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Can a Collection Agency Call Me at Work?

Posted by in Bankruptcy
10
Oct 2014

A collection agency’s main interest is recovering the amount owed to the original creditor. In addition to the stress of dealing with a collection agency, revealing your personal finances can be embarrassing or even threatening to your career. While there are laws in place to protect consumers (debtors), a collection agency is not obligated to tell you what your rights are. When your payments are in arrears, one of the first steps to take is learning how to protect yourself from bill collectors.

Collection Agency Call at Work

Why Collectors Call at Work

Generally speaking, collectors only start calling your place of employment if you’re hard to reach by phone or actively avoiding calls from creditors. The Collection Agencies Act of Ontario protects the rights of debtors, allowing your collector one phone call to your employer to verify your name, contact information, and employment. Beyond that initial contact, you should be free from your collector’s phone calls while at work.

When your employer is the guarantor of the loan, collectors are allowed to call them as outlined in the law. On the chance that your employer discovers your overdue bills, labour laws usually protect you from losing your job over financial difficulties.

What to do when Creditors call your Office

The frequency, timing, and duration of contact must not obstruct your ability to perform your job, and a collection agent making claims threatening your employment is considered harassment. At this point, you may contact upper management within the collection agency, the agency’s ombudsman, or provincial/territorial regulators. Remember that the collector is simply an employee whose only powers are related to contacting you lawfully and accepting payment towards the debt.

Another option is to request that the agent cease calling you while you’re on the job. It’s best practice to formally submit written requests so that there’s evidence that you’ve sent the letter, and you’ll have a copy of the communication. In the letter, simply state your preference for being contacted using your personal phone or cell number. In case you find the calls distressing altogether, you may ask to only be contacted through written communications. Since there is no way to cut off contact altogether, a professional, such as a trustee, can provide relief and guidance. They can also often assist you in consolidating your debt which will allow you to get rid of the collection agencies completely.

To find out the regulations you can also contact the Ministry of Consumer Services.

SOURCES INCLUDE Ontario.ca / The Ministry of Consumer Services.

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