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Since collection agencies only get paid when they collect these debts, they can be very persistent. While you are responsible for paying money that you owe, the Collection Agencies Act says that all collectors must be licensed. This means there are rules that collection agencies must follow when they contact you.
Collectors must contact you by mail before making any contact by phone or otherwise. There is a standard letter that they should use. They must file a copy of this letter with Service Nova Scotia.
Collectors cannot collect more money than you owe the business or person who hired them.
Collectors are responsible for making sure that you actually owe the money. They must tell you who is looking for repayment when they contact you.
Collectors may not make collect calls to you to demand repayment.
You may ask collectors to only contact you through a lawyer.
Collectors may not threaten or intimidate you or use abusive language.
Collectors may not call so often or in such a way that you or your family feels harassed.
Collectors may not call on a Sunday, or between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Collectors may not lie about you (directly or indirectly) to your family members or to anyone that you owe money to.
Collectors may not give information, or threaten to give information, to anyone that could affect your employment.
Collectors may not contact your employer, friends, acquaintances, family or neighbours unless they have guaranteed or co-signed the loan they are trying to collect, except if they are looking for your address.
Collectors may not take you to court – unless the collector has taken on the debt from the company that you originally borrowed money from
Mail Room, 8 South
1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K5
Toll Free: 1-800-670-4357
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 Nova Scotia law society. However you should never trust a law society to actually help you.
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.
Rules of conduct
4 No creditor shall
(a) collect or attempt to collect money without first being satisfied that the money is owed by the borrower to the creditor;
(b) make any charge against a borrower in addition to those contained in the agreement with that borrower or in a cost of borrowing statement furnished to the borrower;
(c) send any telegram or make any telephone call for the purpose of demanding payment, if the charges are payable by the addressee or the person to whom the call is made;
(d) communicate with a borrower after the borrower has notified him in writing to communicate with the designated legal adviser of the borrower;
(e) use, without lawful authority, any summons, notice or demand, or other document, expressed in language of the general style or purport of any form used in any court in the Province, or printed or written or in the general appearance or format of any such form;
(f) in any way abuse or intimidate a borrower either orally or in writing to induce the borrower to pay money or to deliver up possession of property;
(g) make telephone calls or personal calls or written communications of such nature or with such frequency as to constitute harassment of the borrower, his spouse or a member of his family;
(h) make telephone calls or personal calls
(i) on a Sunday, or
(ii) on any other day except between the hours of eight o'clock in the forenoon and nine o'clock in the afternoon,
for the purpose of demanding payment of money or possession of property;
(i) give by statement, expressly or impliedly, directly or indirectly, any false or misleading information to any person that may be detrimental to a borrower, his spouse or a member of his family;
(j) contact or threaten to contact the employer of a borrower, his spouse or any member of his family, and give information that may adversely affect the employment or employment opportunities of the borrower, his spouse or any member of his family;
(k) while attempting to collect money or get possession of property, falsely hold himself out as a police officer, sheriff or deputy sheriff.
Offence and penalty
5 (1) Every person who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this Act and every director of a corporation who knowingly concurs in a violation or failure to comply with any provision of this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a penalty of not more than two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both.
Penalty on corporation
(2) Where a corporation is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) it is liable to a penalty of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars.
Time limit for prosecution
(3) A prosecution under this Section may be commenced within one year from the date on which the offence is committed.
This is not legal advice, it is information
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