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Selecting A Collection Agency In Canada Selecting A Collection Agency In Canada
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Selecting a Collection Agency in Canada
If your company carries Canadian trade receivables, it's inevitable you will require the debt collection services of a licensed Canadian collection agency. When that day comes being aware of the correct procedures to collect debt in Canada from Canadian business and consumers will give you the best chance for success without running into a myriad of legal problems.

Many US collection agencies claim they can collect in Canada. In reality, very few can do it legally.

The Canadian version of the FDCPA includes commercial as well as consumer debt and is enforced at the provincial level.

Collection agencies engaged in Canadian debt recovery must meet the following criteria:
  1. Hold a valid provincial agency license
  2. Maintain yearly audited financial statements
  3. Post minimum bond requirements by province

This criteria is common amongst all Canadian provincial legislation, however there are many other requirements per province that are not mentioned.

If your company is serious about developing and maintaining long term business transactions in Canada, it is strongly recommended that you engage the services of a professional debt collection agency that is legally entitled to work in Canada. Ask your agency for copies of their provincial licenses and bonds. It may make good business sense to retain a Canadian collection agency directly to avoid the potentially higher commissions charged by US agencies for international accounts.

Due diligence should be exercised when choosing a Canadian collection agency.

Here is a simple 8 point checklist that an agency collecting in Canada should have as a minimum:
  1. Are they licensed in the jurisdiction where your customer operates?
  2. Do they belong to a professional industry association such as the International Association of Commercial Collectors (IACC) or ACA International (ACA)?
  3. Does the agency maintain Errors and Omissions insurance?
  4. Is the agency capable of reporting to all credit reporting agencies in Canada?
  5. Does the agency maintain a US dollar client trust account to avoid currency exchange problems?
  6. Can the agency provide secure web access to your accounts to assist you with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance?
  7. Does the agency provide a North American toll free telephone number?
  8. Do agency personnel speak fluent English?

If you have any questions or need more information, don't be afraid to ask. Simply click on the $ and choose your contact option. 
Did you know?
  • In Alberta It is illegal for a collection agency to carry on business using any name other than the name under which it holds a collection agency license. A collector employed by a collection agency who claims to be calling from somewhere other than a collection agency is breaking the law. This includes a collector calling under the guise of a law firm, a creditor, or some government agency.

  • In the Yukon Despite any agreement between a creditor and a debtor, the debtor is not responsible for any expenses incurred by the collection agency or the creditor employing the collection agency.

  • In Saskatchewan a collection agency shall not commence or continue a lawsuit for the recovery of a debt in the name of a collection agent as plaintiff unless the collection agency has purchased the debt for valuable consideration and the debtor has received notice of the sale of his account.

  • In Canada, criminal law is a matter of federal law under the federal Criminal Code, whereas in the United States, criminal laws are largely a matter of state law, except for matters falling under federal jurisdiction.

  • In Ontario under the Ontario Collection Agencies Act only Canadian residents may be licensed as a collector.

Did you know?
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