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Consumer Protection Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do I do if I feel harassed by a collection agency?
  2. Can I be forced to find other funding to pay off my debt with the collection agency?
  3. The collection agency is asking me to complete a financial questionnaire and return to them. Is this necessary?
  4. A collection agency is calling me several times a day. How many times are they allowed to call me in a day?
  5. Can a collection agency contact me at work?
  6. Can a collection agency contact my employer?
  7. Can a collection agency call me at 2:00 in the morning?
  8. A collection agency has threatened to take legal action and cease my house if I don't pay my debt, can they do that?
  9. A collection agency continually calls my parents to try and get them to pay for my debt, are they allowed to do this?
  10. The collection agency keeps on telling me that if I don't pay the debt they will notify my employer and have me fired, can they do this?
  11. A collection agency calls me out of the blue, I thought they had to contact me by mail first?

1. What do I do if I feel harassed by a collection agency?

If you feel you are being harassed by a collection agency you should ask to speak to the collector's supervisor and voice your concern. If the harassment continues contact us at (709) 729-2600 or Toll Free 1-(877) 968-2600. To mail or fax your complaint, please download the Complaint Record Form PDF (92 KB).

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2. Can I be forced to find other funding to pay off my debt with the collection agency?

No, a collection agency cannot force you to seek other funding. It may be suggested to you to find other ways to pay your debt or possibly combine debts into one payment. If they continue to insist contact us at (709) 729-2600 or Toll Free 1-(877) 968-2600 or to mail or fax your complaint, please download the Complaint Record Form PDF (92 KB).

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3. The collection agency is asking me to complete a financial questionnaire and return to them. Is this necessary?

Collection agencies may request you to complete a financial questionnaire in order to determine your financial ability to pay the debt or if the agency is considering allowing you to set up a payment plan. The agency cannot force you to supply the information but it is a common practice of most agencies.

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4. A collection agency is calling me several times a day. How many times are they allowed to call me in a day?

The Collections Code of Practice of this province states that collection agencies are not permitted to call a number of times that would be considered harassment. The Code does not specify how many times. The Consumer Affairs Office would have to determine what would be considered harassment based on the individual complaint.To mail or fax your complaint, please download the Complaint Record Form PDF (92 KB).

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5. Can a collection agency contact me at work?

Collection agencies are not permitted to call a debtor at their place of employment. If this happens to you contact us at (709) 729-2600 or Toll Free 1-(877) 968-2600 or to mail or fax your complaint, please download the Complaint Record Form PDF (92 KB). The collection agency involved will be immediately called and your work telephone number will be removed from their files.

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6. Can a collection agency contact my employer?

A collection agency cannot contact you at your place of employment, or contact your employer without your prior approval. If they do this contact us at (709) 729-2600 or Toll Free 1-(877) 968-2600 or to mail or fax your complaint, please download the Complaint Record Form PDF (92 KB).

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7. Can a collection agency call me at 2:00 in the morning?

A collection agency cannot contact you between the hours of 10:00pm and 8:00am. If they do contact you during that time file a complaint with us by mail or fax, please download the Complaint Record Form PDF (92 KB).

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8. A collection agency has threatened to take legal action and cease my house if I don't pay my debt, can they do that?

A collection agency cannot threaten legal action against you. Only the creditor involved can take legal action upon the recommendation of the collection agency. Assets can only be ceased upon the issuance of a court order.

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9. A collection agency continually calls my parents to try and get them to pay for my debt, are they allowed to do this?

A collection agency cannot contact your relatives, neighbors or friends except to obtain your mailing address unless the person they call is a co-applicant or co-signer of the debt. An agency cannot leave messages at any telephone number other than your own. If they do, to mail or fax your complaint, please download the Complaint Record Form PDF (92 KB).

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10. The collection agency keeps on telling me that if I don't pay the debt they will notify my employer and have me fired, can they do this?

A collection agency cannot use coercive language, threaten loss of employment or loss of community ranking. If this happens to you contact us at (709) 729-2600 or Toll Free 1-(877) 968-2600 or to mail or fax your complaint, please download the Complaint Record Form PDF (92 KB).

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11. A collection agency calls me out of the blue, I thought they had to contact me by mail first?

A collection agency cannot contact you by telephone until they have sent you a written notice of the account they are collecting.

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