#FinancialFridays: Collection Agencies

A collection agency is a private company that creditors pay to collect unpaid debts. 

You have rights when you deal with collection agencies and collection agents. 

Your rights:

  • Be told in writing that your account has been sent to a collection agency.
  • Confidentiality – A collection agency cannot discuss your debt with anyone other than your creditor or a co-signer unless you give them permission.
  • Only be contacted during certain times of the day and no more than three times a week. 
  • Ask for a statement of the account every 6 months that shows the amounts you have paid and the balance you owe. 

Collection agencies cannot…

  • Try to collect debts without writing to you first
  • Discuss your debt with anyone but you
  • Use threats or language to frighten or intimate you
  • Pressure you to repay the debt to the point of harassment
  • Give you false or misleading information
  • communicate or attempt to communicate with you without identifying themselves, saying who is owed the money, and stating the amount owed
  • Pretend to be a lawyer or legal authority
  • Involve the police or send you to jail
  • Contact you during prohibited hours (these times vary in each province/territory)
  • Take you to court without permission from your creditor
  • Take your property
  • Continue to demand payment from a person who claims not to owe the money, unless the agency first takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the person does, in fact, owe the money

(Thank you, Prosper Canada, for the above information.)

If you would like to help to review your debt and make a plan, speak with Caroline, our Financial Literacy Coordinator.