Collection agencies have been given rules that they must abide by. Some of them disregard these rules because they know consumers are either unaware or too intimidated to follow through. Let’s go over the rules that all collection agencies must follow when dealing with consumers.
They must give a written notice
A collection is required by law to send the consumer a written notice via regular mail (not email) with details. The information that they should include in the written notice is:
- The name of the person that the business owes money
- The amount of money that the lender claims to be owed
- The name of the collection agency that is responsible for recovering the money owed as well as a letter from the creditor who has asked for the debt to be recovered.
After they send out this written notice, the collection agency is required to wait for 6 days before they can get in touch with you in order to recover the money owed.
They must NOT contact you more than 3 times in 7 days
If you get calls from a collection agency every single day of the week, this could be a violation of your rights. The collection agency is required to contact clients only 3 times within a 7-day period. They should refrain from other forms of contacting you including sending an email or leaving a voicemail if it has exceeded the required 3 times within 7 days.
Other rules on when to contact you
A collection agency should not contact you on a holiday, a Sunday or any other day between 9pm and 7am. You can also file a complaint with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services if the collection agency uses threatening, profane and intimidating language when they contact you. You shouldn’t accept to pay the collection agency any fees. Any harassment or excessive pressure from the agents should be reported as this sort of behavior is against the rules.
When to contact your employer
A collection agency is only allowed to contact your employer once only if the employer has guaranteed the debt or there is a court order or automatic deduction from your salary. Unless you have given the agency a written consent to get in touch with your employer, they should refrain from doing this.
When to contact the people in your circles
The collection agency is not allowed to contact your friends, family, neighbors, relatives or any other individual unless the person was one of your guarantors or you permit the agency to contact them.
If the collection agency presents any false or misleading information about you, you have a right to file a complaint with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Understanding the rules will help ease the frustration and burden that comes when dealing with collection agencies.