What should I do if I receive a call from a collection agency?
Collection agencies must send you a letter with details of the debt and the creditor that the debt is owed to, then wait six days before contacting you. If you haven’t received a letter then the collection agency should not be calling.
If you have received a letter:
1. Check whether the debt is yours and the amount is correct.
2. Check whether the statute of limitations has passed.
3. If the debt is valid, but you cannot pay the debt in full, spend some time calculating what you can afford to pay.
4. Contact the collection agency to explain why you cannot pay in full and to discuss a repayment plan (such as monthly payments)
5. If the collection agency agrees to set up a payment plan, ask for confirmation in writing.
6. Do not pay using cash and ensure you are given a receipt for your payments.
7. If you become unable to stick to your repayment plan, you should notify the collection agency as soon as possible.
If you do not owe the debt:
1. Contact the debt collection agency to advise them that you do not owe the debt and advise that you want to dispute the debt.
2. Send a registered letter to the agency saying that you dispute the debt.
If you have been contacted in error:
1. Advise the collection agency that you are not the correct person.
2. If they continue to contact you, send a registered letter to the agency advising that you are not the debtor.
Find out more:
FCAC – information about collection agencies