Merchants must comply with certain rules related to a debt settlement service contract. The following information may be of interest to you.

A debt settlement service contract must include all of the elements provided for in the Consumer Protection Act and its attendant regulation.

Boxed text

A text box (35.4 KB) (in French) appears at the beginning of a contract when it involves:

  • negotiating a debt settlement with your creditors; or
  • receiving funds that the merchant will distribute to your creditors.

Mandatory text concerning contract cancellation

The "Statement of consumer cancellation rights (35.6 KB)" (in French) appears after this text box, or at the beginning of the contract if the text box is not required. This mandatory text informs you of the situations in which you may cancel the contract and the applicable deadlines.

Contract model and contents

Merchants are required to use the contract model prescribed by the Regulation respecting the application of the Consumer Protection Act (53.5 KB) (in French) when the contract involves:

  • negotiating a debt settlement with your creditors; or
  • receiving funds that the merchant will distribute to your creditors.

The contract you are given must therefore contain all of the following information:

  • the place and date of the contract signature;
  • the merchant's name, address, telephone number and, if available, the merchant's email address;
  • the merchant's permit number;
  • your name and address;
  • a detailed description of each of the goods and services to be provided;
  • the dates on which the goods and services are to be provided;
  • the charges and fees you will be required to pay;
  • the list of your creditors;
  • the amount and description (including the credit rate) of each of the creditors' claims;
  • the total amount owed to your creditors;
  • the proposal the merchant will present to each creditor, including the terms and conditions of payment for each debt;
  • the amount of any payment to be remitted to your creditors, as well as the frequency and dates of the payments, if applicable;
  • the term and expiry date of the contract;
  • a reference to the fact that the merchant will receive or attempt to receive amounts from a creditor as consideration for entering into the contract, if applicable;
  • a description of the goods the merchant has received in payment, as a trade-in or on account, their quantity, and the price agreed upon for each item, if applicable;
  • a reference to the fact that you may cancel the contract at your discretion within 10 days after the date on which you are given a copy of the contract.

The merchant is also required to append a resolution form (11.4 KB) (in French) to the contract. You can use this form to cancel the contract.

Form, signature and remittance of a contract entered into in person

The contract must be written clearly and legibly on paper, in 2 copies. It must be written in French, unless you would like it to be in another language.

The merchant first signs both copies of the contract. He or she must then:

  • let you read the contract;
  • ask you to sign both copies, on the last page, after all of the clauses;
  • give you a signed copy of the contract.

In the case of a distance contract, such as a contract entered into online or by telephone, these rules concerning the signature and remittance do not apply. Refer instead to the following pages:

You have the right to cancel a debt settlement service contract if you respect the prescribed deadlines, even if the merchant has already provided services.

In legal terms, this is known as "contract resolution." This means that you and the merchant must find yourselves in the situation you were in before signing the contract.

10 days to cancel the contract

You always have 10 days to cancel a contract. You do not have to explain your reasons to the merchant. This 10-day period begins on the day after the date on which you received your signed copy of the contract.

For example, if you received your copy on a Tuesday, you have the right to cancel your contract until Friday of the following week. If the 10th day falls on a statutory holiday or on a weekend, the deadline is postponed to the next business day.

One year to cancel the contract

You can cancel a contract within the year that follows the date on which it was signed by both parties (the merchant and you). To do so, you must find yourself in any of the following situations:

Cancellation procedure

You can notify the merchant of your decision to cancel the contract:

  • using the resolution form (11.4 KB) appended to the contract; or
  • by sending the merchant a written notice to that effect.

The merchant's obligations in the event of a cancellation

In the event a contract is cancelled, each party must return what he or she has received to the other party. If you paid any money to the merchant, he or she is required to reimburse you no later than 15 days after sending the form or notice.

If you have given any goods to the merchant as payment, a trade-in or on account, the merchant must return them to you. If this cannot be done, the merchant is required to pay you the highest of the 2 following amounts: the value of the item or its price as indicated in the contract. The merchant must also pay any fees incurred to return the goods, if necessary.

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