Dealing with collection agents

dealing-with-collectionsIf a lender’s efforts to recover a debt are not successful, they often hire a third party collection agency to try to recover their money.

It’s never normally the best advice to bury your head in the sand and ignore the collection calls.  It will likely only make things worse.  Even if you have little or no money and know that you’re not going to be able to meet the demands of the collection agents, ignoring them will only leave them guessing as to why you’re not making payments and they’ll continue to call.

Here are three options to stop collectors from calling:

1. Negotiate with them and work out a plan. Some collection agents are better than others.  Not all of them, but some collection agents are slowly realizing that it may benefit everyone to work out a reasonable plan with you rather than coercing you into unrealistic repayment plans.

2. You can file a Consumer Proposal with a licensed trustee, or

3. File for Personal Bankruptcy which, like a Consumer Proposal will legally protect you and force them to stop all collection actions against you.

Only a Consumer Proposal or Personal Bankruptcy provide the necessary legal protection required to stop collectors pursuing legal action against you such as attempting to garnishee your wages.

Collectors are usually work on a commission basis (the commission rates are often higher for the collectors  the quicker they can collect from you) so one incentive they have is to call as often as they do and make demands, because by collecting money from you they are increasing the size of their own pay cheques.

In Ontario, collectors are obligate to stick to very specific rules when it comes to collecting debts, however based on what many of our clients tell us,  it’s also apparent that not every collection agent sticks to these rules, but here are a few of your rights to be aware of if collectors are calling.

You’re entitled to be notified in writing first, that your account has been assigned to them for collection.

The collector must clearly identify themselves, who they work for, and amount owing when calling you.

  • They cannot make calls that may be considered harassing to you and your family.
  • They cannot give you false or misleading information
  • They can only call other people to confirm your phone number and address.
  • They must have written permission from the original creditor to take any legal action to collect a debt from you.

A full list of regulations can be found on the Ontario Government website.

The most important factors to remember if collection agents are calling you, no matter the size of your income and size of the debt, you have rights and most importantly, you have options such as filing a Consumer Proposal or Personal Bankruptcy.

If a Consumer Proposal is something you’re unfamiliar with, it’s where a negotiated settlement is arranged to allow you to repay a portion of your debts over a period of time without having to declare bankruptcy.

At Hoyes Michalos & Associates Inc, we’re happy to provide you with the advice you need to deal with collection agents that call and to help you with ways to bring your debts under control.  We can discuss your options either on the phone or we can arrange to meet with you in our office for a no charge consultation.

Contact us by sending an email with any questions you may have or call today at 1-866-747-0660 and let’s get started.