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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 collector can make more than three unsolicited telephone contacts with a debtor on behalf of the same creditor in a 7 day period. A telephone contact is defined as a telephone call from a collector, an automated telephone call, or a voice mail message.

  • Is your Agency licensed in British Columbia? Click Here

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

  • In the Northwest Territories a collection agency is permitted to contact a debtor's employer once a year to confirm the debtor's employment, title, and business address.

  • In British Columbia when a debtor has notified a collector and the creditor that the debt is in dispute and the debtor wants the creditor to proceed with legal action, any further calls are illegal. When this situation occurs there are only 2 options-sue or close.

Did you know?
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