On April 1, 2016, changes to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCPA) and the Debt Collection and Repayment Regulation came into force. So what does this mean for you, as a consumer? In this blog, we will share the changes that were made to the law, specifically when it comes to the business practices of debt collectors.
The changes to the debt collection laws were made so it keeps pace with evolving technology, changing business practices and to align with the law in other Canadian jurisdictions. Now the new rules for debt collectors will:
- Increase protection of consumer information: Previously, debt collectors could only contact consumers after a written letter detailing the debt was sent to the consumer. This sometimes meant that sensitive information was being sent to addresses that were out of date, creating privacy concerns. Now, collectors have the right to make a reasonable effort to call a debtor before this written letter is sent, but only to confirm the consumers’ correct contact information.
- Increase information disclosures about the debt: Debt collectors must now provide updated information about the ownership of a debt, including details about who the original and current owners of the debt are and how much is owing. This will ensure debtors are better able to assess whether or not they are, in fact, responsible for a debt.
- Clarify prohibitions against certain types of communications: Debt collectors will not be allowed to contact debtors until debts are due and payable, not before.
- Restrict communication with employers: To address issues of harassment, the law has been clarified to ensure that debt collectors are only allowed to contact a consumer’s employer for the sole purpose of confirming the consumer’s employment status, title and business address in preparation for a legal proceeding to take place (or if the consumer has given permission).
- Update communication methods: Debt collectors can now use email to contact debtors.
Getting calls from a debt collector? Know what to do if you want the calls to stop.
- Ask for details. You can ask for more information about the debt to confirm that it’s yours and how much is owing. Also, ask which collection agency they are calling from.
- Keep a record of your conversations. Record frequency of calls, what is being said and the time of day you are receiving calls.
- Check to see if the collection agency is licensed. You can do this on our website.
- Know your rights. The debt collection laws are in place to protect consumers a variety of ways, including regulating communication practices.
- Give the agency a few days to resolve the problem. It can sometimes take a few days for an agency to remove your name from their records.
Consumer Protection BC is responsible for regulating and enforcing BC’s laws that address the business practices of third-party debt collectors, bailiffs and debt repayment agents. Whether operating in BC or communicating with BC consumers, all debt collectors, bailiffs and debt repayment agents are required to be licensed with Consumer Protection BC.
Both debt collectors and consumers have responsibilities when it comes to debt collection. This blog post provides a wide variety of information and outlines what debt collectors are allowed and not allowed to do when it comes to communicating with consumers.
Getting calls from a debt collector?
Want debt collection calls to stop? Try this online tool
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144 thoughts on “New things to know about BC’s debt collection laws”
I owe a debt to the payday loan company Cash Canada and they on an attempt to collect the payment emailed me saying that they were reporting my debt as Income for the 2015 tax year to the Alberta Treasury and that the Canada Revenue Agency would be informed of my change in income and thus it would change benefits I recieve and put them on hold until I pay the debt off in full. This doesnt even sound legal are they allowed to go into peoples tax records and change them or to say that they plan to do so. Thanks for your time and help I appreciate it.
Hello I have small debts with different companies I was jobless but now I found a job they was calling me but I tell them going to pay slow, my question is they can sue me for small amounts? I’m paying slow any advice?
Hi Jorge, thanks for your question. We’re not in a position to offer legal advice on whether or not businesses are allowed to sue you. However, they could send your debts to collections. If you are looking for some help with how to pay down your debts, you may be interested in contacting a credit counselor to help you through that process. If you Google “non-profit credit counselling society in BC” you’ll see some non-profit options that would be suited to help you. I hope this helps and best of luck!
I just wanted to provide a little more information beyond what Amanda advised 🙂
It is always best to weigh all options. So, aside from the “non profit” credit counselors in BC,, a person should also consult a licensed bankruptcy trustee. It doesn’t cost anything to ask questions and the consultations are always free anyway. Aside from bankruptcies, Trustees can also negotiate with your creditors to set up a Consumer Proposal (this is something that the non profit credit counselors canNOT do). This can reduce interest rates and/or even reduce entire totals owed to each creditor by offering so much on the dollar. Then you only make one payment, usually monthly, directly to your trustee which is held “in trust” by them for a number of months and then disbursed to the creditors by the trustee in accordance with the agreement that the trustee has set up with them on your behalf. This is all registered with the courts. So going through a Trustee as opposed to a Credit Counselor will not only have you paying a significantly reduced amount, but it will also see you OUT OF DEBT FAR SOONER and back on your way to rebuilding your credit!
And no, I am not a Trustee nor in any way affiliated 🙂. I just think people should be aware that just because these credit counselors are non profit, it doesn’t mean they are a person’s best way to save money while cleaning up their debts, as you can clearly see from what I have said here. Of course, don’t take my word, check it out for yourself! As I said before, it doesn’t cost anything to ask questions👍
All the best to you, Jorge.
Even if you were to pay 5 cents and they accepted it the clock is reset. If the harassment continues, report them.
Hi Shannon, thank you for leaving a comment here as well. As I mentioned on our Facebook message, our team has received your complaint form and they will get back to you.
I have a 3rd party debt collector that took money without authorisation or arrangement, they took the money and now I am having a very hard time trying to contact them.
I am waiting for a decision on my employment insurance claim and the money they took was supposed to last me for another month for food and saving for a damage deposit.
They took the money without any corrispondence or arrangements, is that legal?
Hi Donavon, thanks for reaching out to us here. I think we may need some more information from you in order to provide additional info. Would you be able to give our inquiry centre a call? Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963 and we open again tomorrow at 8:30. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Tell your bank and they will investigate/refund you.
Hello:) I have been involved in a unique case of credit card debt and wondering if you can advise me.
I was diagnosed with Pre-Cancer (Chronic Pancreatitis) and went through a complicated surgery Nov. 2011. I went through the hell but I survived because of early stages and best surgent in Canada. I lost my Incomes because no longer was able to work. I had some credit cards debts and I started to contact them one after one in order to explain my situation and asked for negotiations for resolving the issue. After a few weeks, I found that they sent my debt to Collection agency despite my desperate situation. The process started by being harassed, getting threatened, being terrorized by phone calls and each time I talked to the agents they would not listen to and not even tried to do so. Meantime I was at home in the bed days after days moths after months. They stopped to call me for a few months and I forgot them since I was sleeping and was not myself anymore because of strong painkillers and the depression. However, sometimes during 2013, I received a letter that a Lawyer from another city had put a lien on my apartment and it was saying that it was a court decision and I had missed attending at the court. I called the phone number of the lawyer many times and finally, after a few weeks I was able to leave a message on his answering machine and asked him to send me a letter or call me about the issue but he never did so. I had him in my thoughts a while on and off and finally forgot the case as mentioned due to my health and strong medications. I think another collection or maybe same collection service restarted to terrorize me sometimes during the end of summer 2015. I responded to them by explaining that my situation and financial had not been improved and I was still disabled but they pushed me as hard as they could. On Sep-2015 I called the agency and asked for a negotiation about that debt and after hours of conversation, we agreed verbally that I could pay a monthly amount starting the month after. I do remember that I told them that I was able to pay them for 3 years and at the same time they should send me the agreement that we had the phone. To make it short, I paid them a few months until my last payment before I stopped was Feb-2016, 4 months after I started our agreement. I never got any letter, nor any confirmation about the amount I paid them. I was expecting to see a piece of the letter that indicated for how long I should pay them. I left messages for the agent and asked him to contact me and finally on Feb 2016, I stopped the payments. Ironically, I never got any phone calls, nor letters from them for more than one year until the July 2017, this year and it was not from them but from my bank. Actually, I received a one-page copy from a person who worked in the bank in Toronto that It was an after Judgement court decision on June 30th, 2017! I found out later on that it was done exactly on the same date that the limitation of the small court limitation amount was changed from $5000 to $30,000 and they had to increase my debt for 2X more!
