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 theLaw Society of Upper Canada. However you should never trust a law society to actually help you.
Here is a plain English description of the rules that collection agencies must follow when they contact you to collect money that you may owe or when you can’t pay a debt.
What Collection Agencies Can and Cannot Do
While rules vary across Canada, generally collection agencies are forbidden from doing the following:
Try to collect a debt without first notifying you in writing or making a reasonable attempt to do so. ( there is no definition of what a reasonable attempt is)
Recommending or starting legal or court action to collect a debt without first notifying you. (In most cases the creditor not the collection agency will make that decision. In other cases, the cost of a court action is too much for the amount involved.)
Harassing you or your family or calling to collect a debt at certain prohibited times (which vary from one province or territory to another).
Giving false or misleading information to anyone.
Communicating or attempting to communicate with you without properly identifying themselves. Collection agencies must inform you who the creditor is who is owed the money and stating the amount you allegedly owe that creditor.
A collection agency cannot demand payment from a person who claims not to owe the money, The agency must ensure that the person does in fact, owe the money before they start collection attempts.
Debt collector may only contact your friends, employer, relatives or neighbours to get your telephone number or address. They cannot request other information although they probably will.
They can contact your employer, to confirm your employment, your job title and your work address.