If you find yourself being contacted by a debt collector, it might be a good idea to brush up on your rights in the province. Here are some of the rules debt collectors must follow in BC.

The rules debt collectors must follow in BC

  • Debt collectors are only allowed to contact you about the debts you owe once the debt is due and payable, not before.
  • Debt collectors must send you the details of your debt, including information about the amount owing and who owns the debt.
  • They must send the details about your debt before they start calling you. There are two exceptions to this rule:
      1. They can make a reasonable effort to call you before sending you the details about your debt only to confirm your correct contact information.
      2. If they have bought the debt from the creditor, they become the creditor and aren’t required to send you the details of your debt first (which means that they can begin calling you right away).
  • Debt collectors must stop calling you if:
      1. You notify them that you want to be communicated with in writing only (or through your lawyer).
      2. You notify them that you would like to dispute the debt and have it taken to court for resolution.
      3. You notify them that they have the wrong person.

Other rules debt collectors must follow

  • They can only call between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on a Sunday (your local time)
  • They must not call you before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays (your local time)
  • They must not call you, a family member, or a friend at any time on a statutory holiday
  • They must not discuss the details of your debt with another person without your permission. However, they can contact a family member, friend or acquaintance to confirm your contact information
  • They must not contact you in a way that will cost you money
  • They must not publish or threaten to publish details of the debt except to a credit reporting agency
  • They must not use threatening, profane, or intimidating language
  • They must not put excessive pressure on you
  • They must not threaten to sue you unless they are actually taking legal action
  • They can’t try to collect any amount that is more than what you owe. They can’t apply their own interest rates or fees, but interest can be charged at the rate in your initial credit agreement

There’s a lot to know about this topic. Learn more about BC’s debt collection laws.

Getting calls from a debt collector?

We know dealing with debt can be stressful, especially if you’re getting collection calls. In BC, you have rights when it comes to debt collection. Not everyone’s experience with debt is the same but the rules apply to all of us. Learn your rights in BC and access tools and resources to help you on your debt journey.

Learn more

How to get the calls to stop
What to do if it’s not your debt
The rules debt collectors must follow in BC
The impact of debt on your credit report
4 ways to manage debt
Debt relief: Credit counsellors vs debt repayment agents
8 tips for choosing a debt relief service
3 simple steps to create a budget
How to save for a rainy day
How to prepare for changing interest rates

About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for licensing debt collectors and regulating certain aspects of the debt collection industry in BC. The law speaks to when a collector can contact you and how they can communicate with you. We can’t help with every debt-related issue and we’re not financial advisors. Find out more about us and the other industries and transactions we oversee by exploring our website.