CanLaw Guide to the Law on Bill Collections for the Layperson

NS bill collectors cannot phone you over and over It is against the law

ARE NOVA SCOTIA

BILL COLLECTORS

HARASSING YOU?

 

 

Tell them to stop or you will file a complaint with NS Consumer Affairs

 

They could be fined thousands of dollars

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NS bill collectors cannot phone you over and over It is against the law

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.

The rules:

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

YOU MAY HAVE A VALID COMPLAINT AGAINST A NOVA SCOTIA  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
  • I 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

 

Mail Room, 8 South

Maritime Centre

1505 Barrington Street

Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3J 3K5

Telephone: 902-424-5200

Toll Free: 1-800-670-4357

Fax: 902-424-0720

 

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.

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.

NS Collection agents cannot harass, threaten, bully or intimidate you.
You will get new NS clients and traffic to your own web site. Free link to your site is included.

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.

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This is not legal advice, it is information