If you have ever had a debt that went as far as a collection agency, you probably already know the annoyance they can be, even if the debt is not owed. But before you deal with them, check out the what collection agencies cannot do.
- Trying to collect a debt without first notifying you in writing or making a reasonable attempt to do so.
- Recommending or starting legal or court action to collect a debt without first notifying you.
- Implying or giving false or misleading information to anyone including you.
- Communicating or attempting to communicate with you without identifying themselves, saying who is owed the money and stating the amount owed.
- Continuing to demand payment from a person who claims not to owe the money, unless the agency first takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the person does, in fact, owe the money.
- Contacting your friends, employer, relatives or neighbours for information, other than to get your telephone number or address. The ONLY exception would be if any of these people have guaranteed the debt, been listed as a ‘reference’ on the debt or if you have asked the agency to contact them to discuss the debt or, in the case of your employer, to confirm your employment, your job title and your work address.
- Communicating with you or your family such that the communication amounts to harassment, or calling to collect a debt at certain prohibited times (which vary from one province or territory to another).
- Discussing your debt with any third party without permission. A creditor must have terms in the original agreement to pass a debt onto a collection agency.
- Repeated harassment of any kind.