CanLaw Guide to the Law on Bill Collections for the Layperson

Bill collectors are not allowed to harass or intimidate. You can stop them

Alberta collection agencies cannot harass, bully, threaten or intimidate you.

Here`s how to file a complaint.

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THREATS OF LEGAL ACTION

If the collection agency or what appears to be their legal staff make written or verbal threats of legal action, have a lawyer send you a `draft` statement of claim or use other shady tactics report them to the  Alberta law society However you should never trust a law society to actually help you.

Privacy Commissioner of Canada

 

If a collection agency discloses your personal information to a 3rd party or is incorrectly reporting something on your credit bureau, make sure to contact this department to discuss the matter.

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An Alberta Collection Agency Cannot:

It is against the law

  • Deliberately mislead you with a document that looks like a legal document or a court form
  • Threaten to repossess goods without having the proper authority to do so
  • Remove any goods unless you or an adult having possession and use of the merchandise is present at the time and is aware of the removal, except with court authority
  • Harass neighbours or friends to locate the whereabouts of you and your family.
  • Seize or attempt to seize any item other than what they are authorized to seize
  • Harass you or your family at any time, in any manner.
  • Make threats of any kind.
  • Phone or visit before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. You can try sending them a no trespass notice if they come to your home
  • Phone or visit on a Sunday or a statutory holiday
  • Phone or telegram collect

If the collection agency or what appears to be their legal staff make written or verbal threats of legal action, have a lawyer send you a `draft` statement of claim or use other shady tactics report them to the Alberta Law Society. However you should never trust a law society to actually help you.

 

A bill collector must give you her full name, his or her company’s name, and the name of the business or person who is requesting money and the balance owing, and may not request more than what is owed.

Service fees for collection agents cannot be added to the sum owing unless the law provides for it.

If you decide to make a payment to the collector, use a money order, do not send a cheque with your banking information on it. Only a fool would pay cash. Ask for a signed receipt. The receipt should be dated and include the name of the business or person requesting payment and the amount paid.

YOU MAY HAVE A VALID COMPLAINT AGAINST AN ALBERTA COLLECTION AGENCY IF YOU CAN PROVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING HAVE OCCURRED

 

  • Collector was threatening and/or intimidating
  • You have informed the collection agency that it is not your debt and continue to be contacted
  • You have asked to be contacted in writing only and they continue to call
  • Collector was using excessive pressure
  • Collector published or threatening to publish your inability to pay
  • You have disputed the debt with the debt collector and creditor and continue to be contacted
  • You did not receive anything in writing prior to receiving calls
  • Collector will not disclose his/her identity
  • Collector called you at work more than once and you have provided my home contact information
  • The collector has called an acquaintance and has asked for information other than your home address and phone number and you have not authorized the collector or creditor to do so in the past
  • The collector has called your employer and has asked for more information other than confirming your employment, business title, and address and you have not authorized the creditor to do so in the past
  • The collector has called you before 7 am or after 9 pm Monday to Saturday, or before 1 pm or after 5 pm on a Sunday, or on a statutory holiday
  • The collector is attempting to collect more than you owe
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This is not legal advice, it is information