Now, here is what I found and did:
1- The letter had no contact information on it and the stamp with the name of the sender was showing nothing since the stamp was half and was missing the important information.
2- I could see my name on it but some other names were added to my name.
3- The lawyer was a lady that I could not recognize but here is the interesting thing. The witness who had been at the court and witnessed against me had the same LASTNAME as the lawyer and they were both from Korea!
4- I never, ever got any letter nor phone calls acknowledgment from them or never know that there will be a court case on that date!
After a few days and finally, I found out that I had to contact the court in order to get any information about the case. It took a few more days, hours consumptions and after I talked in the answering machine a person from the court called me with the information I needed including the phone number of the lawyer. I found her and had an hour-long conversation with her. She wanted me to be on the court with all my financial papers etc and I needed to admit in the court the payment of the debt!
I received a call from the manager of my bank that they have been in my account already and intended to steal my money without letting me know! They couldn’t because I had no money to be stolen!
In the next few days, I talked to the lawyer and tried my best and told her the reason I stopped the payment was the collection agency failed to follow our verbal agreement. That, I was mad because they never called me to the court, that it the person who witnessed against me made false accusations and I did not know him.
When I was talking to her I realized that both witness and she had the same last name and I asked her if she knew Daniel (The first name of the witness)! Quickly she said “Yes”, and asked me why? I said, “well, he has the same last name as you and he witnessed against me and I am suspecting something fishy with this actions against me”. She said” oh that! My last name is a very common Korean name and it had nothing to do with her!
We agreed later that I should send her my payment history of the amount that I paid to the collection service before I stopped my payment. She also mentioned that the reason that the company failed to send me the contract in writing was the change of their lawyer exactly on Jan 2016 and it was just a miss!
I told her I was ready to resume the payment if she sends me a contract that it shows my debt to collection service and the proof of showing that I had any contract initially with the collection service, the amount, the date of signed contract. She never said yes or no but I thought we agreed to this. I tried to send her the statement history of my payments during a few days but the fax number she gave me never worked. I left messages and emails to her and informed her about the issue but it took a few weeks to see her email response back to me which had a very commanding tune by telling me to send my papers to collection service fax! I gave up and became really mad again. I started to look around to find out my citizen rights against these corrupted, fake people. I never heard anything back from her until last week that she is planning to take next legal actions against me if I do not pay them!
This time I sent an email to her and told her that they have broken the agreements a few times and they had failed to provide me any proof to show that I had any loan or debts to their compan, that they paid a fraction of my debt to the primer Visa creditor and now they are asking more than a few thousand times more than what they paid for, that they dealy this process purposely in order to increase the amount, that they had a fake witness who was a relative to the lawyer and his accusations are not valid due to false information at the court that they never contacted me although they had all my information earlier when I agreed with the collection service, that they misrepresented the business between me and the Visa by intruducing themself as “On behalf of Visa”, that I no longer will send them any documents since they already should have the information about my payments in their data base and finally that I have all the right to cancle any agreement that is based on misrepresentation and other reasons mentioned above!
She responded back by giving me warnings about that I agreed to send her all my financial documents and I never did follow my agreement!
My question to you is if there is any reason for me to have any other conversation with this lawyer or agency company since they never follow their own agreement and turning everything against me?
Should I contact the court to sue them for all those reasons mentioned above?
I have decided to not pay this company anything more and I would love to fight them on behalf of all poor citizens and I am wondering how?
It is ok if this letter is not showing on this page but please help me before they take any further unfair legal actions!
PS. I am sorry for my poor English due to my strong medications and the side effects. I am so mad and stressed that I have lost to focus on my writing:)
Hi Nick, thank you for your message. I’m having a tough time understanding what the issue with the credit card company is. Would you mind succinctly summarizing what the problem is and how you would like assistance resolving it? We are also not in a position to be giving legal advice, so unfortunately I cannot offer any guidance you with your question about taking legal action. We have a page on our website with some resources about your rights around debt collection if you are interested in taking a look to see if any information applies to your situation: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/debt-collection/. If you think it might be easier to discuss your concerns with someone over the phone, our inquiry centre’s number is 1-888-564-9963 and we can do our best to provide you with relevant information.
Well, after all, circumstances with my health, I am still alive but, I have lost my case to our fair, beloved court in my case! It is now 2 years pst after my email to you and asking your help but the situation with my case is worse than what I was expecting considering my civil rights in the final court!
However, as I explained in details, I had a conflict with the pre-judgment of my debt to Visa Canadian Tir which was about $5000 when I became ill and was not able to work anymore. I am still disabled and having a small amount of CPP payment every month. I am wondering if anyone is able to help me against these criminal mafia collection service companies. Why there are no protection laws for people who get sick and disabled and no longer are able to pay their debts to credit card agencies and their mafia team backup collection agencies? I was living in Europe before I moved to Canada and they have much more respect for people who become sick or disable. No one can touch them or blame them for their handicaps or disabilities because it is not their fault. However, I disputed the claim on Feb 2018 by filling the disputed claim at the court. We were called to the court a few days after that in March 2018. The Korean Lawyer appeared at the court at the same time and the subject was called the case as Canadian Tire! What a Joke! The Lawyer was there on behalf of ARO lc (the collection agency) but using the name of Canadian Tire! The Judge knew the Lawyer and called her in the first name! After I was called, I explained my case to the judge in 2 minutes and the Judge became irritated and interrupted me by telling m,e that the case is wrong and you should not dispute the preJudgement! He asked the Korean Lawyer about her requirement and she asked for all my financial asset information. I denied that by telling that my bank account was a joined account and the judge demanded me to provide my notice of assessments for the past 3 years in order to provide to the lawyer. I had no choice and agreed. However, he decided that I should resume the monthly payment as soon as 2 weeks and every month. I provided the lawyer with the documents with difficulty. She just signed off her position against me and passed that to another lawyer in Toronto and I really struggled to send my documents all around Canada. First in BC, then in Victoria, then to Ontario to the ARO company and finally to the new lawyer in Toronto! They started to take money every month from that date. The Judge decided to review the case after one year and today was the day that the Judge should review the case! As of today, I have not heard anything from the lawyer, ARO Inc nor the court! I have not received any confirmation about my total debt, contract, remainings nor any other documents. I am paying to someone or Aro Inc that I have no access to my files about my debt to them. I checked my credit files and scores recently and found that my debt to this company and thanks to the beloved Judge and his decision is now 3 times more than the primary debt to Canadian Tire Visa and it is increasing for every day! What kind of country do we live in? What kind of Justice? Where should I go and ask for justice against these criminals? I mean Canadian justice if there is any! I am so tired and so frustrated! I have no resources to hire a lawyer and if I could, I found out that the lawyers’ interest is in favor of the bankers and their collection agencies! Did we forget the humanity? Are we animals or humans and if we are humans then why everything looks like a jungle Wilde society and in favor of predators? Where is the fairness and where are human rights? Is there any hope for justice or we should just forget it and be a predator as the supportive laws? We are not animals and even as animals, we have rights but, no one is willing to let us know how to fight against these hunters! No one cares in the name of law unless you pay them and the truth is that people with financial difficulties are doomed and will be eliminated by these predators soon or later! Where is the justice by the name of God?
Hi Nick, thank you for writing to us again! Since your case has gone to the court, we would not be able to assist you but I can perhaps suggest contacting the Office of the Ombudsperson. I’m not sure if they would be able to do anything about your experience at the court but they may be able to suggest some other place to go. Here’s their website – https://www.bcombudsperson.ca/ The other option may be to write to your local MLA. We have written this blog post on how to write an effective letter to them. I hope this information helps, Nick!
