Collection agencies are intermediaries. They are businesses to which creditors give a mandate to recover sums of money they claim they are owed. These creditors may be financial institutions or merchants, among other businesses.

Here is an example: You have $2,000 worth of unpaid invoices with a merchant. The merchant could ask a collection agency to try to recover this money. In such a case, it is the collection agent who would contact you for you to pay your debt, rather than the merchant to whom you owe this money.

Rules of conduct

By law, collection agencies must abide by rules of conduct. The methods they are allowed to use to collect sums of money are regulated. Collection agencies are also required to hold a permit from the Office de la protection du consommateur to carry out their operations. In addition, all collection agency representatives must hold a certificate.

Prohibited practices

A collection agent is not allowed to:

  • negotiate with your creditors for the purpose of reducing your debts;
  • receive any money from you to be divided among your various creditors with whom debt reduction has been negotiated.

Such activities may only be carried out by debt settlement service merchants.

Last update : May 3, 2021

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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.