A collection agent must contact you in writing before phoning you.
A collection agent must send you a written notice, called a “Notice of Payment.” You can view an example of a Notice of Payment (50.5 KB) (in French only).
Contacting you by telephone
The collection agent may phone you 5 days after sending the written notice. He or she is not allowed to do so before then.
When making the call, the agent must:
- provide his or her identity and that of the collection agency he or she is representing;
- provide the collection agency’s permit number;
- indicate the amount owing and the name of the creditor, that is, the name of the person who claims you owe him or her money.
If you are not the person who owes this money, tell the agent. He or she will not be allowed to contact you again.
If you want the agent to only communicate with your legal advisor, notify the agent of that fact in writing. He or she is required to comply with your request.
If you are contesting the amount claimed and would like the creditor to ask the courts to rule on the matter, notify the collection agent of that fact in writing. The agent will not be allowed to contact you again.
Notice not received
What if you did not receive the notice the collection agent claims to have sent you? Tell the agent you did not receive the notice and give him or her your address. The agent will have to send you a new notice, and then wait 5 days after sending it to phone you.
A pre-recorded message may only indicate:
- the name of the person you must contact;
- the telephone number to call back.
The message may not indicate:
- that it is about a debt collection;
- the fact that the person to whom the call is placed is in debt.
This rule aims to maintain the confidentiality of the process. Any person other than you who listens to the message will not be informed that a collection agency is trying to contact you.
The name of the collection agency may be mentioned in the message, but may not suggest in any way that it is a collection agency. For example, you may not be asked to call the ABC collection agency. However, you may be asked to call ABC.
If a collection agent fails to abide by these rules when contacting you, you may file a complaint with the Office de la protection du consommateur. The page titled Contact Us lists our contact information.
Last update : October 23, 2020
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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.