Should have disability insurance or job loss insurance with the credit card itself
Same here, only mine was late discovery stage 4. I survived and now the 2 surgeries made me disabled. I survived the difficulty of getting off opiates as well. Not sure which is harder to do. My writing is screwed aslo. Cancer bankrupted me technically but I haven’t been able to formalize that. I am a naturally born entrepreneur and inventor. The insult of living on less than one-third of what I need to survive from disability pension is so insulting after everything I gave to BC and Canada of myself, it makes me what to die every day. I had not smoked for 13 years but took them up again because I am unable to kill myself because I love my dog too much and at least one relative who needs me. I can’t get a business loan and I am over and under qualified for any job, not that I have had one for so long my resume would be unbelievable. The reason I can’t get a business loan is that I cont focus on a business plan, they are useless to me and take away from daily survival needs. I was conned by the Good Money bank and they stole corporate money out of my personal account. Then crooks at BC Hydro made a claim against me to an address where I have never lived. On principle, these can never be paid even if the extortion would get me back my 800 credit lifetime of good behavior. I now believe in the devil but before I wasn’t real. There is no way so much evil can happen to such a good guy. Sorry how that sounds. I am in a trap, technically homeless, living on a ex-girlfriends sofa with more operations and partial paralyzation and no facilities to survive another operation. None of my money from disability can go to rent, it all goes to paying to keep hope alive. Hope is my 85 domain names and internet businesses. Those are why I survived because I used that income to pay for the extras that made the difference in my long hard journey. Now I am losing all trust in people with capital. I don’t want anyone in my business and I don’t want capital partners anymore because I don’t trust anyone. it’s a physical and psychological prison. To survive my mind going nuts over injustice I use about a dozen ways to lie to myself and pretend its going to be OK one day. I pretend there is some reason I survived for the good of many in the future. I just can’t reach out to find intelligent life on earth. I hate my high IQ for how impossible it makes it for me to relate to normal people. Each day I become more and more anti-social. Thank the quantum universe that I have no violence in me or ill will toward the dummy system that did this to me.
Hi I need to know what the actual statute of limitations is on unsecured debt in BC. i find different answers and do not know the current legitimate legislation. I have found some sites that say 2 years, and others that say 6 years. Can you help with this?
Hi Theresa, thank you for your question. While Consumer Protection BC is responsible for regulating several industries and overseeing specific consumer protection laws in the province, we do not administer the Statute of Limitations Act as it falls outside of our regulatory authority. That being said, I did a bit of digging for you and I found a page on the Government of BC site. It looks like there are quite a few documents on this page that may be able to offer some clarity for you: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/about-bcs-justice-system/legislation-policy/legislation-updates/limitation-act. I hope this helps and best of luck finding the information you need!
Hi. Can an American collection agency contact a Canadian company with regards to debt owing to a Canadian company? Our company is in arrears for a contract in BC but have been aggressively approached by a collector from Louisianna. Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you.
Hi Yee, thank you for your question. Are you located in BC? They laws around debt collection are regulated at a provincial level. While I can’t speak to the regulations in other provinces, if an American collection agency is trying to collect debt from a British Columbian company, they must follow the regulations around debt collection in BC. That means they must also be licensed by Consumer Protection BC. I might suggest you give our inquiry centre a call and we can look into this for you: 1.888.564.9963. In the meantime (if you live in BC), you are within your right to request communication in writing only from the debt collector, here is a link to a page with more information on that: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/2016/09/asking-a-debt-collector-to-only-communicate-with-you-in-writing-what-you-need-to-know/
I hope this helps and best of luck!
Our company is a located in BC and the debt is for a service provided in BC; which is the reason why I am perplexed when this Louisiana company contacted us.
Hi Yee, thank you for getting back to me. So, what I said before still applies. I would suggest giving us a call when you have a chance and we can determine if the debt collection agency is licensed with us. Thanks!
Noted and thank you.
No worries, Yee! I hope it all works out for you 🙂
I have a payday loan from Loanaway based out of Ontario. Which collection laws apply, BC or Ontario. I am in BC. I used your online form to inform them I only wanted to be contacted through letter and she replied back saying they were not a collection agency. Does your form apply to them too?
They called my employer regarding my loan. Are they allowed to discuss my debt with my employer? How often can they call my employer?
Hi Nico, thank you for your questions. If you are based out of BC, it is my understanding that the collection agency must follow the laws where the consumer is located (BC, in your case). I might suggest you call our inquiry centre so we can get more information from you about the lender/collection agency. Our phone number here is 1-888-564-9963. Thanks!
is there a time limit on collection of old debt
Hi lloyd, thank you for contacting Consumer Protection BC. As long as the debtor owes the money, a collection agency may try to collect the debt even if it’s old. In our blog post “Asking a debt collector to only communicate with you in writing: what you need to know” we’ve mentioned that:
If your debt is not being addressed and you choose to ignore written communication from the debt collector, there may be legal implications. The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCP Act) states that legal proceedings may be brought if a collector gives you such notice.
Please do visit the blog post here so you get the whole picture. I hope this information is useful to you!
I’m looking for information and can’t seem to find an answer. I received an email from a collection agency. However they have some of my important information wrong. My last name is not spelled properly, and they have butchered my address. Now my question is, because they have my information wrong, is this something I still have to pay?
Hi Jasmine, thank you for reaching out to us here. Debtors are required to pay the debts they owe, regardless of spelling errors made by the collection agency. You are within your rights to ask for clarification about they debt and they can amend your information that way.
I have a problem and a question.
I have been contacted by EOS canada about a Virgin Mobile Account that they say I owe. I have never had a Virgin Mobile account in my life. I have tried to tell them to contact me in writing with even faxing paperwork from government site but I am still getting harassed daily from them. I looked at my credit file and noticed they have a lot of information wrong like my place of work, Income, and debts that I have paid are still not showing up as paid.
I have been in contact with RCMP about this issue my question is? What else can I do to get this company to stop calling me about an account that I never opened. I am not paying for a bill that I never created I have enough issues trying to pay back the ones I owe.
What I am looking to resolve this issue that will see me not pay this bill and not end with negative remarks on my credit file. Hoping you can help.
Hi Lyanne, thank you for your question. I’m not sure which form you used to request communication in writing only but we have one as well. Please try using this form (navigate down to “I want the calls to stop”) and if they still contact you by phone after (give them 1-2 weeks for them to receive the letter), you can submit a complaint to us as we license debt collection agencies and debt collectors.
As for your credit report, we have a page that explains what to do if the information on your report is wrong. Here is the link. I hope you can resolve these issues quickly!
If a item comes back verified, shouldn’t the user be sent physical proof, from the original creditor. If no proof is furnished, only a results letter from the credit bureau. And an attempt to collect from a third party.
How is this legal and valid?
Hi David, thanks for your question. I think we may need more information from you in order to provide you with relevant information. Please give our inquiry centre a call at 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
I have students loans that went to collections. I received a letter stating I had 30 days from that letter to respond or further action such as wage garnishment would be recommended. I called the day I got the letter which was 9 days after the date on the letter. The collection agency refused to make payment arrangements with me. They said that the day I called was the same day they requested garnishment to take place so I had only one option to pay in full by getting a loan from someone else to pay them. Do I not have a legal right to 30 days as the letter stated?
Hi Kasey, with regards to your student loan, you may have to go back to Student Aid BC (if that’s originally where you got the loan from). Because it’s a government issued loan, we are unable to help you with this issue. The other option may be to talk to a lawyer to see what your rights are. The Canadian Bar Association has a lawyer referral service which gives you an opportunity for a consultation with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25 plus taxes. Here’s a link to that information. I hope you will be able to resolve this issue quickly, Kasey.
