This time of the year, our inquiry centre tends to receive quite a few calls regarding debt collection. One topic that seems to confuse people happens when people receive calls and feel they are not the debtor.

At that point, our team needs to determine which of the scenarios below applies to the situation:

Scenario 1: You are not the debtor they are trying to contact.

Example: You receive a call regarding an outstanding amount for “Fred”, but there is no one named Fred living in your household.

In this example, you are truly not the person the collection agency is trying to contact but are receiving phone calls for that person. In this instance, you can stop the calls by filling out this form –  “Stop the Calls Because You Are Not the Debtor” and send to the collection agency by registered mail, fax or email.

Scenario 2: You don’t think you should have to pay the debt the collection agent is calling you about.

Example: You had a dispute with your cell phone provider about a bill you received. You have been trying to deal with it but now it has been sent to collections.

In this case, the collections agency is calling you regarding a debt that you disagree with and you don’t feel you owe the money. You can find out some useful information under “I want to dispute the debt” on our website.

I hope this helps clarify the difference between a “not the debtor” situation versus a “debt in dispute” situation. There is a lot to know about this topic. For more information about our role around debt collection and information for consumers, please visit our website or explore our blog posts listed below.


Asking a debt collector to only communicate with you in writing: what you need to know
New things to know about BC’s debt collection laws
What would you do? A guide to being a savvy consumer: debt collection calls