What You Need to Know When the Collection Agency Calls
What to do when the vultures are after you.
This is not legal advice.
A bill collector or collection agency is not required to tell you what your rights are. It is up to you to find that out for yourself.
It is a criminal offence for a collection agency
to harass or intimidate you, to send you threatening mail or to threaten you over the telephone or in person.
It may be a criminal offence if a collection agency is calling you many times a day at home or at work or is using scare tactics to get you to pay them.
If a collection agency is harassing you:
Tell them to stop contacting you as it is criminal harassment.
If they make one more call contact the police and your phone company
Report them to your provincial Corporate and Consumers Affairs office. This will place their license at risk.
If you get a letter purporting to be from a Collection Agency's law firm or lawyer, complain to their law society about harassment by that lawyer.
You do not have to speak to anyone from a collection agency or deal with them if you choose not to.
When they phone do not speak to them. Get the person's name, phone number and company name then hang up without saying another word.
When they call back (and they will call and call) log the calls, but just continue to hang up without speaking to them.
Do not tell them where or if you work.
Do not tell them where your bank is.
Do not discuss your finances with them.
If you do make any payments to them, get a postal money order so they do not learn where your bank account is.
YOU CANNOT OUTRUN YOUR DEBTS
Eventually you will have to settle with your creditors
if you ever want to rent an apartment, get a credit card, a mortgage, lease, car or anything else bought on credit.
Do Not Tell Them Anything At All
They have no right to extract any information from you whatsoever. Your chat will only give them more information they can use to harass you further. They are looking for information they can use to sue you and when, and if, they get a judgment, they will use that information to seize your bank accounts or garnishee your pay.
If you have a debt in collection, the damage to your credit rating is already done. You may as well let them sue you. It will take many, many months, possibly years, for them to sue you and they may or may not proceed.
Even it they do sue you, there is no guarantee they will get a judgment.
They cannot touch your assets or garnishee your pay without first suing you and winning a judgment against you. That could take years.
Collection Agencies do not like to sue. When they sue, they need their client's permission and usually it is not worth their while. They will huff and puff and bluster and do anything to trick you into paying today. Do not be conned.
Do not ever trust or believe anything the human vultures in collection agencies tell you. They make their living by preying on people having problems. The only thing they are interested in is in tricking or frightening you into sending them some money so they can get their commission. Collection agents are the scum of the earth.
Collection Agencies Are Prohibited From the Following:
(There will be minor variations from province to province,
but in general these rules will apply for your area)
contacting you until six days have passed from sending you written notice of the following: • the name of the creditor • the balance owing • the name of the agency and its authority to demand payment
continuing to contact you if you did not receive the notice unless a second copy of the written notice is sent to an address provided by you, and then contact may only be made six days after sending notice;
contacting you if you send a registered letter to the agency saying that you dispute the debt and suggest the matter be taken to court
contacting you if you or your lawyer notify the agency by registered mail to communicate only with your lawyer, and you provide the lawyer's name, address and telephone number
contacting you on Sunday, except between the hours of 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., or on a holiday
contacting you other than by ordinary mail more than three times in a seven-day period without your consent, once the agency has actually spoken with you
using threatening, profane, intimidating or coercive language, or using undue, excessive or unreasonable pressure
continuing to contact you if you have told them that you are not the person they are looking for unless they take reasonable precautions to ensure you are that person
giving false or misleading information to any person
recommending to a creditor that a legal action be commenced against you without first sending you notice
contacting your employer except on one occasion to obtain your employment information, unless your employer has guaranteed the debt, the call is in respect of a court order or wage assignment or if you have provided written authorization to contact your employer
contacting your spouse, a member of your family or household, or a relative, neighbour or acquaintance except to obtain your address and telephone number unless the person contacted has guaranteed the debt or you have given permission for the person to be contacted