I thought that since it is with a collection agency now and that’s who sent me the letter and the ones I’m dealing with this is were I could get an answer in regards to the 30 days thanks for the advice though
Hi Kasey, it’s my understanding that because the debt is issued by the government, the best people to help you with the problem would be Student Aid BC. If you are unable to get anywhere with them, you can try giving us a call at our inquiry centre and we can get some more info from you and try our best to provide you with an appropriate referral. Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963. I hope this is helpful!
Hi, i have a debt from 2011 that I was unaware of until I inherited it in my divorce. It appears that my ex wrote checks and cashed them in our joint account in the amount of $3719 unbeknownst to me. Last year was the first time i was contacted about this as my ex decided to call the credit agency and provide them with my number. I am trying to strike a deal with them to settle as the total is over $8500 with interest but the collector will not allow me to make an offer lower the principle. He stated that the bank will not accept an offer lower than the principle. I have plead my case and he will not budge instead started to raise his voice at me. He, also, stated that the statute of limitations does not apply as my ex contacted the branch March 27, 2017…I don’t know if he meant the bank branch or a branch of they agency.
My ex pulled the wool over my eyes, I’m stuck with this and a daughter to raise with little support.
What are my options? Is he being truthful or lying so I pay the full amount?
Also, I failed to mention that I cannot ignore this debt because this is not the right thing to do and my ex requires written proof that the debt has been taken care of as per our divorce agreement.
Hi Jas, thank you for your questions. I can’t weigh in on the intentions of the debt collector, but I might suggest you contact our inquiry centre so we can get some more information from you for a clearer picture of what you are asking. I think I might be missing some information here. Our phone number is 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
Received a call from a debit collector about a unsecured credit card amount they stated was over 800.dollars credit limited was 500.hundred dollars payed in this account less than 400 owed this was over five years ago what is the statue of limitation on this debit. ? 2012 ..
Hi Barbara, thank you for your question. While Consumer Protection BC is responsible for regulating several industries and overseeing specific consumer protection laws in the province, we do not administer the Statute of Limitations Act as it falls outside of our regulatory authority. That being said, I did a bit of digging for you and I found a page about it on the Government of BC site. It looks like there are quite a few documents on this page that may be able to offer some clarity for you: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/about-bcs-justice-system/legislation-policy/legislation-updates/limitation-act. I hope this helps and best of luck finding the information you need!
our strata condo has an owner who refuses to pay their strata fees for 5 years ..Can a collection agency collect the debt?…there are two owners of the unit, one is a lawyer who just laughs at the other owners… many are seniors on fixed income. We have subsidized their living costs now for years! outstanding monthly fees and unpaid special levies now total over $30,000.00
Hi henry, thank you for posting your question here. Our law doesn’t speak to strata fees and whether you can send the debt to collection agencies or not. However, for strata disputes you may want to go through an assessment process with the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). The amount may be over the limit of what they can handle but at least they may be able to give you and your strata some direction as to where you can take the dispute. I hope they will be able to provide you with some more information and direction. Here’s the link to their website – https://civilresolutionbc.ca/
I moved to BC from Alberta in 2011. I have received robot calls from CBV collection services ltd. regarding a debt. Looking at my credit report it states that I owe $58. from TELUS which CBV nows wants $111. The credit reports states the claim starts in 2015. I cancelled a cell month to month contract in December 2010 in Alberta from Telus before I came to BC. But i have had no service from Telus in any capacity since living in BC for the past 8 years.How do I stop the robot calls and clear my credit report.
Hi Robert, thank you for contacting us. In your case, you may want to contact CBV Collection directly. If you know that you owe the debt (even if it’s from 8 years ago), you can arrange a payment with CBV Collection. Here’s their contact information. If you don’t believe that you owe the debt, you can dispute it by submitting this form to them and ask them to communicate with you in writing only. I hope this information helps!
If any bad or unpaid debt is more than 6 years old, BC law prohibits the creditor from reporting it on your credit report. And BC law also states that any creditor has a 2 year window to sue the debtor for bad or unpaid debts. After the 2 year window passes, they are SOL as the debt is now time-barred. They can still sell the debt to a collection agency to harass you, but they cannot sue you. And if you want to put a stop to those harassing calls then you send a letter to the collection agency and tell them to stop calling and communicate with you in writing only. Under BC Law, once they receive this letter they are prohibited from calling you anymore, regardless of whether or not you owe the original debt they are trying to collect on. If the collection agency continues to call you after you send the demand to communicate in writing only, then you report them to Consumer Protection BC. Just keep records and proof of every communication, etc
Trying to find out if DCA Debt Control Agency, Toronto, ON is licensed? Canada Post fired me and have sent me to collections – grievances have been filed by my Union and nothing has been finalized – the $$ in question have been claimed on my income tax return as income – do I contact DCA and tell them that the grievance procedure has not yet been completed? as well I would need a detailed report showing the amounts as well as an amended T4 slip – I worked and live in BC – Canada Post always cries “Federal” so not sure what rules apply to this
Hi Sandra, thanks for reaching out to us here. They are licensed. I’m not sure if this will work for you, but here is a link to the search I just performed on our website with the licence number. In the future, if you want to check a licence of one of our licensed businesses, you can do it here. For the other questions you have, I think we need a bit more information from you in order to point you in the right direction. Would you mind calling our inquiry centre? Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963. Thank you!
My old employer sent me a letter saying they overpaid my vacation time from eight years ago. They sent it a collection company. Doesn’t the statute of limitations mean they cannot force me to pay?
Hi Stu, thank you for your question. I think we may have responded to this question last week, but I am happy to share our response again.
In regard to your question about the Statute of Limitations, I might suggest you contact a lawyer for advice on how to proceed. There’s a lawyer referral service where you can speak to a lawyer for 30 minutes for about $25. Here is a link to that service. We do not oversee the Statute of Limitations Act, so we are not in a position to offer info on it or interpret the law. I think a lawyer might be the best person to help with this issue. Additionally, you may be able to read up on some of the laws with this page here. I hope this information is helpful and best of luck!
Do in house collectors have to follow the same rules and laws as 3rd party collectors ??
Hi Stanley, that’s a good question – thank you for inquiring! House collectors do not need to be licensed with us (whereas third-party collectors do) but they need to still follow the same law and rules for communication etc. Here’s a blog post that you might find useful – Getting calls from a debt collector?
I just checked my credit report to find a collections item from Collectcents Inc. from City of Vancouver. I just called them and apparently, it is a parking ticket from early 2014 that I have no knowledge of. I would have paid this.
When I contacted City of Vancouver they let me know that they’ve changed collection agencies recently because their old one could not find people. This is going to start coming up a lot.
They stated that there were a couple of letters sent to me but I truly have no recollection.
What is it within my rights to do? I could have paid this ticket for all I know, but the fact that over 4 years later it has now been sent to collections, and I still have not been contacted about it is absolutely absurd to me! I need this removed off my credit report, but have no idea what to do. COV is not willing to listen.
Hi Ashley, thank you for asking a question here. Sounds like you want to dispute this debt and if that is the case, please use one of the forms we have on our website. It is located under Consumer Help, debt collection. The process is explained on that page but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Could you offer a suggestion in regards to the handling of an unlicensed debt collector reporting a file to equifax. I pulled my report and it was clean. Only 1 month later, a collection account is on my report.
I never received correspondence of the debt owed from the collection agency or the creditor. I do not see them on the licensed list: they are C B Cameron and associates.
I’ve contacted them and my creditor and both just pass the buck around
Hi Jenna, thank you for contacting us with your question. I just did a quick search and seems that the company has a few debt collectors licensed with us. We would like to know more in detail about this, would you be able to give us a call? Our toll-free number is 1-888-564-9963 or you can contact us by email as well. Thank you, Jenna!
Sorry for the late response. This had slipped my mind for a bit. I will gladly call into your number. Look forward to talking to your team
Hi Jenna! We look forward to hearing from you! Thanks for your reply.
