(UPDATE: Please note that changes were made to the Business Practices & Consumer Protection Act and debt collection and repayment regulation, effective April 1, 2016. The amendments include clarification for debt collectors related to the limited circumstances when they are allowed to contact a consumer’s employer. Please visit our Consumer Help section for up-to-date consumer information and links to the law.)
If you owe money to a creditor, they do have the right to contact you in an effort to collect the outstanding amount. However, there are collection rules that must be followed as set out by the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act as well as the Debt Collection Industry Regulation. Here is some information about when collectors can contact you.
When can a collector call me?
Collectors can only contact you Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at your local time. On Sundays, they can call from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Collectors are not allowed to contact a debtor on statutory holidays.
Can a collector call my friends and family?
Many consumers don’t know this but collectors are allowed to call your friends, family, members of a household or even a neighbour but only for the purposes of asking for your home address and/or phone number. Collectors are not to discuss details of the debt with 3rd parties unless you give authorization.
What about my place of employment?
Collectors can contact your place of employment for the purposes of confirming your employment, business title, and business address. Collectors are not permitted to discuss the details of your debt with anyone from your place of employment unless you give authorization.
If you are being contacted by a collections agency and feel that your rights have been violated, please visit the debt collection consumer help page on our website. We also have self help tools you can use to correspond with a debt collector on a variety of issues.
If you have a question about your rights as a debtor, please ask in comments below or contact us.