Dealing with Debt Part 1 – Collections Debt in Canada
Many people have collections debt in Canada. Collection agencies are routinely hired by private businesses to collect money from individuals who have defaulted. When a company assigns an account to a collection agency, the collection agency will add their fees and additional interest to the debt which will cause the debt to grow at a rapid pace.
Some collection agencies will use tactics, like calling you several times daily at home and work to collect money from you, while others may have been authorized by your creditor to take Small Claims Court action against you. Collection agencies can also file a “collection item” on your credit report which will do considerable harm to your credit; however if you have defaulted on a loan or credit card, the damage to your credit may have already been done. Any way you look at it, dealing with collections debt in Canada is no fun.
Conventional debts like loans and credit card balances are not the only types of debt that get assigned to collection agencies. If you default on a debt to a utility provider, default on a phone bill, gym membership, toll bill, traffic fines all of these are examples of debt that may be assigned to collection agencies to be collected.
The good news is collection agencies in Canada are regulated in most Provinces. This means you have rights! In Ontario for example, the Ministry of Consumer Services regulates collection agencies through the administration of the “Collection Agencies Act”. You can view the Ontario Collection Agencies Act on the E-Laws website. If a collections debt in Canada has occurred and a collection agency is getting out of hand, you can complain to the Provincial Ministry that regulates it. Some Provinces will receive online complaints (as is the case in Ontario) while others will require that you mail them a letter and include evidence to support your complaint.
If you have a collections debt in Canada it is likely because you are dealing poorly with debt. Rather than facing collection action, it is better to come up with a solution to deal with your debt and there are solutions available. There are a number of programs available that help people to deal with their debt and stop collection action. Dealing with debt can cause stress and strain to relationships and many people think that the only way to get out of debt is through personal bankruptcy. This is not the case. There are other solutions to dealing with debt that involve freezing the interest accumulating on your debt and also reducing the principal amount of debt that you owe.
When you are dealing with debt the worst thing to do is ignore it. This will only prolong the length of time that your credit is damaged and the debt will not go away but will only continue to grow over time. The faster you deal with your debt, the faster you can work towards rebuilding your credit and finances and put the period in your life where your debt got out of control behind you.