I left a voicemail on the 9th for Shoko.
If you could kindly email me at the provided email much appreciated. I will provide my phone number there 🙂
firstname.lastname@example.org (its a junk account. dont worry that made it visible temporarily.)
I left a voicemail on the 9th for Shoko.
Would you kindly contact me at the email provided: email@example.com (it’s a junk account. I don’t mind positing it temporarily)
Hi Jenna, I hope you were able to get the answers or information you were looking for. Thanks for the call.
Cdv collectors calls me 2-3 times a day. Is that even legal.
Hi Jason, thank you for reaching out to us here. Debt collectors are allowed to contact you about the debts you owe, but they must follow specific laws about how and when they contact you. It’s my understanding there is no limit on how many times they call you. For more information about what they are and are not allowed to do, I would suggest taking a look at this blog post we wrote: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/2014/10/getting-calls-from-a-debt-collector/. If you would like the calls to stop and would prefer to be communicated to in writing only, you are within your rights to request that. You can do this by using a form on our website. Once you send it to them the collection agency is not allowed to call you anymore. We have a blog post that provides a link to the Request Communication in Writing Only form on our website and also explains more details about the process if you’re interested in going through with it: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/2016/09/asking-a-debt-collector-to-only-communicate-with-you-in-writing-what-you-need-to-know/. I hope this is helpful and best of luck! Please let me know if you have any questions about the info I provided.
3 used to be the max allowable, don’t know if it has changed.
A contractor is trying collect money from us that we feel he is not entitled too. He is sending the amount to collections company. What happens if I ignore it and do not pay the debt that I do not think I owe to him?
Hi Terry, thanks for reaching out to us here. Ignoring debt that has gone to collections does not make it go away. If you would like to dispute the debt in question, you are within your rights to do so. If a collection agency is trying to collect a debt that you have already paid, or that don’t feel you owe, you have the right to dispute the debt. By disputing a debt, you’re telling the creditor and the debt collection agency that you don’t feel you owe the debt and that you wish for the matter to be taken to court for resolution.
To dispute the debt, you must notify both the collection agency and the initial creditor in writing, you can also use our online form to contact the collection agency. Send your written notification to both parties in a way that gives you proof of delivery, such as registered mail, fax, or email. Keep copies for your records. Give the collection agency three to five to process your request.
If the calls continue after a few business days, keep track of the incoming calls. You can do that by getting copies of your phone records, taking pictures of your call display or other methods. You can then contact us directly for the next steps. Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963.
To notify the creditor you must use our printable form available here: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Debt-in-dispute.pdf.
For more info on debt collection rights, check out this page on our website: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/debt-collection/#.
I hope this is helpful and best of luck!
Can Lenders/Collectors come to your home address and speak to you in person? I received a letter from them the other day because I was not home.
Hi Elyse, thank you for your question. Debt collectors are not allowed to come to your home address. Are you sure it was a debt collector? If it was a bailiff, and not a collector, they are allowed to come to your home. If it was indeed a collector, please give us a call. Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963. Thanks
I have looked everywhere on your website and can’t seem to find the length of time before a unsecured debt goes stale. I have a collection agency calling me about debts that are years old
Hi Morgan, thanks for reaching out to us here. I think you may be referring to the Statute of Limitations. We do not oversee this piece of law and therefor cannot speak to it. Here is a link for more information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/about-bcs-justice-system/legislation-policy/legislation-updates/limitation-act.
It’s my understanding that there are no organizations or regulatory bodies that oversee the Statute of Limitations, and it can only be enacted through the courts. You may be interested in talking to a lawyer about it. The Canadian Bar Association offers a service where you can speak to a lawyer on the phone for 30 minutes for about $25. Here is a link to that if you’re interested in going that route:https://www.cbabc.org/For-the-Public/Lawyer-Referral-Service. I hope this was helpful and best of luck!
I have a collection agency that is phoning me between 19-30 times a day and upwards to 150 times a week, including back to back phone calls 5 minutes in a row, is this considered harassment?
Hi Mathew, thank you for your question. In your case, the best course of action may be to request the collector to communicate with you in writing only. That’s certainly your right and to do this, you can go to this page and look under “I want the calls to stop”. It will give you either an online or printable form option. Please follow the steps to complete and send to the collection agency. If they still contact you after sending them the form, please feel free to contact us again.
Im being contacted today (8.30.2018) for the first time ever about an account where the last payment was in May 2008 and the account was closed in May 2009. Isnt this outside the statue of limitations to collect if I have never been contacted previously or acknowledged the debt?
Hi Kyle, we don’t administer the Limitation Act so you may have to consult a lawyer about this issue. The Canadian Bar Association has the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) which provides access to lawyers and provides the opportunity to have a consultation with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25 plus taxes. Also, I’m not sure if this would be helpful to you but the BC government has a video on the Limitation Act. Here’s a link to that video. I hope you will be able to solve this issue quickly!
I recently began receiving collection text messages about an old debt. At the same time, the person I used as a reference began receiving the same text messages disclosing what the debt was for and a number to quote.
I thought information like that cannot be disclosed to friends or family?
Hi Jason, thanks for your question. Debt collectors are not allowed to discuss the details of your debt with anyone but the debtor. Is the debt collection agency listed as one of our licensed businesses? You can confirm that on our website. Please give us a call at 1.888.564.9963 to provide more us with more information or fill out a complaint form on our website. I hope this is helpful and please let me know if you have any additional questions about the info I provided to you. Thanks!
Sept 12 2018
Currently unemployed. Had a debt collector call spoofing Holiday Inn Vancouver Phone Number.
Seems what came up on call history isn’t hidden when you ‘press 5’ (Telus) for time and date info while checking voicemail.
You will hear the ACTUAL phone number the call came from. It will differ from the ‘spoofed’ caller ID.
Anyhow, is this legal for a collection agency to spoof a VALID businesses phone number that has absolutely NOTHING to do with either party?
Hi David, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We looked into the regulation to see if it speaks to this issue but it doesn’t seem to specify which phone number they should be using to reach consumers. Having said that, what we may be able to help you with is the phone calls you are receiving. You can always request them to communicate with you in writing only – we have a form for that on our website. Printable and online forms are available on this page under “I want the calls to stop”. Please have a read and follow the instruction carefully. If you have any questions about the process, please let us know!
Hi, I have a debt that I believe was last paid in 2011. I have a collection company stating that because it wasn’t charged off until November 2012 it is still within the statue of limitations. My understanding was that the clock on debt starts ticking after the last payment. Is that true or is it whenever a credit company decides to “Charge it off.
Hi Rob, thanks for reaching out to us here with your question. We do not administer the Statute of Limitations Act, and to my understanding it is only overseen by the courts so we are not in a position to speak to it. I would suggest heading over to this page from the Government of BC with more info about the Act: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/about-bcs-justice-system/legislation-policy/legislation-updates/limitation-act. Additionally, you can speak to a reputable credit counselling society and they may be able to offer some additional insight into the Act. I hope this is helpful and best of luck!
I have received a letter from a Lawyer stating they are representing Contact Resources for an action against me and threatening to sell my property for a debt that is over 7yrs old. and only $2,300. I have zero income as can be verified with my Inc Tax Statement. Is there no time limitations? Thank you
Hi Sandy, thanks for reaching out to us here with your question. I think you may be referring to the Statute of Limitations. We do not administer the Statute of Limitations Act so we are not in a position to speak to it. My understanding it is not overseen by a regulating body, so your recourse would be through the courts. I would suggest heading over to this page from the Government of BC with more info about the Act: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/about-bcs-justice-system/legislation-policy/legislation-updates/limitation-act. Additionally, you can speak to a reputable credit counselling society and they may be able to offer some additional insight into the Act. Another option would be to speak to a lawyer. You can speak to a lawyer through the Canadian Bar Association for 30 minutes for about $25. Here’s a link to more info on that: https://www.cbabc.org/For-the-Public/Lawyer-Referral-Service. I hope this helps and best of luck, Sandy.
