What are Your Rights When Dealing with Creditors

Rights When Dealing with Creditors

When it comes to repaying money that you owe, the Consumer Protection Office wants to remind you of your rights when it come to collection agents.

In Manitoba, a collection agent must be licensed by the CPO and there are rules that they must abide by:

Under the rules set out in The Consumer Protection Act collectors cannot:

  • phone or visit before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Monday though Saturday, or any time on Sundays and statutory holidays;
  • threaten you with any action for which they do not have authority;
  • deliberately mislead you with documents that look like court or legal documents when they are not;
  • seize or attempt to seize property you own, unless it is specifically pledged as collateral for your loan; or
  • harass you, your family, neighbours or friends.
  • If a collector contacts you, write down their name and the name of the collection agent they represent. You can contact the CPO to confirm they are a registered collector or licensed collection agent. A collector cannot make a demand for payment unless you have been told the name of the creditor or the balance of the debt owing.

    If the debt sounds unfamiliar or you think there has been an error, inform the collector and contact your creditor immediately. You can also request a free copy of your credit report each year from Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada to ensure that your financial information is accurately reported. If the debt belongs to you, an outstanding payment may affect your credit score.

    It is good practice to keep track of payments made to a collection agent. When you make a payment, you have the right to request a dated receipt, which should list the amount paid and the name of the creditor or company owed.

    Unpaid debts do not disappear. It is better to make arrangements for repayment than ignore collection calls.

    The CPO investigates complaints about collection practices. Individuals and businesses that fail to comply with the rules related to collection practices may be subject to penalties that range from $1,000 to $20,000. For more information about debt collection, visit:

    www.gov.mb.ca/justice/cp/cpo/info/collection_practices.html.

    TOPICS:   Manitoba News

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