Credit Cards

Laws regarding collection agencies and our consumer rights against them?

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  • Jul 13th, 2018 12:12 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Oct 14, 2004
166 posts
1 upvote
Gotham City

Laws regarding collection agencies and our consumer rights against them?

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Last edited by Bruce Wayne on Jul 15th, 2018 12:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.
20 replies
Deal Addict
May 4, 2014
3040 posts
2551 upvotes
Toronto, ON
You have the right to file bankruptcy.
Newbie
Dec 29, 2014
77 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I'm not 100% sure about this but I believe that if you tell them you're being represented by an attorney and want them to deal with him, by law they would have to contact your attorney. Also, if you're dealing with a debt consolidation company, they can negotiate on your behalf. But it might be easier to just screen all your calls and avoid them.

The collection industry basically has a license to harass. A friend of mine used to work for a first party collection company and he told me that they were allowed to call someone several times a day and they usually did this when they didn't have many cases to work. If they called someone in the morning and were told that a payment would be made in 2 days, they might end up calling the same person back a few more times the same day and ask the same questions - "when are you going to make a payment", "why are you in arrears"... etc. When I asked him why they would ask the same questions even though they know he will pay in 2 days, he told me if they didn't, they'd be deducted for not asking the standard questions. lol!
[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Oct 14, 2004
166 posts
1 upvote
Gotham City
er34er34 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 8:15 pm
You have the right to file bankruptcy.
I want to avoid this.
Striker60 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 8:34 pm
I'm not 100% sure about this but I believe that if you tell them you're being represented by an attorney and want them to deal with him, by law they would have to contact your attorney. Also, if you're dealing with a debt consolidation company, they can negotiate on your behalf. But it might be easier to just screen all your calls and avoid them.

The collection industry basically has a license to harass. A friend of mine used to work for a first party collection company and he told me that they were allowed to call someone several times a day and they usually did this when they didn't have many cases to work. If they called someone in the morning and were told that a payment would be made in 2 days, they might end up calling the same person back a few more times the same day and ask the same questions - "when are you going to make a payment", "why are you in arrears"... etc. When I asked him why they would ask the same questions even though they know he will pay in 2 days, he told me if they didn't, they'd be deducted for not asking the standard questions. lol!
I've told them the situation that i'm in and that until it changes, i won't be able to make payments. I have to focus on the other bills (rent, hydro, food, transit pass etc). So them calling every day won't change my situation anytime soon. This is for my credit card that they are calling. Even my bank who the credit card is with told me to focus on getting my checking account and savings in good standing as the credit card has already been written off.

As for your second paragraph, that is crazy!
Deal Addict
Jan 30, 2012
1314 posts
515 upvotes
TORONTO
The laws governing collection agencies vary by province. You haven't mentioned a province.
Bruce Wayne wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 8:53 pm
Even my bank who the credit card is with told me to focus on getting my checking account and savings in good standing as the credit card has already been written off.
That is interesting. In the fine print of your credit card agreement your bank has the right of offset - that is, if you owe them money on your credit card, they can just take money from a chequing/savings account that you have with that bank. I'm surprised they didn't do that.

Unless by getting in good standing you mean that the balance is negative...
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
1353 posts
936 upvotes
Bruce Wayne wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 8:53 pm
...
I've told them the situation that i'm in and that until it changes, i won't be able to make payments. I have to focus on the other bills (rent, hydro, food, transit pass etc). So them calling every day won't change my situation anytime soon. This is for my credit card that they are calling. Even my bank who the credit card is with told me to focus on getting my checking account and savings in good standing as the credit card has already been written off.
....
What do you want to happen? Are you hoping that they will simply stop calling you and stop collecting the debt? You don't want to declare bankruptcy yet the fact is if you cannot pay the debt you are insolvent.
Newbie
Dec 29, 2014
77 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto, ON
skeet50 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 10:06 pm
What do you want to happen? Are you hoping that they will simply stop calling you and stop collecting the debt? You don't want to declare bankruptcy yet the fact is if you cannot pay the debt you are insolvent.
I assume that he wants them to stop harassing him since it serves no purpose (other than to harass) to keep calling since he told them he can't pay at the moment. They're owed money so it's understandable that they'd want to follow up but calling every day is excessive and unnecessary.
[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Oct 14, 2004
166 posts
1 upvote
Gotham City
Striker60 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 10:31 pm
I assume that he wants them to stop harassing him since it serves no purpose (other than to harass) to keep calling since he told them he can't pay at the moment. They're owed money so it's understandable that they'd want to follow up but calling every day is excessive and unnecessary.
Exactly. In the meantime while my situation has not changed (unfortunately), the previous collection agency have now transferred it to second agency (different one). I'm still financially at the same place I was when I told the previous company my situation. So besides repeating same info to them, there's nothing I can do until there's a positive development finally on my end.
Member
May 16, 2017
230 posts
191 upvotes
All you can really hope for is that the amount owing isn't sufficient to warrant a forced bankruptcy. If you won't/can't repay the debt or have insufficient income to support any sort of consumer arrangement to repay the debt they have every right to keep calling within the bounds of the law.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
4740 posts
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Toronto
hvwozq wrote:
Jul 13th, 2018 6:24 am
Block their number. Change your number. No more harassment.
How about the letter?
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
1353 posts
936 upvotes
Bruce Wayne wrote:
Jul 13th, 2018 12:19 am
Exactly. In the meantime while my situation has not changed (unfortunately), the previous collection agency have now transferred it to second agency (different one). I'm still financially at the same place I was when I told the previous company my situation. So besides repeating same info to them, there's nothing I can do until there's a positive development finally on my end.
The problem is whether the collection agency is convinced that there is nothing that you can do. Doing nothing is rarely acceptable to a collection agency and the collection agency does expect you to take some sort of action. You generally have 3 options:

1. Ignore it. This won't stop the calls and letters. And if you block the calls at home, they can call you at work. You don't want that.
2. Arrange a payment plan and start paying. This requires your coming up with the money somewhere. Cut back on your expenses and/or get another job.
3. Seek consumer options such as a debt settlement program or insolvency options.

The obligation is on you to create the positive development on your end.
Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2014
1313 posts
652 upvotes
Somewhere, ON
You should be asking yourself how to cut back on your spending:
1 - Do you need a full service cell phone, can you get away with pay as you go?
2 - How much is your internet? Can you cancel and take advantage of public WiFi, go to library, Tim's, etc.
3 - Do you eat out, start having your meals at home, brown bag lunches, etc.

Total up the above savings, cut the amount in half and offer this to the collection agency on a monthly basis.
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