I have a 12 year old debt to the B of M. I have never once acknowledged this debt in writing. I recently applied for a credit card and this debt appeared on my credit bureau report as a brand new debt reported May 1st and verified Oct 1st of this year. I am willing to pay the approx principal of $1k, to expedite having this bad credit report removed, if need be. What would your suggestion be ?
Hi Peter, thanks for contacting us. Are you saying you’re disputing the debt? I’m a little unclear on what the issue is. If it helps, here is a link with what we can help you with when it comes to debt: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/debt-collection/. If you’re looking for assistance with how to pay down your debt, you may be interested in seeing a non-profit credit counselling company. Not sure if that’s what you’re after here. Looking forward to hearing back.
Hello, Im from B.C and have a 5 year old telus debt of 700 something dollars from 2013 that was sent to CBV collections. I had set up cable/internet/ phone at an address and ending up being incarcerated within 2 weeks and a roomie ran up the bill. Regardless its now with CBV collections for the amount of 1282.00 . I want to settle this debt but only if its going to be removed from Transunion and equifax where it is currently showing. How would you recommend proceeding .
Hi Tim, thanks for reaching out to us here. I believe I responded to your Facebook message, but I will re-post my response here in case anyone else has a similar question.
I might suggest leaving a paper trail and making sure you communicate with the business in writing – that way, you have record of everything that has been agreed to and said.
If you would like the calls from CBV to stop (so you can communicate in writing) you can use our “Communicate in Writing Only” form available here on our website: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Communication-in-writing-only.pdf
Send your written notification in a way that gives you proof of delivery, such as registered mail, fax, or email. Keep copies for your records. Give the collection agency three to five business days to process your request.
If the calls continue after a few business days, keep track of the incoming calls. You can do that by getting copies of your phone records, taking pictures of your call display or other methods. You can then contact us directly for the next steps.
So you’re aware: just because a debt has been paid, does not necessarily mean that it will be removed from your credit report. It will be changed to “paid” and your credit score will likely improve, however it won’t necessarily be removed entirely.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to give our inquiry centre a call at 1.888.564.9963. We’re open Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30.
I hope this is helpful and best of luck!
If I have disputed a debt in the proper way, and then after a period of time the statute of limitation period passes, can the collections agency ding my credit rating? (They did not previously report to any credit agency). Common sense tells me they can’t, but I can’t find this information anywhere.
Hi Jane, I would suggest you contact our office so we can get a bit more info from you. Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
Sorry if this is posted elsewhere on the website…but are collectors allowed to text you? Is it categorized as a phone call?
Hi Jen, thanks for your question. Debt collectors are allowed to contact you about the debts you owe. While our laws don’t speak specifically to texting, it would likely be considered communication in writing (so, not in the same category as a phone call). If you are receiving phone calls and would like the calls to stop, you have a right to request communication in writing only. We have a form you can use to do that, if you’re interested. Send your written notification in a way that gives you proof of delivery, such as registered mail, fax, or email. Keep copies for your records. Give the collection agency three to five business days to process your request. If the calls continue after a few business days, keep track of the incoming calls. You can do that by getting copies of your phone records, taking pictures of your call display or other methods. You can contact us for next steps :). For more information about debt collection in BC, you may want to check out this page of our website: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/debt-collection/#. I hope this is helpful and please let me know if anything is unclear. Thanks!
I am co owners of a condo with x wife and she had a line of credit and a visa that went default and she is out of country. Her bank lawyers are threatening to force the sale of our condo, the bank that gave financing for the mortgage said that this can’t happen as they own the condo not the x wife bank. So my question is can her debt layers force a sale on my condo that is my primary residence and I am expecting a baby in just over a month, not idea to be homeless with a newborn over some credit .and how to stop them if possible?
Hi Chris, thanks for reaching out to us here. I don’t think this is an area that we can help you with directly. While we do licence and regulate debt collectors in BC, we do not have oversight on condo sales or divorce settlements. We are also not in a position to provide legal advice. You may be interested in speaking to a lawyer for some professional advice in this situation. If you are interested, the Canadian Bar Association offers a service where you can speak to a lawyer for 30 minutes for approx $25. Here’s more information on that if you’re interested: https://www.cbabc.org/For-the-Public/Lawyer-Referral-Service. I hope this helps and best of luck!
how do i find out if a collection company in the US is licensed to practise in Canada
Hi Jackie, thanks for your question. Collection agencies are licensed provincially in Canada. If you would like to find out if they are licensed in BC, you can do a licensee search on our website. I hope this answers your question and best of luck!
I live in BC and am getting calls from a collector in Saskatchewan saying I owe them money.
I told him that is incorrect and asked him how he got my unlisted cell number.
He called others in that city (in saskatchewan) with my same last name and that is he how they got my number.
I have informed him on two occasions he has the wrong person. That I know there is another person in that city with my name.
I say this to you, as I have had issues with this individual in the past. So many years ago, I ensured my banking and any legal documents have my given birth name. I have always been registered with revenue Canada with my birth name. The day to day name i’m given is a shortened version of this.
Now, today he tells me he’s putting it on my credit bureau and all the banks across Canada. This collector does not even have my address, SIN number or anything other than my phone number that he received from a person living in that city.
How or can he add this to my credit / banking information??
I’m concerned as I’m not the person with the debt.
Yes all my banking is in my legal first name.
Thank you for your time
Hi Bonnie, thanks for your questions. If you’re getting calls about a debt that’s not yours, we have some tools available to help you on our website. To let them know that they have the wrong person, you must notify them in writing (printable form), or use our online form. Send your written notification in a way that gives you proof of delivery, such as registered mail, fax, or email. Keep copies for your records. Give the collection agency three to five days to process your request.
If the calls continue after a few business days, keep track of the incoming calls. You can do that by getting copies of your phone records, taking pictures of your call display or other methods. Contact us directly for the next steps at 1.888.564.9963. Please let me know if any of this was unclear! Best of luck.
I was under the impression that BC had followed in Alberta’s footsteps and actually made it illegal to attempt to collect on a Statute Barred account?
Is this the case or was there more to the 2013 changes in the Debt Collection Act? Also confirming that BC is now only 2 years and Statute Barred?
Hi Pav, thank you for asking your question here. What you’re asking is related to BC’s Limitation Act and because we do not oversee this law, we would not be able to give you information about it. Having said that, I found this page on the government’s website and you may find what you are looking for. Also here is the direct link to the act.
A collection agency took me to small claims court. The judge told the agency that she would not allow the payment hearing to proceed as they would need to have a in person representative and rescheduled the hearing. The day came for the new payment hearing I showed up in court and they did not have anyone in person there for them. So the judge said that since the didn’t show it was stricken from the list. I have the paper as well showing this from the court. I then have recently recieved a letter from the agency saying they had a court order against me and if I don’t pay they will take further action such as wage garnishment. This is a lie they don’t have a judgement. So what are my rights and how do I protect myself?
Hi Kasey, thanks for reaching out to us here. While I’m not sure if our laws would apply in this situation (after a court ruling), you may be interested in contacting our inquiry centre so we can get bit more info from you about what happened. Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
So, I had a “legal firm” from Ontario try and take me to court for a debt I owe to AMEX. I filed a response claiming statute of limitations was past and that the original debtor was aware of extenuating circumstances causing failure to pay. That was 2 yrs ago and I havent heard a thing from anyone since. The debt is from 2013.
I just received an email, to an addy I only use for frivolous sign ups, etc. And it contained a password protected attachment from this same legal firm. It was offering me a huge discount if I paid the debt. I don’t know how they would’ve gotten this email address, as I did not use it to file a response.
