Collection Agencies – Know Your Rights!

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Collection Agencies – Know Your Rights!

There are government restrictions on collections agencies. You have rights and need to know them.

Ontario regulations forbid collection agencies from doing the following:

  • Trying to collect a debt without first notifying the debtor in writing, at the debtor’s last known address, that they have been assigned to the account.
  • Recommending or initiating legal or court action on the collection of a debt without first notifying the debtor and obtaining the creditor’s written permission.
  • Making telephone or personal calls of such a nature or frequency to constitute harassment of the debtor or the debtor’s family.
  • Calling to collect a debt on a Sunday, statutory holiday or before 7 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
  • Implying or giving false or misleading information to any person that could damage the debtor or debtor’s family.
  • Demanding payment of a debt without giving the name and authority of the creditor, the collector and the balance of the money owed.
  • Continuing to demand payment from a person who claims not to owe the money, unless the collector has tried every way to ensure the person actually is the debtor.
  • Taking over a debt from a creditor without first advising the debtor.

Collectors are not, generally, allowed to contact a debtor’s friends, employer, relatives or neighbours for information other than the debtor’s telephone number or address. The only exceptions are contacting a person about a debt they’ve guaranteed to pay for the debtor or contacting an employer about payment connected with a wage assignment or a court order, or to confirm employment.