When it comes to knowing how to deal with a collection agency, many people are unsure.
Sadly, the same applies to some governments. The rules governing debt collection agencies differ by Canadian province, most of which don’t do a fantastic job articulating what a consumer ought to do when a collection agency calls.
This is where New Brunswick is a standout. The province’s Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) posts some helpful information on its website, including this advice (posted here verbatim):
Tips for Dealing with a Collection Agency
- Avoid confusion – do not contact the original creditor. Just deal with the collection agency to make payment arrangements. But if there is a mistake in your account, tell the collection agency and the original creditor.
- When possible, pay the money you owe. Once the full amount is paid back you won’t have to deal with the agency anymore. The agency can only collect what you owe, and can’t charge you any fees for collecting the debt.
- When it is legitimately impossible for you to pay the full amount right away, suggest a different payment arrangement such as a lump sum at a later date or a series of monthly payments.
- Get a receipt for any payment you make so you have proof of your payment (for example, a cancelled cheque from your own bank or a receipt from the agency).
- Always be sure to have enough money in your account to cover any cheques you write to pay back your debt and never miss payments.
For the full text, visit the FCNB website. Great job, New Brunswick!