However, my question is, can they even bother me for this debt, other than in writing, even after trying to get a court order to collect it? Obviously they weren’t giving an award of the court to do so, or I would’ve known about it from filing the response? Is there any actions I can further take to ensure they are actually following the laws of BC?
The firm’s name is
Kronis, Rotsztain, Margles, Cappel LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
And they want me to communicate with a resolution officer from their office. I’m in no position to be paying anything, and my situation has not changed. In the letter they sent, it stated their offer for about 1/3 of what they claim the debt to be would be expiring. And it sounded too much like the usual desperate plea from 3rd party collections to be true.
Any clarification would be great. I’m pretty sure this debt isn’t even on my credit report ANY more.
Hi Cherelle, thank you for contacting us. Your questions are related to the Limitation Act (here’s the link for more info) and unfortunately, we do not oversee this act. Having said that, it’s our understanding that the act only controls the reporting of the debt so collection agencies may be able to still contact you regardless of the status of the debt. In any case, we will not be able to provide you with any legal advice so you may want to contact a lawyer. The Canadian Bar Association of BC has a service called Lawyer Referral Service and you can have a consultation with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25 plus taxes. Here’s the link to their website for more info. I hope you will be able to resolve this quickly.
I have reviewed my credit report and an old debt has reopened with absolutely no communication.
Hi Anon, thanks for contacting us here. I’m not sure how old the debt is and whether you’ve paid it or not, but you have a few options. If you’ve paid it and you no longer owe any money, you can dispute it and we have a form for that on our website here. If you didn’t pay the debt but you believe it’s too old to be on the report, you can check out Clicklaw’s articles on this topic. Consumer Protection BC does not oversee this area of debt but the Clicklaw’s articles are helpful. Here are the links – Collecting a Debt and Limitations. I hope the information I provided is helpful to you!
Can collectors for ICBC recover money from a person that is on disability and is an unlicensed driver and prohibited
Hi Angie, thanks for reaching out to us here. Debt collectors are allowed to contact you to try to recover the debts that you owe. If you don’t think you owe the debt or if you think that you’ve already paid it, you can dispute the debt in question and have the matter be taken to court for resolution. If you’re interested in doing this, we have some steps available on our website here (along with a form to use): https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/debt-collection/#I%20want%20to%20dispute%20the%20debt. Another option for you, if you do believe that you owe the debt but you’re not sure how you will pay it because you’re on disability, you can try contacting a credit counselor. There are organizations out there that are not-for-profit and they can help you manage your debts and pay them off. I would suggest googling “non-profit credit counselling in BC” in order to find one. I hope this helps!
Hi, I am from BC and owe money to several credit card companies/banks. I have few questions hoping that you would able to help me with. I am self employed and a single dad with custodyof my 12yr old son.I also make under the poverty level. Can the collection agencies take my son’s monthly Canada Child Benefits(CCB) or his RESP?
Because I’m self employed where and how would they attempt to collect the debt?
I own 2 vehicles.One valued at 1K and the other is about 6k but only one vehicle is insured. Are they allowed to confiscate without my permission if so,do they need to give me a warning before hand ?Can the collection agency take your inheritance or a portion in the future if statute of limitations of 6 or 7 yrs has passed. Can one go to jail for not paying their credit card debts or not attending court if called upon?
Hi Hank, thank you for reaching out to us here. Your questions are outside of the laws we oversee and we would not be able to provide information. Having said that, I have names of two organizations you may want to contact. One is Access Pro Bono and you can go through the online assessment to see if you qualify for free legal help. The link to their website is here. The other one would be Povnet.org and you may be able to find advocacy groups in your area related to debt. Their website is here. I hope you will be able to get the help you need through these places.
Thanks Shoko.I’ll have a look at the sites.
How many times per day or per week is a creditor allowed to contact you? Is the legislation even clear on that?
Hi Brian, thanks for your question. There are certain times that debt collectors are allowed to call you. For example, they can only call between 1 and 5 p.m. on a Sunday. They can’t call before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. (on weekdays and Saturdays) and they can’t call at any time on a statutory holiday. However, they are allowed to contact you about the debts you owe. There is nothing in the laws we oversee that sets out a specific number of times that a debt collector can call a borrower about they debts they owe. However, if you would prefer to have communication in writing only, you are within your rights to request that. Once you send a debt collector a “Communication in Writing Only” form, they are not allowed to call you and can only communicate with you in writing. We have step by step information on our website on how to do that here under “I want the calls to stop”: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/debt-collection/#. Please let me know if any of this is unclear and I’d be happy to elaborate. Alternatively, you can call our inquiry centre at 1.888.564.9963 for more info. I hope this is helpful to you!
I am on long term disability paid by an insurance company. The benefits I recieve are non-taxed, meaning no taxes/CPP/EI are taken from them. They are insurance payments. I have to pay taxes at the end of the year.
My question is: Can these payments be garnished in British Columbia? Or are they exempt? Thank you.
Hi Sandra, thank you for posting your question. This is certainly outside of our mandate but I wonder if you contacted the Canada Revenue Agency, they may be able to help you with further information. Here is their webpage with all contact information, I hope they will be able to provide you with an answer or point you in the right direction.
I had a debt with Canadian Tire 20 years ago. I went to a consolidation company about 10 then I never finished unfortunately. But no contact Resource Services is contacting me. What can I do about this
Hi Lisa, thanks for reaching out to us here. What is it you’re looking for help with? Are you looking for help paying off your debts? If so, you may be interested in trying to get in touch with a non-profit credit counselling organization. They can help you organize your debts and start paying them off. If that’s not what you’re looking for help with, please let me know how our organization can be of assistance to you. Thanks!
Recently checked my credit score to learn that one of the Canadian bureaus has recently (June 2019) had an account posted, from a collection company, for a debt that started being delinquent in fall 2010. A period of time that went sideways, thrusting financial hardship into my life.
Looking back at what little paperwork I still have, how can this be posted to my credit file this far down the road, 9 years after the creditor would have transitioned the unsecured debt into being a delinquent account?
From what I’ve researched they can’t. So how do I correct this and get such an old file removed from my credit file?
Hi Frank, thanks for reaching out to us here. Our office has no legal authority when it comes to the statute of limitations (if that’s what you’re referring to) so we can’t advise on it. If you’re unsure about the validity of the debt, you have the right to dispute it. By disputing a debt, you’re telling the creditor and the debt collection agency that you don’t feel you owe the debt and that you wish for the matter to be taken to court for resolution. To do this, follow the steps outlined on our website here under “I want to dispute the debt”: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/debt-collection/#. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks
I am dealing with phone calls from Total Credit Recovery Ltd., licensed in Richmond and Toronto. They refuse to communicate details of a file they have from Amex to me by email. I have asked them in an e-mail they gave me to provide the date and nature of the charge and even the account number as this was a card I used for maybe two billing periods and consequently cancelled in 2005 or 2006. I had been solicited by Amex to apply for the card and put a small credit limit on it which was exceeded and I disputed the penalty they wanted me to pay. There was never any balance carried. As the amount TCR is looking for is $164.72 I am at a loss as to what this might be after 13 or 14 years. It was a card I used for my business and I also had a merchant account with them at the time. I operated that business at the same location until 2009 when I sold the assets and set up another retail paint and decorating outlet under the same corporation. Never heard a peep from American Express. Of course now all the records from the business are destroyed and the corporation is dissolved.
I have been told it is against TCR company rules to send this information by e-mail and they insist on a mailing address. They have conveyed that TRC received (purchased?) the file on September 16 and a payment of 2050.56 was made on May 14, 2019. I certainly did not make any such payment. The first I knew of this was on or about September 18 by a phone call from Mr. Benjamin at TRC. I assumed it was a phishing call.
