It’s no secret that bill collectors often use very aggressive tactics sometimes to chase after consumers. Many often times, they even manage to reel in payments even when no credit was owned, to begin with. Some practices like daily phone calls, contacting debtors late in the night, accosting friends and relatives, or even using threatening language all amount to illegal behavior. But then again, it all depends on the province or territory you’re located in and what kind of creditor you are dealing.
An investigation done by the CBC News found that the employees of one U.S.-based debt-collection firm that was operating in Quebec and Ontario knowingly contacted non-debtors. This was outright illegal and the company was fined in the two provinces for violations and was also subject to hundreds of complaints for many years. One former employee even admitted that they would pressure the consumers to make payments just for the company to stop badgering them. You can avoid all these by getting loans from www.northcash.com.
One smart way you can ensure you don’t fall victim to such practices and vices is by knowing your rights and ensuring you exercise them even when you have a debt, explains Bruce Cran.
And you will also find that some of the debts you find the creditors bothering you for are so small that it doesn’t really make much sense why a big company would go to all that length to want to hustle money out of you even when you don’t really owe them anything.
That being said, here are a few things you must know about and when you should realize it is time to toe the line after being harassed by creditors.
1. When can creditors contact you?
The frequency with which you find creditors visiting or calling their debtors has been on the rise and has become so stressful especially to the debtors. This practice has become so rampant that many provinces in Canada try to protect their citizens from being solicited especially during inconvenient times.
It got so bad that one victim of such a case reported that she was jolted awake by loud banging and shouting on her door at 3 a.m. by a credit agent demanding that she pay her debt immediately, exclaims Cran. This was such a bad show, especially to the credit agencies.
It got so bad that the government was forced to intervene and impose laws that prevented such issues from occurring again. Most provinces have, so far, restricted all credit agencies from contacting their debtors any time between 9 p.m and 7 a.m. even Sundays are partially prohibited plus all statutory holidays.
2. How often are collection firms allowed to contact you?
In Canada, it isn’t uncommon for some collection firms to call or even send their agents to visit their debtors daily, Sundays included, explains Cran.
The Yukon Territory legislation, however, states that the collection firms are prohibited from contacting their debtors with such frequencies that it can be considered to be harassment. In Ontario, for example, debt collectors are prohibited to contact their debtors via email, text or call more than three times in a week after your initial communication with them. Only emails are allowed then.
In B.C., Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Ontario, the law clearly states that the collection agencies must cease any communication with any debtor who has properly disputed any debt owned.
3. Can the debt collectors lie or threaten legal action?
The clear answer here is no! and this is considered to be part of some dirty and illegal trick used to dupe unsuspecting debtors and non-debtors alike to try and get money from them. Any miss-information can be considered fraud even within the debt collection agencies and is subject to legal action.
4. Can collection agencies ask other parties about you?
In Canada as a whole, debt collectors are prohibited to approach a debtor’s family, employer, or friends about loan repayments. Though such cases have been heard of from time to time, explains Cran.