Being in debt can be one of the most frustrating experiences ever especially, when debt collectors have been introduced into the equation. Debt collectors are people or agencies whose duty it is to try to convince you to pay whatever debts you owe. Sometimes these people or agencies work for the credit company, were hired by the credit company or have bought your debt from the credit company that you owe.
Most Canadians and people around the world generally believe that debt collectors are meant to be full of threats, rude and troublesome. However, it is important to know that despite the fact that their job is to try to make sure you pay your debts, there are things they cannot do while trying to get you to pay up. Some of these things include:
#1. Contact you at any time
In Canada, different provinces have different times at which debt collectors can contact you. For instance in Newfoundland and Labrador they can only contact you from 8am until 10pm. In addition, in most provinces debt collectors can generally not contact you on Sundays and during statutory holidays.
In addition, debt collectors cannot contact you when you have made it clear in written form that they should contact your legal representative or you do not owe.
#2. Garnish wages or seize assets
Despite the threats you might receive from debt collectors about your wages and assets, they cannot touch anything without judgement. Therefore, regardless of the threats you might receive if it has not been directed by a court, the debt collectors have no power to do anything and have no right to issue such threats.
#3. Start legal action without notifying you
A debt collector cannot start legal action against you for your debts without notifying you. Know that notifying you verbally does not count. They have to send a written notification and confirm that you have received it before starting legal action. Therefore, if that debt collector keeps threatening but has not put forward any written document in the effect, he has no right to start legal action.
#4. Contact people close to you
Debt collectors have cannot contact your family, friends, colleagues or workplace except to get your contact details and unless they were signatories to the debt. Therefore, realize that the people close to you have the right to refuse to hear from debt collectors and that your family and friends cannot be harassed by the debt collector.
Because debt collectors can only contact people close to you to get your contact information, they have no right to go about discussing your debt with these people except they were signatories. Therefore, you have no reason to believe they can publicize your debt.
#5. Collect debts you know nothing about
If you have expressly told the debt collector that you know nothing about a debt especially in writing, they have no way of forcing you to pay for it and cannot continue disturbing you for it. Therefore, make sure you do not give in to debt collectors when you know nothing about the debt and check your credit report to make sure they are not making false claims.
#6. Enforce debts after statute of limitations has passed
If the statute of limitations for that debt has passed and a debt collector contacts you, you have no need to pay because, they cannot carry out legal actions or enforce that debt except you acknowledge that you owe by writing or paying.
Despite their reputation, debt collectors cannot harass you using verbal abuse, threats or physical action. It is important that you know your rights as a debtor so debt collectors do not take advantage of you.