I have concerns about giving this company any other information. The last call was when I learned about the March 2019 “payment”, that a profile she had on me showed other debts, and a vague threat regarding my credit rating.
Can they refuse to communicate with me electronically? The whole thing feels kind of hinky. There have been suggestions by TCR associates to just pay and they will go away. I am more miffed with Amex but if TRC can give me legitimate details I will deal with them and then make my complaints to Amex directly. Just need information. Thanks for any direction on this.
Hi Kim, thanks for reaching out to us here. I think we need a bit more info from you in order to point you in the right direction. Do you mind giving our inquiry centre a call to explain the situation? Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
I received a call from ARO Inc collections saying i owed roughly $2800 in student loans. This was about a month ago. Then last week I received a bill from the Government of Canada saying i owed about $5000 in student loans. Why is it that ARO is saying I owe them this money if the government of canada is asking for money also? Is ARO legitimate? Why do I owe money to two places?
Hi Amanda, thanks for reaching out to us here. Our organization does not have access to the details of any debt you may be owing. What I might suggest you do (if you’re concerned about the legitimacy of ARO) is do a licensee search on our website to see if they hold a licence with us: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/explore-our-enforcement-actions/. If you determine that they are legitimate, you can then go on to request the details of that debt from ARO OR you can connect with the Government of Canada to find out what/how much is owed to who. ARO should be able to provide you with information about who the original creditor is and the details you need to confirm where the debt originated. If you have any other questions regarding your debt and your rights as a consumer, I would consider checking out this page here on our website: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/debt-collection/. There are a bunch of resources there and forms to help you request various things (such as communication in writing only, requesting details of your debt, or disputing the debt in question). Once you review that page, please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks!
Is an employer required by law to complete an Employment Verification request by a Collection Service?
Hi Kristee, thanks for reaching out to us here. I’m not sure. Our laws do not address what employers are required to do. Our laws address the behaviour of debt collectors and consumer’s rights in certain situations. I’m not sure what laws would address this. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. Best of luck
I’ve very recently found out that I owe a substantial amount of money for a 2016 account with a cell provider.
They’ve passed it along to a collection agency in 2017 which have told me that their annual interest rate is 26%, so it’s been growing substantially.
Where does Bill-34 come into play in regards to this, as it’s 2020 now?
i’ve already told the collection agency to take me too court as i will not make any payments to this.
Hi Alex, thanks for reaching out. We’re not familiar with Bill-34 but are you asking about the Limitation Act? If so, we actually do not oversee that law so we are unable to provide you any information. Having said that, this page on the BC government site provides lots of information as well as some other resources. The other resource I can offer is Access Pro Bono, which may be able to provide you with some legal help. Their website is here. I hope this information is helpful!
Yes i was asking about that.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
Last question if you can help out on it.
Is a 26.82% annual interest rate on a collections account legal in Canada?
Hi Alex, thanks for reaching out to us here. I think we need more information in order to point you in the right direction. Do you want to give our inquiry team a call? Our number here is 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
I owe a debt to an American timeshare ‘Worldmark’ who have sent it to Pinnacle Recovery collection agency in Carlsbad, California. Pinnacle Recovery is not a registered debt collection agency in British Columbia, Canada. I can now pay my debt and the late fees from Worldmark but I cannot pay the 32% interest on top that Pinnacle Recovery wants to charge. Worldmark will not accept any money from me and is insisting that I can only pay Pinnacle.
In that Pinnacle Recovery is not registered in BC,and thus has no trust account here either. Worldmark says Pinnacle not have to be registered because they are a USA company as well. Can you help me in any way? I see that they should only be able to charge 10%. What are my options? I live in BC., Canada.
Hi Mary, please give us a call at 1.888.564.9963 so we can help you further with this inquiry.
A 60YO friend is on income assistance DISABILITY assistance from the Ministry of social development. He has a credit card debt that he can not pay. He has contacted the bank and informed them of his situation. He has no assets, no savings, no one to help him, no job, no phone – as he is on disability. Bank has sent his debt to collections. Collections is now contacting him and is harassing his landlord for a phone number.
I have filled out a request for communication in writing only from a debt collector. How does he stop the harassment to property manager? property manager told him that if the harassment doesn’t stop he will have to move…..homeless and on the street.
Any advice as to what he should do? File for
Bankruptcy? Call in for legal advice?
Thank you for your time.
Hello and thank you for contacting Consumer Protection BC. I’m not sure how many days ago you requested the collection agency to communicate with him in writing only but if they haven’t stopped calling the landlord after a few business days, please call us or file a formal complaint. We would be happy to provide support to you and your friend.
I have a loan with diamond financial (BC LOANS) and they are saying my debt will go to their lawyers and I’m going to have to pay for legal fees, so they can get the 600$ That is owed them. Can you give me more information on them?
Hello and thank you for reaching out to us. With your situation, we would like to get more details so we can better assist you. Can you please submit a formal complaint form? You can do so through this link. Once submitted, someone from our organization will get in touch with you. Thank you.
I have a large plumbing company after me for $298 for work they never completed. They are now calling it a “call out” – it’s basically a fee for the the quote I declined as I found another plumber that could do it for 1/5 of the cost.
They are threatening to “send it to collections”.
Is there a minimum amount a collection agency will bother with? I am concerned about my credit rating taking a hit. But I’d also like to just ignore the whole thing because these guys are way out of line.
Hi Neil, thank you for asking a question here. If the bill has not been sent to the collections yet, you may want to reach a resolution with the plumbing company directly. If you ignore them and the debt goes to a collection agency, you will start getting phone calls, and becomes way harder to resolve it unless you pay the amount. At this point, disputing your debt means you will be taking the matter to court for resolution. It will also likely affect your credit rating as well. For this reason, it would be more efficient to work with the plumbing company to reach a resolution now. If you would like more information about debt collection practices in BC, you can visit this page on our website.
A rental company signed a lease with an 18 year old minor. The minor paid the damage deposit and first month’s rent and found out after moving in they were not able to receive any utilities as a minor. They moved the next day and advised the rental company of the situation. The rental company is saying they owe them for another month rent and has kept the damage deposit and first month’s rent. They are threatening to send the minor’s debt to collections.
Can collections go after a minor who is 18 years old in BC?
Hi Tracey, thank you for reaching out to us. As far as we know, the law in BC doesn’t specify minor vs adult in the definition of the debtor. A quick look at the Infants Act doesn’t mention anything either but please note that we do not oversee the Infants Act so we are not familiar with it. You may have already done this but you can also contact the Residential Tenancy Branch for more information or utilize their dispute resolution platform online if you choose to use it. I hope this gives you some more ideas.
I recently applied for a student loan but was denied because the bank portion of the loan was from a bank and I ended up being delinquent, that was back in 2000. Can the bank make me pay that now?
Hi Lisa, thank you for contacting Consumer Protection BC. While we license and regulate debt collection agencies and collectors in BC, we do not oversee all debt-related laws. Your concern with the bank may be covered by what’s called the Limitation Act. No governmental organizations oversee this piece of law but I have a couple of resources for you to check out. Clicklaw, operated by Courthouse Libraries BC has a page on this, and the Government of BC also has an extensive resources page on their website. I hope they would be helpful to you!
I have a lawyer who is threatening me with using contract law to collect a 6 year old credit card debt. Also threatening to have all my current cards canceled. Telling me I will be served and have to deal with it in court. Is this possible or are they trying to scare me?
Hey Jim, thanks for your question. The laws we oversee only apply to the rules for debt collection – we can’t advise you on the statute of limitations or whether you owe a particular debt. If you want legal advice or information on the statute of limitations, I suggest you speak with a lawyer. Access Pro bono can provide a range of legal services at different costs. I hope this helps.