How To Stop Debt Collection Companies From Contacting Me?

If you want to stop a debt collection agency from contacting you, you have come to the right place. This guide will talk you through the options available as a Canadian citizen, so you can make all the right choices starting today.

What are Your Rights with Debt?

It doesn’t matter whether you owe money or not because it is vital to understand that a collection agency does not have the right to harass you. They also have to follow rigorous legal requirements too. If they break the outlined rules, you have every right to file a complaint with the ministry. The debt collection agency has to send you a letter by email or mail. The letter that they have to send you should include the following:

  • Information about the debt you owe and the type of service or product that put you into debt.
  • The name of the company or person whom you owe the debt to
  • The amount of debt that was due and the date, along with the amount you currently owe if it is different
  • A breakdown of what you owe and why it should be available upon request

You should include the agency’s name demanding payment for the debt and where they are registered. You should also find the agency’s contact information, telephone number, and mailing address. Lastly, you should have a disclosure statement. You can take these steps, as it is within your rights if you believe the agency has broken the law. When you have received this letter, the agency has to wait six days before they can attempt to collect the payment for the debt again.

The term “contact” ultimately means that the agency has to email you, leave a voicemail, or speak with you. If you do not answer the phone and the agents do not leave a message, that does not count as a contact. Regular mail also does not count as a contact.

Who Can A Debt Collection Agency Contact?

A debt collection agency has the right to contact you on a Sunday if it is between the hours of 1 pm and 5 pm. They can get you on other days between 7 am and 9 pm. They can only contact your friend or a neighbour if they have said that they will pay your debt or if you have told the agency with written permission that they can do so.

They can contact your employer, but they can only do this if they need to confirm your employment status or if they have acted as a guarantor for your debt. If the call is about a court order or if they are calling regarding an automatic deduction from the salary you have, then this is also acceptable. Your debt collection agency cannot pressure you, harass you, charge you a fee, contact you on a statutory holiday, or contact you more than three times in 7 days.

What Options do you Have if you Owe Money?

If you want to do what you can to stop all of the collection calls, then it is imperative that you pay off the debt or that you contact the collection agency so you can talk about a payment plan.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement companies work for a profit, and they will charge you a fee while they help to negotiate a plan so you can pay the debt you owe. Try and be mindful of the companies that charge hefty fees upfront. Be aware of companies who say they can cut your debt in half or more or that they can stop an agency from calling you. They do not have the power to do this, but the agency may stop calling you if they know they are receiving adequate payment from the settlement company.

Debt Consolidation

If you have a lot of debt, then debt consolidation could be an option. With this, you will bundle your debts into one payment, and when you do this, you can rest assured, knowing that everything will be easier to manage. You will still have access to your credit cards. Please take note that this will not stop the company from calling you, but it will help you start clearing your payments, which may inadvertently lead to positive results with the phone calls you’re getting.

Credit Counsellors

If you are not sure where you stand with your debt or if you can get it paid down, then you can talk with a credit counsellor. When you do, they can then work with you to ensure you get all the help and support you need regarding your payments. They can also provide confidential advice on what options you have.

When Can A Debt Collection Agency not Contact You?

The law right now says that a collection agency cannot contact you if you do not give them your consent. Avoiding these calls is only possible if you write to the agency to say that you dispute the debt or suggest that your case get taken to court. You have to make sure that you prove that the agency has received your communication, such as using email, a courier or even certified mail. You should be wary of doing this if you do not receive the right advice because the collection agency could advise that the creditor takes legal action against you. Doing so could set you back in terms of your debt, as you will have to find a way to cover your legal fees if you cannot prove your case enough.

If you find that the collection agency calls you even after this, you can file a complaint, so be mindful of this and always ensure that you understand your rights.

If you have any additional questions, the qualified debt counsellors at Fox-Miles & Associates Inc LIT are here to provide helpful financial advice and debt counselling.  We have offices in Edmonton and service clients in the surrounding areas, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Leduc, Hinton, and Edson. Your first consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose (except the feeling of being afraid of debt). Call our offices today at 780-444-3939 to schedule your free consultation.