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Monday, March 19, 2018
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Canada Consumer Debt Collection
Similar to the United States Consumer debt collection in Canada is heavily regulated at a provincial level, like the state level in the US. However, in Canada there is a federal Privacy Act with teeth, that effects consumer debt recovery regulations, Credit Reporting regulations and the different court systems.

A prime example of this effect is encountered when doing credit investigations in Canada. In Canada you CANNOT pull a person's credit bureau unless you have authorization in writing to do so. Violation of this regulation can bring severe repercussions. The use and access of Credit information in Canada is far stricter than the US and heavily enforced. Most credit applications in Canada contain a waiver allowing the creditor to access the debtor's credit files.

Another mine field is the different provincial Statutes of Limitation in Canada. For example: In the provinces of Ontario and Alberta there is a 2 year limitation on suing to recover debt. This means that if the last payment on a debt or receivable is over 2 years old, and the debtor resides in these provinces, you can report the debt against their credit file but you CANNOT sue them.

Make sure you have someone collect your money that is licensed to collect in that province. Each province requires companies that collect debt to have a license. No exceptions. Collection agents are required to carry a bond and insurance, and adhere to all applicable provincial laws. Also, in Canada provincial regulations are heavily enforced by Government regulatory bodies.

Unfortunately, when US collection agencies collect in Canada without being licensed, they expose their clients to potential liability. That potential liability could be to a large Government Agency with floors of lawyers.

Obviously the complexities of collecting receivables or debt in each provincial jurisdiction could easily fill several novels. If you have any questions or considerations, don't be afraid to ask. Simply click on the $ and choose your contact option 
Did you know?
  • In Manitoba BEFORE communicating with Manitoba residents a collection agency must hold a valid collection agency license issued under the Manitoba Consumer Protection Act.

  • In British Columbia a collection agency is only permitted to contact a BC. Resident at his workplace:
    a) For the sole purpose of requesting the debtor's home address or home telephone number or both, if the collector does not already have this information
    b) On one occasion if the collector has been unsuccessful contacting the debtor at his residence or
    c) The debtor has consented to the collector communicating with him at his workplace

  • In Nunavut a collection agency attempting to collect a debt must hold a collection agency license under the Nunavut Consumer Protection Act

Did you know?
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