Tuesday, 1 October 2013

School for Debt Relief #1: Harassing Collection Calls? Know Your Rights

With September behind us, and the school year in full swing, it is the perfect opportunity to take some time for yourself. So, what better time to give yourself a new start than right now? If you are in debt, this school for debt relief blog is for you. This first blog in the series will look at collection calls and help you better understand how to stop them. 

When you are receiving harassing phone calls from a collection agency it can be very stressful. Each time you pick up the phone can bring with it the anxiety that comes from knowing that you still have not managed to make that payment. But what can you do? If the money is not readily available, not answering or avoiding the calls is probably the best course of action, right? Wrong! This will likely only make the problem worse. 

Here are some things you need to know about your rights when it comes to collection calls. Firstly, when an organization calls you concerning a debt, they are likely calling from a collection agency – an organization hired by your creditors to collect a debt. These calls can sometimes get quite aggressive, so it is crucial to know your rights and better understand what is fair and what is not.

In Ontario there are laws which outline the appropriate behaviour that collection agencies must adhere to when making collection calls. First off, you must receive a notice in writing regarding the debt.

When can they contact you? Here are some of the restrictions put in place by law:

A collection agency cannot:

-        Contact you more than 3 times in the course of 7 days without your consent

-        Contact you on Sunday, except between 1 and 5pm

-        Contact you on any day between 9pm and 7am

-        Contact you on a statutory holiday

-        Use threatening, profane, intimidating or coercive language

-        Use excessive, undue or unreasonable pressure

-        Contact a spouse, family member, friend, etc. regarding the debt unless that person has guaranteed the debt or you have given permission for that person to be contacted.
If you feel as though your rights have been violated you do have some recourse for action. Sending a letter to the agency stating why you feel they have acted inappropriately, or, if the behaviour persists, filing a complaint with the Ministry of Consumer Services are two options to consider.

In the end, the only real way to stop collection calls is to pay your debt. If this is something that you feel you may not be able to achieve on your own it might be time to seek out some professional help. A debt solutions company can present you with the various options and help you get debt relief and stop those calls.

For more information about debt relief or to put a stop to the collection calls please contact DebtCare today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

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