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Know Your Rights: How to Handle Debt Collection Agencies

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It is extremely important to know how to engage with debt collectors at first contact. While their tactics can be bothersome or sometimes intimidating, ignoring them will only provide you with a short-term, temporary solution. The most effective way to deal with a debt collection agency is to exercise your rights and figure out how to best handle your debt.

Advice for Debt Help from Your Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Edmonton

If mounting debt is becoming an issue in your life, our advisors and trustees can provide you with dealing with debt information and credit counselling that can help you develop a personalized management plan to help get you out of debt and establish more financial security.

6 Tips on How to Handle Debt Collectors in Edmonton

When it comes to debt collectors, it can be challenging to know when, where, and how to exercise your rights. Here is a brief guide with best practices to help you deal with agents if they come looking for you:

  1. Ensure Debt is Yours – Take your time to do a proper check of all or your debts including your past bills, present bills, bank statements, and check your credit reports to help verify your list of debts. You can also use this strategy to confirm if what you owe is correct. If you believe an error has been made, inform the debt collector and creditor asking them to outline the next steps.
  2. Ask for Details – As soon as you are contacted by a debt collector, make sure you ask for and write down all their information. For instance, make note of the caller’s name, phone number, and the company they work for. Furthermore, inquire about the sum that you owe, who you owe it to, and when payments are required. Finally, inform the debt collector that you will return their call after verifying the information against the information you know you owe.
  3. Hours of Contact – Fortunately, many provinces have strict rules on when a credit agency can contact you. In Alberta, the law allows firms to contact individuals between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. In addition, Sundays and statutory holidays are also partially prohibited in most provinces. A debt collector may not contact a family member, friends, employers, or neighbours to get your contact information. An individual can also request that the collection agency only make contact in writing. Credit agencies also cannot contact you after receiving formal legal notice from a Trustee. You may initiate legal proceedings against them if they do.
  4. Resist Intimidation – Fortunately most formal debt and credit collection agencies are professional. The province has strict rules concerning the language used by collection agencies against debtors. Agents must refrain from using foul or coercive language in addition to threatening physical harm. However, some private ‘debt collectors’ may not be and may resort to scare tactics and intimidation to make you pay up.
  5. Making Payments –Once you double check your records and verify the amount you owe, try and pay the debt off in full for an immediate resolution. However, there are a few things to remember such as avoid sending cash, obtain receipts for all transactions, deal with the debt collection agency directly, and don’t contact the creditor as this may cause confusion. If you are unable to pay the entire amount, you may have to negotiate with your debt collector, suggest an alternate payment method, write a follow-up, and include the first instalment to demonstrate your commitment to paying back your debt which may also include any interest incurred.
  6. Professional Advice – Licensed Insolvency Trustees provide free initial debt resolution advice which may include how to handle creditors and/or debt collector calls depending on your circumstances. In cases where a debtor declares Bankruptcy or commits to a formal Consumer Proposal arrangement, creditors are officially put on legal notice by the Trustee.  Should debt collectors continue to call you, you have the right to take legal action against them.

Are Debt Collectors Continuing to Call You? Contact A. C. Waring & Associates Inc.!

A trustee can provide advice, guidance, and debt solutions for debtors dealing with any debt related issues such as credit card debt in the Edmonton regional areas. We take pride in our ability to help you successfully work your way through most personal or business related financial issues.
For debt help or advice on dealing with debt collection in the Edmonton and North/Central region of Alberta, schedule a free initial consultation with the professionals at A. C. Waring & Associates Inc. Call our office toll-free at 1-800-463-3328 or 780-424-9944 with your questions and concerns regarding debt management, debt solutions, consumer proposals, and bankruptcy proceedings.

Written by Arthur Waring

Arthur earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario before earning a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor. During university, he also participated in a French immersion program in Trois Pistol, Quebec, and has been employed for several national firms over the years.

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