Staying on top of financial obligations has gotten to be more challenging for a lot of people, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic shook the economy in more ways than one. No one wants to be stuck in a cycle of debt, but if you happen to find yourself in financial “quicksand”, the burdens can feel heavier when money is tight and there are debt collectors making those collection calls.
Trying to gain some ground and rise above your debts is a tough situation, and it’s understandable how the never-ending collection calls from debt collectors will add to your stress level & anxiety. You need to know what a debt collector can do; and knowing your rights should help take some of the fear out of your circumstances and in dealing with these collectors. We hope that this article will take the guesswork out of debt collectors, so that you can face your situation with greater confidence.
What to Do When a Debt Collector Calls You
Do not let the pressures of your debts cloud your judgement when it comes to talking with a debt collector. Keep in mind that debt collectors need to do their job and do them within the standards set by federally and provincially regulated government institutions. Good to know is that collectors can only contact you from Monday to Saturday between 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Sundays. They cannot contact you on statutory holidays and lastly they can only contact you three (3) times in a seven (7) day period about a specific debt unless you agree otherwise.
It’s also important for you to make note at the outset of the call who you are talking to and ask the following questions:
- The name of the person calling/ debt collector and/or their employee number;
- The company the debt collector works for;
- The name of the company you owe money to, or the company the debt collector is collecting money for;
- The debt collector’s telephone number;
- How much do you specifically owe;
- When you started owing your debts;
Don’t rush through the process, and be sure to take the time to verify all the information the debt collector said during the phone call.
Know Your Rights and Situation
Talking with debt collectors can feel awful & stressful, but you can better control the situation if you’re aware of what you owe, who you need to pay, and your rights and above all, that you remain calm. First of all, the debt collector must work for a legitimate collection agency that can help to provide the complete details regarding your debt, so they shouldn’t be non-specific or cryptic with your information. Be reminded that they will want to verify who they are speaking with for confidentiality reasons and but equally important, use caution to ensure that you do not give them too much personal information until you are satisfied that the caller is legitimate.
As for your rights, collection agencies in Canada should never do the following when collecting your debt:
- Call you to collect your debt, without first notifying you of the debt in writing or by email;
- Start, recommend, or threaten to take legal action without first trying to collect your debt; (if they act for a creditor, they must get permission from the creditor for legal action to begin)
- Harass you, your friends, colleagues, family members, or any other known associates about your debt;
- Collect your debt without identifying themselves and the collection agency they work for;
- Ask your employer for confidential information, except for verifying your employment status and work
The Bottom Line: Handling Debt Collectors in Canada
Dealing with a pile of debt is hard enough already, but there’s an added pressure when debt collectors add salt to the wound with their persistent tactics. Debt collection calls can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to deal with the distressing situation on your own. If you feel like you’re being mistreated or scammed, then it’s best to contact the federally and provincially regulated government institutions where you reside or a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for advice or guidance.
Do You Need Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal Help ?
Paul J. Pickering and Associates Limited is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee company in London, Ontario. We can help get your finances in order, so you can lead a debt-free life moving forward with our different services.
If you’re looking for help with debt and your ongoing payments or if you want to review your options and learn about consolidation loans, debt management programs, proposals, consumer proposals and bankruptcies, we at Paul J. Pickering and Associates Limited are here to help you.
We have over 30 years of experience in helping our clients resolve their financial problems. We specialize in debt management, proposals. consumer proposals, debt counselling and bankruptcy in London, Ontario. Whether you’re starting to get overwhelmed and you don’t know how to handle your debts and minimum payments, contact our office today for your free initial consultation, and we’ll put together a plan that will work for you!