Everybody who has ever missed a bill payment or two knows what it’s like to get a call from a collection agency. It’s not a great feeling by any stretch. However, when you’re in over your head in debt, those calls come from many different places, and collection agencies don’t always follow the rules.
When calls from debt collectors cross the line from persistent to harassment, you can take steps to make those calls stop. Here are a few measures you can try.
Know the Rules About Collection Calls
When you enter into an agreement, you are promising to pay your creditor as you pledged. When creditors don’t get paid, they’re within their rights to sell off the debt to a collection agency, and that agency is allowed to contact you to ask about payment. However, there are specific guidelines that surround those calls.
Specifically, debt collectors in BC cannot call you on statutory holidays, or any day after 9:00 pm or before 7:00 am. They cannot use documents that are meant to look like “official” court papers to threaten you, and they can’t continue to call you after you have asked that any future communications be delivered in writing. If a debt collector fails to follow these rules, you have the right to take steps to put an end to their calls.
Put it in Writing
The first step is to notify the collection agency, in writing, that they have violated the rules of the Consumer Protection Act of British Columbia. Be sure to keep a copy of your letter. In many cases, coming to understand that you know the rules and your rights will be enough to put an end to harassing calls from debt collectors. However, if it’s not, it’s time to take your concerns to the next level.
File a Formal Complaint
Debt collectors have been known to use a number of tactics to collect money, and while some may even be legal, they’re certainly not ethical. If a collector breaks the rules or threatens you in any way, you can file a formal complaint with Consumer Protection BC.
Take back your life! Getting into too much debt is a mistake, not a life sentence. When you’re ready to put a permanent end to harassing creditor calls, contact us. Whether it’s through financial debt and credit counselling, or a consumer proposal or filing for bankruptcy, we can help you take steps to make sure you’re never afraid to answer the phone again!