FAQs

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Q. When can collection agencies contact me?
Q. How do I get collection agency to stop calling me about my debt and contact me by mail instead?
Q. I am getting calls about somebody else’s debt, how do I get these calls to stop?
Q. I am disputing the debt that I am being contacted for, how do I dispute the debt properly?
Q. Can a collector contact my friends and family?
Q Can a collector contact my place of employment?
Q. If I am contacted about a family member's location, am I obligated to provide that information?
Q. Is there a time limit on collection?
Q. How do you know if you have an outstanding debt?
Q. Can you pay the creditor instead of the collection agency?
Q. How do I find out details of a debt I owe to a collection agency? 

(Please note that changes were made to the debt collection and repayment regulation, effective April 2016. All of the information below applies to April 1, 2016 and beyond.)

When can collection agencies contact me?
A collection agent can contact you between 7am and 9pm Monday to Saturday and between 1pm and 5pm Sundays. These times are based on your local time, not where the collector is located. Collection agents are not allowed to contact you on statutory holidays.

How do I get collection agency to stop calling me about my debt and contact me by mail instead?
You can request that a collection agency contact you in writing only. For more information visit our forms page and access our Request for communication in writing only form.

I am getting calls about somebody else’s debt, how do I get these calls to stop?

If you are being contacted about somebody else’s debt, you can stop the calls by notifying the collection agency in writing that you are not the owner of the debt. For more information visit our forms page and access our form.

I am being contacted about a debt I do not feel that I owe, how do I inform the collection agency that that I don’t think I am responsible?
If you are being contacted by a collection agency for a debt that you do not feel you owe you can dispute the debt. You must inform both the original creditor and collection agency that you are disputing the debt.  For more information visit our forms page and access our Dispute a debt form.

Can a collector contact my friends and family?
The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act states that collectors can contact members of a debtor's family or household, a relative, neighbour, friend or acquaintance of the debtor, for the purposes of obtaining the debtor's home address or telephone number or if you have authorized the collector to discuss the debt with the party being contacted.

Can a collector contact my place of employment?
Collectors can contact your place of employment for the purposes of confirming your employment, business title and business address or for other purposes you have authorized in writing.  

If I am contacted about a family member's location, am I obligated to provide that information?
The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act is silent with regard to this question. It  comes down to what you are personally comfortable disclosing.

Is there a time limit on collections?
This is something that falls under a piece of legislation called the Limitation Act and is not a piece of legislation administered by Consumer Protection BC. It is suggested that you seek legal advice for clarification on whether or not a debt collector is allowed to pursue your debt  

How do I know if I have an outstanding debt?
A collection agency is not required by law to contact a debtor immediately when they have been hired to collect a debt. Most people know when they owe money and who they owe it to although learning about a legitimate debt sometime after it has occurred can come as a surprise. This is why it is important to check your credit report from time to time. You may owe an outstanding debt that you were not aware of or forgot about that has now gone to collections.

Can I pay the creditor instead of the collection agency?
When a creditor hires a collection agency to collect a debt on their behalf it is often because they do not want to spend the time or effort trying to collect the debt themselves. In some instances a debt has been sold to the collection agency and therefore the agency should be paid.

How can I find out the details of a debt I owe to a collection agency? 
Prior to attempting to collect a debt, a collector must make a resonable effort to notify the debtor of the following: the name of the creditor where the debt was initally incurred and whom the debt is currenlty owing to. The collector must also let you know the amount of the debt, including a breakdown of the current amount. If the collectors don't have your mailing address or email address, they are allowed to contact you by telephone to request them. Once they complete the process,  they must send you written notification of the debt.