Dealing With Debt Collectors

Dealing with mounting debt can be stressful. If you’re unable to pay off your debts or are sorting them out in other ways such as through debt consolidation or consumer proposals, then constantly getting calls from debt collectors will be enough to drive you up the wall.
Your best defence against this is your rights – not knowing them could put you at risk of harassment or even fraud. Here are some tips and facts you should know when dealing with debt collectors.

Standard procedure for debt collectors is that all initial contact with you will be through writing, whether through email or registered mail. After this, they will try to call you and talk to you personally.

When speaking to a debt collector on the phone, always keep the conversation brief. Don’t stand for intimidation or abusive language. If you experience this behaviour from a debt collector, report them to the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services.

Know your rights. Debt collectors cannot contact you between the hours of 9pm and 7am. And in most provinces, soliciting on Sundays is also prohibited.

In Ontario, debt collectors are prohibited from calling you, emailing, or even leaving a voicemail more than three times in one week. If they must contact you, this should be done through registered mail. Furthermore, if you tell them specifically to keep all correspondence through regular mail, then they’re prohibited from making any calls to you.

 Debt collectors are also prohibited from contacting your acquaintances or family members, unless they’re trying to track down your mailing address. Some collectors will try anything to get you on the phone and get you paying.
They’ll resort to sneaky tactics and some will lie, use profanity, and intimidation to get their way. Get everything in writing and keep track of all calls and messages sent to you.

Beware of fake debt collectors. Make sure the debt being collected is actually something you owe. If you haven’t received a verified letter from a collector and are being harassed by phone, you may be the victim of a scam.

If you can’t pay your debt, look for other ways to manage it. Don’t just avoid it. Enlist the help of a debt counsellor and see if debt management plans like consumer proposals or debt restructuring is for you.

A consumer proposal is similar to filing a bankruptcy such that you get immediate relief from the debt collection or even from legal action of your creditors. But unlike bankruptcy, a consumer proposal is a financial solution that allows you to keep valuable assets like your house. This article was written by Press Toronto

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