Debt Collection: Knowing Your Rights

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(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.)

Consumer Protection BC is responsible for enforcing debt collection laws in BC. This includes debt collectors who are either located in British Columbia, or contacting BC residents about debts.

If you are being contacted by a debt collector, here are some tips to help you understand what is and what isn’t permitted under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

Collection agencies can:

  • call you at work to request your home address, phone number and email address (if they don't have it);
  • make one attempt to contact you at work to collect a debt (but only if they have your home contact information and have been unable to make contact);
  • contact a debtors employer to confirm their employment, business title and business address, only if they have notified the debtor of legal proceedings;
  • contact the debtor’s family, friends, neighbour or acquiantance to obtain their home address, phone number or email address;
  • call between the hours of 7 am and 9 pm, Monday to Saturday, at the debtor's local time;
  • call on a Sunday between the hours of 1 pm and 5 pm at the debtors local time; and
  • take legal action against a debtor.

Collection agencies cannot:

  • call on a statutory holiday;
  • continue to contact you if the debt has been properly disputed;
  • collect or try to collect without  holding a valid debt collection agent license;
  • contact you in a way that costs you money;
  • continue telephone contact if the debtor has properly requested communication in writing;
  • give the debtor a document that is made to look like an official court document when it isn't;
  • initiate legal proceedings without notifying the debtor that they intend to bring the proceedings;
  • initiate contact with a debtor, without first disclosing the name of the creditor and the amount of the debt.  

To learn more on how to resolve issues with a debt collection agency click here.
For more useful information surrounding your rights check out our blog post. 

 For more information please contact us.