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.
- This can be a written letter or an email. If you didn’t get this information, you have the right to ask for the details.
- They must send the details about your debt before they start calling you. There are two exceptions to this rule:
- They can make a reasonable effort to call you before sending you the details about your debt only to confirm your correct contact information.
- If they have bought the debt from the creditor, they then 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:
- You notify them that you want to be communicated with in writing only (or through your lawyer).
- You notify them that you would like to dispute the debt and have it taken to court for resolution.
- 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 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 lots 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.
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.
6 thoughts on “The rules debt collectors must follow in BC”
Debt collector took out ALL of our money from a joint account between my husband and myself for an old cc that is ONLY on my name. Is this legal?
Hi Chantelle, thanks for your question. We would need more information from you to provide an answer on that. Can you please submit a complaint with the details about the situation via our complaint form here: Start a complaint. Thank you
Debt sold. No one has the original paper work. Not the original company. Nor the debtor. It has been 9 years. Or more, I can’t remember either. They have said they will put it in my credit buerow. I don’t want to respond to them because every time I do they say the time starts over. I believe it has been sold to a few different companies over the years. I just want them to leave me alone. I am on disability and they wouldn’t take a payment plan.
Hi Elizabeth, 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. If you wish to dispute the debt you can find a form to submit to the company on our website. I hope this helps.
Car Finance companies now have a new tool in addition to hounding everyone you know. They are posting publicly on my Facebook page due to missed payments. They refuse to deal in writing and when asked for a payment history (of 3 years payments which some where more than what was due but they want money for that service as well) They charge over 100. for NSF fees. They berate and insult you on the phone and threaten to further humiliate you online if you don’t do what they want. As they are based in Toronto, they claim BC Laws do not apply although loan is in BC.
Hey James, thanks for bringing this to our attention. BC debt collection laws apply to any business attempting to collect a debt from a BC consumer. Please submit a complaint to us so we can gather more information from you. Thanks.