Collection agencies start calling because a creditor has submitted your outstanding debt for collection. Agencies are often paid a commission for every dollar they collect, so they will keep calling and sending letters as long as they believe there is a chance to collect the money from you.
Learn how to stop the calls from collection agencies for good. Follow this link.
To help you manage these calls with confidence we have assembled this guide. Having some strategies to use when debt collectors call will ease your stress and help you focus on successfully managing your money problems. We have also included some of the rules collectors must follow help you know when their actions are out of bounds.
Strategies for managing collection agents
- Don't ignore collection agency phone calls or letters. Ignoring calls can lead to legal action including a wage garnishment – that will damage your reputation at work.
- Treat collection agents the same way you like to be treated – in a forthright and professional manner
- Don’t be bullied into making commitments you know you can’t keep.
- Keep the commitments you do make, but if you can't be certain to explain the reasons to the collection agent.
- Be sure you owe the debt. Ask for a written, detailed notice from the collection agency if you have questions about a debt. Advise the collection agency you will not pay unless they can prove that you owe the money.
Rules collection agencies must follow
- You must be notified in writing. When a company gives your overdue account to a collection agency they must contact you at your last known address. Remenber, it is your responsibility to make sure your creditors know when your address changes.
- Collection agents are not allowed to harass you or your family. If you believe a collection agency is harassing you, keep a record of the time, date and frequency of the calls. This information is required if you decide to make a formal complaint against the collection agency.
- Collection agencies may not call you on statutory holidays; Sunday except, between 1:00 and 5:00 pm or any day before 7 am or after 9 p.m.
- Collection agencies are not allowed to contact your friends, relatives, neighbours or employer for any information other than your address or telephone number. In special cases there are limited exceptions. Contact us for more information.
- Collection agencies are not allowed to call you if the call results in a cost to you. For example, collectors cannot call your mobile phone if you have to pay for incoming calls.
For more information about collection agencies download these resources:
- The Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Relations brochure "A Consumer's Guide to Collection Agencies"
- The Collection Agencies Act of Ontario.
Time to seek professional help?
- If your debt problems have become too big to cope with on your own;
- If dealing with collection agencies is more than you can handle;
- If you have unanswered questions about debt and bankruptcy;
- If you are not sure about your options for managing your debt;
At Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. Bankruptcy Trustees, our first consultation is always confidential and free of charge.