Debtors Rights

Many Canadians are trapped in the never ending cycle of paying off, and then racking up mountains of debt. Credit card interest rates, often looming around 28% or higher, do not help or motivate consumers who are trapped in the debt cycle. It should come as no surprise then that Canadians indebt are easy targets for the newest "debt settlement" scheme.

No, you cannot go to jail for not paying your debts

One of Janice and Larry’s creditor’s has obtained a judgment against them. This couple have heard many collection stories and Janice is afraid the judgment creditor is going to garnish their wages, she thinks they may lose their jobs, or worse, that they might be put in jail. They are both relieved to hear there is no such thing as debtor prison.

 Consumer credit laws 

There are a lot of laws out there that can benefit you. Although you may not be aware of them, the laws are in place to protect you.

  • There is a law that requires collectors to clearly identify themselves when they contact you.
  • A collector may contact you by mail, telephone, or fax. However, a debt collector may not contact you at unreasonable times or places, such as early in the morning or late at night. Check your provincial laws to see what time frames apply.

Bullies in the debt collection industry

What can a bill collector really do to you if you owe a debt that you are unable to repay? Well, some in the collection industry would say that depends on who the collector works for – the credit grantor, which makes the collector a first-party collector, or a collection agency, which makes the collector a third-party collector.

No Way! Show me my signature. 

What if someone dies, can they leave their debts to you? The short answer is no.

Debts do not transfer by virtue of marriage or death – not without your signature.

You have rights too…

Last week I received a telephone call from Jessie, a 31 year old, single mother of three. She was sobbing hysterically because a debt collector had told her he was going to garnish her wages. Jessie was afraid that if he garnished her wages and thereby deprived her rent money she might be thrown out on the street with her kids. After several minutes I managed to reassure her that the debt collector, calling on behalf of a finance company, could not garnish her wages. At least, not without having obtained a judgment first.