Can a Collection Agency Issue a Wage Garnishment?
It is a very common scenario: you’re aware of the existence of a bad debt, but with no means to pay the debt, you instead choose to ignore the calls and notices and hope that you can eventually amass the funds to pay it in full – or just hope that it will eventually go away. Then payday rolls around, and with the intention of taking even just a little bit aside to pay the debt, you find that the creditors have already taken matters into their own hands and issued a wage garnishment – and the amount on your paycheque is far lower than expected.
If this is the position in which you’ve found yourself, you might be wondering how it even came about. Can a collection agency even issue a wage garnishment – how do they have this power? The ugly truth is that yes, although a collection agency is a third party, it does have the power to secure a wage garnishment when going through the proper channels.
When you have a debt that you can’t pay, and a creditor assigns the account to a collection agency, that agency may just choose to pursue the matter in court – in order for a garnishment to be leveraged against you, obtaining a judgement in court is first required.
Does this mean you are being sued? No, the only people who can sue in Ontario courts are lawyers, paralegals, and people representing themselves – meaning, if a creditor has the time and resources, they could choose to sue you. Many don’t, but will pass the matter along to a collection agency, one who will then seek a judgement.
A collection agency can apply on a creditor’s behalf to court to seek a “garnishment” against you. If granted, this legally allows them to seize your salary, money in your bank account, or other money you own to repay your debt.
Often when collection agencies threaten to sue on behalf of the creditor, it is to scare you into paying – but there are many instances where it is not an empty threat and a wage garnishment may be imminent.
If collectors are calling and delivering these threats, a wage garnishment may be headed your way. It is best to deal with the debt before a garnishment is issued, thereby mitigating further damage to your already bruised credit.
These are your options:
- Pay the debt in full – although if this really was an option we hope most would have already done it.
- Make a settlement with the collection agency – sometimes this works, other times it is easier said than done.
- Look at other options to settle the debt and stop collection action, such as filing a consumer proposal.
Once a debt goes to collections it won’t just go away – your creditor will just keep assigning it to different agencies and using different tactics to force you to pay.
If you are standing on a ledge with seemingly no resources at your disposal, don’t despair. DebtCare Canada can help you find a solution to your financial problem and get a wage garnishment lifted before it does more damage. Call us today at 1-888-890-0888.