Collection agencies represent companies who have a debt to collect. In most cases collection agencies represent creditors collecting on loans and other credit debt. That being said, many other companies will also employ the services of collection agencies. Utilities, payday loan providers, telecommunication companies, gyms and dentists are all examples of private companies that use collection agencies to collect debt on their behalf.
In heavily populated centres, such as Toronto, there are many collection agencies to be found. Nordon, Collect Corp., Total Debt Recovery, Financial Debt Recovery, and CBV Collections are just a few of the collection agencies that operate in Toronto. There are more than 20 collection agencies located in the GTA.
Collection agencies will employ any number of tactics to collect money from you. These could include frequent phone calls, at home or at work, writing to you at work, placing a “collection item” on your credit report or, with authorization, they may even file a claim against you in Small Claims Court on behalf of their client.
As scary as it seems, believe it or not, if you are having problems with a collection agency in Ontario there is legislation and there are government protections in place that mandate what a collection agency can and cannot do.
Here are a few tips:
You can go to the E-Laws website and search for “The Collection Agencies Act”. There you will find the legislation that regulates Collection Agency conduct and you can learn more about your rights.
You can visit the Ministry of Consumer Services website. The Ministry of Consumer Services (MCS) regulates collection agencies in Ontario and arbitrates complaints from the public. On the MCS website you can learn more about your rights and can even initiate a complaint online.
You can request your credit report online on the Equifax Website. If a collection agency has registered a collection item on your credit report, it will remain on your credit report for 3 years from the date it has been settled or paid in full. If the collection item resulted from a defaulted loan or credit card, the trade line registered by the creditor will remain in a defaulted status for 6 years from the date it is paid or settled in full.
There are a number of programs that are available through the Canadian Government specifically designed to stop collection agencies in their tracks. These programs depend on the individual’s personal and financial circumstances.
If the stress of dealing with collection agencies has become too much, you can use a financial consultant to get in between you and the collection agencies, providing you with financial relief. This is by far the most painless route. A financial consultant that specializes in negotiating with collection agencies will know exactly what to do. For more information about how to deal with collection agencies please visit http://www.debtcare.ca/