Are you getting calls from a debt collector? Under BC law, if you have already paid the debt or don’t believe you owe it, you have the right to dispute the debt. Here’s what you need to know.

Your debt collection rights in BC

If a collection agency is trying to collect a debt that you have already paid, or you 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 believe you owe the debt and that you would like the issue taken to court for resolution.

How to dispute a debt

To dispute the debt, you must notify both the collection agency and the initial creditor in writing. We have forms linked below that you must use. Send your written notification to both parties in a way that gives you proof of delivery (mail, fax, or email). Keep copies for your records and give the collection agency three to five business days to process your request.

  • Notify your collection agency and creditor that you are disputing the debt
    • Printable form (for debt collection agencies and creditors)
    • Online form (only for notifying debt collection agencies – you must have their email)

What if the debt collector keeps calling you?

Once you dispute a debt, the debt collector must stop communicating with you. 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.

Once you’ve done that, please submit a complaint to us directly so we can assess the situation.

Where to go for more information

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. The law speaks to when a collector can contact you and how they can communicate with you. Learn more about your rights for debt collection in BC.

Financial advice isn’t something we can help you with directly but there are other options to consider. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has tons of information about how to manage your debt and the different resources available.

You may also be interested in speaking to your financial institution or a financial advisor to see if they can offer you personalized advice on your financial situation.

About Consumer Protection BC

We’re a not-for-profit provincial regulator. We are responsible for licensing debt collectors and regulating certain aspects of the debt collection industry in BC. The laws we oversee capture your rights when it comes to credit reportingdebt collectionpayday loanshigh-cost loans, and certain aspects of debt repayment services. Find out more about us and the other industries and transactions we oversee by exploring our website.

Learn more about your rights when it comes to debt and borrowing.

Debt and borrowing in BC

More debt and borrowing resources

Managing debt
How to make a plan to manage your debt
Comparing different debt relief options
The impact of debt on your credit report
How to improve your credit score
How to build healthy financial habits

Debt collection
How to stop collection calls
What to do if it’s not your debt
The rules debt collectors must follow in BC
How to dispute a debt

Borrowing wisely
Things to think about before you take out a loan
Understanding the cost of your loan
The rules for payday lenders in BC
The risks of borrowing money from unlicensed lenders
Buy now, pay later plans: what you need to know

Tell us what you think for a chance to win!

The information above is part of a consumer education initiative on debt and borrowing in BC and we want your input!

By completing the survey, you will be entered to win one of two $300 prizes and you’ll support consumer education in the province. Your feedback will help us fine-tune our educational resources so we can continually improve and help more people make informed debt choices in BC.

Take the survey by visiting this page or by clicking on the image below.
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