some of Credit Canada's clients have stopped the collectors from calling.
Step 2: Learn About Your Rights
It's important to learn your rights – including your right to make a complaint – when dealing with collection agencies.
There are general rules that collection agencies across Canada must abide by, but they do vary slightly province to province. If you would like to find out more about the specific rules for your province or territory, check out the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA).
If you have questions of concerns regarding the actions undertaken by a collection agency, it's best to contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office directly. For a full list, check out the Canadian Consumer Handbook.
Step 3: Take Action to Deal With Your Debts
Ultimately, the only way to stop collection calls is to deal with the debt.
If Possible, Pay The Money You Owe
If paying at once is not possible, determine whether it is possible to offer an alternative method of payment, such as a series of monthly payments. Make this offer to the collection agency in writing, and provide a good-faith payment.
Never Pay Cash
Always have some record (such as cancelled cheques or a receipt) of any payments you have made to the collection agency.
Put It In Writing
Any offers – whether made by you or by the collection agent – should be put in writing before being acted on. Remember this: If it's not on paper, how can you prove that an agreement exists?
Keep a notebook by your phone, and when a collection agent calls, write down the following:
The agency's name
The agent's name, phone number, and extension
The time and date of the call
The debt that they are calling about
Any other information that is discussed in the course of your call, such as settlement offers and plans for repayment.
Stop Collection Calls Now
Call us at 1-800-267-2272 or reach out today to review your options with one of our qualified, friendly credit counsellors. In the meantime....